Gildon bill to establish Early Childhood Court Program passes Senate

Legislation aimed at improving the well-being of young children whose parents are involved or at risk of becoming involved in Washington state’s child welfare system, passed the Senate today.

Senate Bill 5331, sponsored by Sen. Chris Gildon, R-Puyallup, was passed unanimously. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

This important bill establishes the Early Childhood Court Program (ECCP), or what’s been called “Baby Court.” This program has been proven to be almost twice as effective at helping affected children and families more than non-ECCP courts.

“This bill provides the opportunity for courts to better support the emotional well-being of infants and toddlers and seeks to successfully reunite them with their families or quickly place them into their forever homes,” said Gildon. “I am proud to support this bill and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on children throughout the state.”

Pierce, Kitsap, Thurston, and Spokane are the only four counties in Washington state that have implemented ECCP courts.