Washington State Research & Recommendations on Host Homes

Kim Justice, Executive Director
Washington State Department of Commerce

 Research and Recommendations on Host Home Programs

During the 2016 regular legislative session, the Washington Legislature unanimously passed Substitute House Bill 2440,1 which exempted host home programs2 that serve youth from licensing requirements, including for foster care. While different host home program models exist,3 the 2016 legislation focused on host home programs in Washington that match young people under age 18 who are experiencing homelessness, housing instability, or family crisis, with a community member who is willing to provide housing and other support to the young person. The nonprofit organizations that oversee host home programs provide case management and other supportive services to the youth and the host home/host family. 

Governor Jay Inslee signed SHB 2440 into law on April 1, 2016, and it became effective June 9, 2016. 

In addition to the licensing exemption and other requirements detailed herein, SHB 2440 also mandated that “[b]y July 1, 2017, the Department of Commerce must provide a report to the Governor and the Legislature that includes recommendations and best practices for host home programs.” 

This report includes an overview of the existing host home programs in Washington that serve homeless youth; provides recommendations for the Legislature, host home programs, and the Office of Homeless Youth; and identifies areas for future study.

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