Rep. Kagi seeks legislation on placement for foster children and youth

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-32
Photo courtesy LSS
By Evan Smith

Democratic 32nd Legislative District State Rep. Ruth Kagi says that one of her top goals for the current legislative session is addressing what she says is a severe placement crisis for foster children and youth.

“With a shortage of foster parents and the loss of many residential providers due to low reimbursement rates, the state is struggling to find placements for children and youth, particularly those with serious mental and behavioral challenges,” she said in mid-January. 
“Far too many are staying in hotels with social workers, or being placed out of state. Increasing placement options is urgently needed.”

Kagi oversees foster-care legislation as chair of the House committee on early learning and human services. She also is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Environment Committee.

She said during the second week of the legislative session that her top priority was passing a capital budget, something that the legislature accomplished later that week. The capital budget uses the state’s bonding authority to pay for buildings and other capital projects.

“The budget includes funding for school construction, affordable housing, many community-based projects and the early-learning facilities fund that the legislature established last year,” she said Jan. 16.

Kagi also said that legislators would continue efforts to understand the impact of the State Supreme Court’s order that the state provide full support for public schools on local school districts and to correct unintended consequences.

“More funding is clearly needed in a number of areas, including special education and teacher salaries,” she said.

Kagi added, “Our commitment is to deal with many complex issues in this 60-day session, and adjourn on March 8.”

Kagi represents the 32nd Legislative District, including the city of Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of south Snohomish County, south Edmonds, the city of Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace.

To read about the priorities of Democratic 32nd District State Sen. Maralyn Chase see this Jan. 1 post.

Democratic 32nd Legislative District Rep. Cindy Ryu’s priorities are in this Jan. 3 post.

Evan Smith can be reached at


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