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Originally published Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:02 PM

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How to get more information, check a home for problems or report abuse

• To report abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult or a child in Washington state, call the DSHS toll-free EndHarm hotline anytime...

Reporting suspected abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult

• To report abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult or a child in Washington state, call the DSHS toll-free EndHarm hotline anytime day or night at 1-866-363-4276. EndHarm is TTY accessible. When you call, you will speak with a real person, who will connect you to the direct, local number to make your report.

• Call the Complaint Resolution Unit toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6078 if the person you suspect is being abused or neglected is living in a nursing home, boarding home, or adult family home.

• If it's an emergency and the person is in immediate danger, call the police.

Check the violation history of an adult family home

Consumers can learn what violations state inspectors found at an adult family home by calling the DSHS regional office for their county. DSHS suggests asking for the field manager or regional administrator.

King County: 253-234-6001

Kitsap, Pierce counties: 253-983-3849

Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom: 360-651-6850

Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman: 509-323-7304

Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Walla Walla, Yakima: 509-225-2825

Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, Wahkiakum: 360-725-2521


Background a home using public records at the Department of Social and Health Services

A more complete picture of adult family homes can be assembled from public records at the DSHS, which licenses and inspects them. The state Public Disclosure Act entitles you to review or copy the records.

The key to a success is knowing the kinds of records to request. You can review records without cost at DSHS offices during business hours. Or the agency will mail records at a cost of 15 cents a page. Requests involving a small number of pages are often provided free.

Usually, the more narrow and specific the request, the quicker it can be filled. A good strategy is to call the DSHS public-disclosure office and ask for advice on how best to structure the request. The phone is: 360-902-8484.

DSHS also provides a helpful Web form for making public-record requests. It can be found at:

Requests can be mailed to:

DSHS Public Records Officer

DSHS, Risk Management Office

PO Box 45135

Olympia WA 98504-5135

The agency accepts requests by e-mail at:

Here are the primary types of records

Complaint investigation narrative report: This report is the summation of a specific investigation. It's usually disclosed without redaction because identities are already masked. You can request a list of all investigations for a range of dates if you want to find out more about the history of specific adult homes.

Annual facility inspection report with plan of correction (if applicable): This record shows the result of inspections, which occur every 18 months. It's usually disclosed without redaction. The plan of correction details what steps were taken to bring the adult home into legal compliance.

Facility enforcement: This record is a brief roster of violations of the state licensing requirements.

Licensing records: All records involving licensing applications and ownership of the facility. Some information will be redacted.

Business file: All records involving technical business information, such as mailing address of the business, names of people associated with the business, financial information, etc.

Informal dispute resolution records: These detail negotiations involving administrative charges filed against adult family homes. Owners may request to settle charges without a formal administrative hearing.

Complaint intake and routing form: This form contains initial information obtained by DSHS involving a potential investigation, such as details of a written complaint or a telephone call.

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