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Vulnerable Children & Adults Final 01-15-10 -   2.3 - Timely Licensing Complaint/Abuse Investigations

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Vulnerable Children & Adults Final 01-15-10
1. Child Safety
2. Child Care Licensing
3. Mental Health
4. Aging & Disability
5. Veterans Services
6. Economic Recovery

2.3 - Timely Licensing Complaint/Abuse Investigations 

How long does it take to complete a licensing complaint inspection when there is a child abuse investigation involved?

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Data Notes
Data Source:

State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS), known in Washington as FamLink.

Measure Definition: Number of days it takes to complete an abuse and neglect complaint.
Link to Agency Strategic Plan: 2009-2013 Strategic Plan.
Notes: (optional) Data is from the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 (July 1, 2009-September 30, 2009).
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes.

 Drill Down Measures

 Summary Analysis


  • When a licensing complaint is received, DEL inspects child cares on the licensing issues. When a complaint also involves child abuse and/or neglect allegations, DSHS also investigates.
  • Approximately 20 percent of DEL licensing complaints also involve concurrent DSHS investigations.  It is that 20 percent which is reflected in this measure.
  • In the last data period, DEL licensing complaints of both centers and homes, that also involved abuse and neglect investigations by DSHS, closed at a statewide clip of 85 median days. This is lower than DSHS' 90-day policy.
  • Further, within each of DEL's three service areas, the numbers differ from each other, and the numbers also vary from quarter to quarter, though the respective trend lines are moving in a downward direction.
  • The Department of Early Learning (DEL) believes monitoring the amount of days it takes to close abuse and neglect complaints can be an effective way to identify areas for process improvement.
  • Process improvement is already underway with DEL and DSHS in a concerted effort to identify and eliminate areas that increase the complaint inspection time.
  • Both DEL and DSHS have taken a deeper look at this reporting quarters numbers in the extended analysis section.