Member News

Executive Board Elections are Completed

Thank you to all of the members who nominated, ran, or voted in our recent executive board election.
Voting closed on 12/31/16 and we have completed our tally of the results.

Here are the new board members

  • Region 7 – Amelia Hertog
  • Region 6 – Tabby Bizgan
  • At-Large – Patti Gray

Congratulations to our new board members and thank you for your willingness to serve!
For more information about your executive board you can visit our board page by clicking here

2016 Highlights and a Look at the Year Ahead


Happy New Year! As we welcome 2017, lets take just a second to remember some of the highlights of 2016.

News and Highlights from 2016

Negotiated 2017-19 contracts

  • Contract includes an average of a 16% rate increase
  • Mileage for medical transportation
  • Increases for specialty contracts
  • Direct request for ETR
  • Funding for community integration
  • More

Cost reporting Survey

  • Working with members, the Council began to measure actual costs and expenses incurred by adult family homes. This data will serve as a baseline for future negotiations and expectations. More

Managed Care Settlement

  • Nearly $50,000 in back payments collected for AFHs underpaid by DSHS and the PACE program.  More

DDA Respite

  • Secured a nearly 33% increase in funding for AFH’s providing respite care to eligible DDA residents.

Fighting DSHS in Court

  • The AFH Council continues our legal fight to require DSHS to negotiate rates that include automatic add-ons for two-person assist, awake staff at night, trip fees while transporting residents, behavior add-ons for certain classifications and an increased rate for homes serving a higher Medicaid  percentage. More

DDA Proviso Stakeholder

  • Through a legislative advocacy the Developmental Disabilities Administration is working with AFH operators to develop rules, assessments, and packages of services appropriate for homes specifically serving DDA eligible residents.

Legislative testimony

  • Adult Family Home Council staff routinely meets with key legislators and provides expert testimony about the impact of rules and funding for adult family home operators and the long term care system in Washington.
  • Testimony was provided on AFH rates and fees, training barriers, regulatory oversight and more
  • More

Letter to ALTSA re: Website

  • DSHS began posting enforcement actions on the DSHS adult family home locator.  This was done in accordance with RCW 70.128.280(6). However the same RCW requires DSHS to obtain stakeholder feedback.  They did not.  The current process they use is confusing, misleading, not helpful to the consumer, and potentially damaging to the adult family home. We believe the department is in violation of the statue and must come into compliance.  Our letter to DSHS leadership is available here

WAC review

  • By stepping up and making their voices heard, members of the Spokane chapter of the Adult Family Home Council presented multiple concerns to DSHS leadership at a chapter meeting.   As a result DSHS agreed to a full and comprehensive review of the rules in WAC 388-76. This review will include RCS staff and AFH providers.  Your input is requested.  More

Courses and Services Provided

Legal Issues workshop – Members got expert advice from attorneys and employment specialist on common issues facing AFH providers. The training included 6 CE hours, was free for members, and offered in 7 locations around the state.

2016 Fall Conference – Nearly 400 participants in the annual conference heard from DSHS, RNs, Doctors, Attorneys, Activity Specialists, and more over 2 days earning 12 CE hours while networking with providers and business partners from all across the state.

Expanded Forms Library – Members may have noted the growth in our online resources.  Our online document library has grown in the number of forms and the categories of information available.

One on One Assistance – Hundreds of Adult Family Home Council members contacted the office for one on one assistance.  Questions range from care, training, hiring, regulations, referrals, resources and more.  We love directly helping our members.

Prepared Appeals for Members – Members who have received citations have sent them to our office for review.  When appropriate we will advise members about appeal rights, and help prepare the proper documentation, resources, and strategy for an appeal.

Attended Informal Dispute Resolutions – Council staff will attend the IDR with members.  In this role the council will act as an advocate and assist in sharing the relevant facts of the case as needed.

Provide Consultation with Council Attorney – When a provider has a situation that may require some legal guidance, the council has utilized our attorneys to provide consultation on specific issues.

Create Facility Based Trainers – Members who would like to offer training to their staff can apply to be a facility based trainer.  Council staff assists members in the paperwork and registration of each home as is requested.

Offered 1000s of Hours of Free CE – Through our partners at Cornerstone Training, local chapter meetings, curriculum supplied to facility based trainers, and various workshops and conferences; the Council has provided thousands of hours of free CE to AFH operators and their staff.

Development of marketing tools – The Council is continuing to develop tools to help spread the word about the adult family home option.  Including sharing vacancies, listing in local resource guides, meeting with known referral sources

Organizations and Associations

What’s Next?

At the Council we take our commitment to our members very seriously. We are constantly seeking ways to hear from our member about how we can grow and expand our service.  A few of the highlights for next year will likely include:

  • Funding contract
  • Improve Training/Hiring
  • Improve Initial Licensing
  • Fair Regulatory Environment
  • Expand Information and Resources for Members
  • Engage in Local Marketing and Public Awareness
  • Expansion of Marketing Efforts
  • Live our mission
  • Serve our members


Governor Inslee’s Proposed 2017-19 Biennial Budget

capitol2December 14, 2016

Today Governor Inslee released his proposed biennial budget for 2017-2019.  The budget includes significant increases for adult family home daily rates paid through Medicaid.  The budget would increase spending to adult family home providers by more than $50 million.  The increased spending would come through dramatic increases in the lowest base daily rates.  Rates that are currently set at around $50 a day would increase to $70.  Some rates increase as much as 39%, with an average increase of 16%.  (More info on the contents of the contract agreement can be found here and here)

These proposed increases are the work of the Adult Family Home Council’s collective bargaining team (made up of elected board members and the Council’s executive Director, John Ficker).  That work was made possible by the members and business partners that support and fund our ongoing fight for fair pay.  Thank you Members!

The Council is grateful for being included in the Governor’s budget proposal.  However, this is not the end.  The state legislature must also develop a budget and pass it through both houses.  With many competing  budget demands, the work is not over.  All AFH providers interested in helping to secure this funding should consider attending the Adult Family Home Council Lobby day on January 24, 2017 in Olympia.  More information and registration for Lobby day is available is available here.  

For more information you can read ALTSA’s response to the budget or review the budget information available at Office of Financial Management’s Website 

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office

2016 Executive Board Elections

Voting closed 12/31/16.  Results will be announced the week of 1/2/17.

Candidates Statements

Region Seven (King County)

Amelia Hertog

Mrs. Amelia Hertog is a multiple adult family home provider in the Seattle area. Her passion is caring for the elderly and she considers it to be her ministry and mission in life.

She continually strives to provide extraordinary care and services to her residents. She finds pleasure in taking her residents on outings, visiting with them, and making each day a little brighter. She has been described by her residents and their families as energetic, bright, cheerful, and always smiling.

Born in a home with a paralyzed father, she states that she was born a caregiver. She grew up in Romania during the communism, helping around the house and with her siblings while her mother worked seven days a week in a factory. Her father was an immense inspiration to her, as although he was immobile and only had use of one hand, he was the most positive person that Amelia’s ever known, making jokes, helping people with their problems, giving, praying and believing for miracles and thanking God every day for giving him a family. Amelia remembers cooking with him and cleaning with him and helping in any way they could to ease her mother’s load. This hardship helped to shape in Amelia the tenacity and belief that if you work hard with a thankful heart, you may get tired, but you will never tire of doing good.

After moving to the US at the age of 21, she married her husband Cornelius, and after learning English during her first year here, she went back to school and completed the Dental Assistant Certification. She worked as a dental assistant for a few years before deciding to pursue her true passion of caring for the elderly.

She served four years as the Secretary for the South Chapter of Adult Family Home Council.

Amelia has been married for 19 years and lives in Bellevue, WA with her husband Cornelius and their three beautiful daughters ages 16, 6, and 5.

 Harold Kirkendall

Native of Washington, born in Tacoma, Puyallup High School Graduate, Community College. General Contractors, Members of the BBB since 2005 (A+), Rated on Angie’s List (A+) Licensed for Adult Family Home in January 2012 I’m very excited about the opportunity to be at service as a voice for the people. I would like to get more involved and hopefully have some fresh ideas to add to the conversation. I’m eager to work with others and promote the goals of the AFHC. Thank you for your consideration and would appreciate your vote.


Region Six Delegate (Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Clark counties)

Joe Stephens

In addition to my four years in the AFH arena, I offer over thirty years’ experience in collaborative development of solutions that solve problems and improve processes.  Common throughout my career has been compliance with regulations and standards required to safely meet the needs of a specific clientele.  I’ve also attended 3 Lobby Days and enjoying the ability to discuss with our legislators the impacts of, or ideas to improve, bills that affect our AFH businesses.  If elected to your board, it will be a privilege to serve all of you and be part of the continuing effort building the partnership between the AFHC and the State, ensuring our success providing the best solution for the long term care needs of our growing elder population.

Debbie Martin

My name is Debbie Martin and I have been an Adult Family Home Provider in Vancouver since 1986. I was a active member for the Clark County AFH association for many years and serviced as Vice President for 2 years, and a former Adult Family Home Council board member. I feel involvement is necessary for our industry to grow. I do a lot of mentoring for other AFH’s and have had all Medicaid home for 30 years and do understand the issues facing AFH’s today. It would be an honor to be elected to Adult Family Home Council Board to continue our fight for the AFH industry.

Tabby Bizgan

My name is Tabita (Tabby) Bizgan, and I am running for the position of Region 6.   As an Adult Family Home provider and C.N.A for the past 14 years in Vancouver, I know firsthand how challenging our work can be.  Dealing with our clients and their family members, our caregivers, and trying to understand all the state rules and regulations, is an everyday challenge. I am currently the Clark County Chapter Vice-President. I assist in coordinating the chapter meetings and educational conferences.  I am also responsible for vendor relationships and sponsorships to our chapter events.  I have also organized our Christmas Charity Drive for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. I have advocated for residents and providers in our community by participating at Senior Expo’s, and a focus group with DSHS for AFH Meaningful Activities. This resulted in a pilot project for about 300 adult family homes, some in Cowlitz County.  These homes received a daily rate increase.  I have also attended AFHC board meetings and lobby days.  I have an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice, and I am a mother of three beautiful children.  In my spare time, although rare, I enjoy traveling, singing and playing sports with friends! I am looking to be more involved in the Adult Family Home community by working with the Adult Family Home Council to learn as much as I can, and relay any questions or concerns Adult Family Home providers have to our AFHC board. Open communication between Providers, Social Workers, Licensors, and the AFHC board is very important.  Keep our AFH community strong! Look for your election ballot and please vote for me! Thank you for the opportunity to be your voice in Region 6.

At Large Delegate (statewide)

Ted Kiestler

My name is Ted Kiestler, and along with my wife Janice, we own and operate the Mashburn AFH, which has been in business since 2000. Originally my mother started the adult home, and utilized my construction skills in remodeling for the safety of the residents, and my wife worked as a caregiver. In 2013 my mother passed away and we took over the home. We were asked to do a new license process, and bring the home up to current WAC’s; at that time the exception was not written into the rules.

Additionally, the last eight years I have participated as a Boy Scout leader, assistant district commissioner, and staffed numerous leader training programs. I also had the opportunity to go back to school to receive my paralegal degree, with a bachelor in liberal arts, all with a focus on pre-law and a Juris Doctorate.

During my last year in school, one of the classes I took was Public Policy, where I had the opportunity to write an agenda paper on; what I thought was wrong with the inspection process of adult homes, and how to improve them. I identified that the inspectors were able to interrupt the WAC’s, there was no consistent understanding or training offered through DSHS. Because of the new rules coming out for additional training to the inspectors, I am hoping that we will see a better inspection process, and that home owners will not be surprised by inconsistent interpretations of the rules.

Similarly, as the “At Large” member of the AFH council I am looking forward to furthering the agenda set by the board for the betterment of home owners. I am hoping to bring my legal knowledge of reading RCW’s, WAC’s other rules to full use, in helping the board and Adult Family Homes in our state.

Patti Gray, R.N.D, Board Certified-Gerontology Angelbrook Senior Living, LLC and Felida Lodge Senior Living, LLC Owner and Provider

I want the opportunity to continue as your board representative. I am honored to have served two terms as AFHC Executive Board Member including being the Board Secretary during my first term. I’ve owned my Adult Family Homes for six years and know first hand the increasing complexity and economic challenges facing our entire Adult Family Home community. Actively attending and participating in board meetings to be sure you are represented is important to me.

As a qualified assessor and nurse delegator, I provide the nursing perspective as the AFHC board examines upcoming regulatory and training issues. I obtained American Nursing Association Board Certification in Gerontology so I could better help the AFHC Board, my residents, my resident families, my caregivers and fellow adult family home providers.

We continue to feel the impact of increasing, impractical regulations combines with inconsistent inspection interpretations. These factors dramatically add costs and documentation burdens to our businesses. Through AFHC’s efforts and members banding together, our Medicaid reimbursement has and will continue to improve. AFHC’s board will continue to work with staff so we continue frequent efforts to improve the DSHS response to the your concerns. I will strongly and consistently advocate for you.

You and your caregivers deserve to be paid for the hard work involved in caring for the most vulnerable citizens in Washington. Staying focused on rate improvement is an important responsibility I will continue.

Adult Family Homes in Washington were founded to be the least restrictive environment for developmentally disabled, medically and emotionally challenged, frail, and elderly citizens. I will speak up to be sure your needs and preferences are strongly represented. I will continue to work hard so you can take care of your residents, resident families, your caregivers, yourself and your family.

I hope to be given the chance to continue as your board representative. Please vote for me in the upcoming board election.

Jodi Dobson

Hello – my name is Jodi Dobson.  I am the Chapter Treasurer for the Clark County Chapter.  I have been a Developmental Disabilities (DD) Adult Family Home provider in Camas, Washington since 2010.  I started my career as an N.A.R over 20 years ago with my parents’ four DD homes in Oregon.  I feel the ladies in my home have become a part of our lives.  I love what I do!  My philosophy is that our job as providers and caregivers humble us and puts things in perspective with more understanding and patience.

I have been involved in many local and state-wide events, promoting and advocating for providers and residents at Senior Expo’s, lobby days, and inviting Senator Ann Rivers to tour my home and meet our residents and share our challenges in the AFH industry.  I have participated in focus groups with DSHS in the AFH Meaningful Activities program, which awarded 300 adult family homes state-wide in a pilot project that increased their daily rates.  I have attended state-wide chapter retreats to brainstorm and implement ways to better improve chapter meetings.  I have also worked closely with the AFHC office in new and improved reimbursement forms and other ideas.       I have four wonderful children and a great husband, and a newly proud grandmother.  I love watching HGTV for great home decorating ideas!   The DD community has been under represented in the AFH industry.  I feel my expertise, knowledge, and strong working relationships with guardians, social workers, and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), qualifies me to be on the AFHC board.  I look forward to working with the AFHC board and getting to know more of the AFH owners and providers.  I want to be your voice for all providers, to include Developmental Disabilities homes.  I humbly ask for your vote.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you throughout the state of Washington.

The Adult Family Home Council is Hiring

now-hiring-signMember Services/Education Specialist

The Adult Family Home Council’s mission is to improve the lives and well-being of vulnerable adults through the support of Adult Family Homes.  The Council is seeking a full time motivated and positive individual to join our team.

Position Description:

This position will support the Council’s statewide chapters by working with chapter leaders to organize meetings, arrange training, market chapter activities, establish regional resource directories, and recruit/retain chapter leaders. Travel will be required.

This position will understand and respond to individual member requests for assistance with issues ranging from care planning, regulatory guidance, business planning and more.  This position will provide support through direct answers to questions, development of needed materials, and/or referrals to appropriate resources.

Develop, support, and implement quality initiatives around the state.  Based on issues such as common citations, survey of member needs, and topical issues, this position will coordinate education efforts that may include development of training materials, recruiting appropriate trainers, communication campaigns, and development of resources needed to support members in successful delivery of care and services.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in

  • Care planning and/or care giving
  • Long term care, the elderly and/or developmentally disabled adults
  • Training delivery/development
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Customer Service
  • Government regulatory environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills


  • Preferred Bachelor’s degree in related field
  •  Able to work with Microsoft Office and online training and meeting tools

Will also require

  • Background check
  • Valid Driver’s License

Compensation for this professional position is competitive and dependent upon qualifications.  Medical and Dental and 401K benefits are available.

Position will remain open until filled. Review for the position will begin December 16, 2016

Interested parties should submit a cover letter addressing your qualifications and interest in the position, a resume, and three professional references with contact information to:

John Ficker, Executive Director
c/o Adult Family Home Council
523 Pear St SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Or via email at

Please submit any questions in writing to either of the above addresses.

Click here to download a job announcement

Call for Nominations!

call-forFour Executive Board positions are due for re-election. The positions are:

  • Region Three Delegate (Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties)
  • Region Six Delegate (Clallam, Jefferson, Mason, Grays Harbor, Thurston, Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Clark counties)
  • Region Seven Delegate (King County)
  • At Large Delegate (statewide)

Nominations for Regions Three, Six and Seven must be made by and be for an Adult Family Home Council member in good standing in those designated counties. The “At Large” position must be nominated by and be for an Adult Family Home Council member in good standing anywhere in the state.

Nominations must be submitted no later than December 2, 2016

Once nominations close the nominating committee of the board will review the nominations and create a ballot to be distributed to all Adult Family Home Council members in good standing. Each licensed home will receive one vote.  Voting will close on 12/30/16.  New Board members will be announced around January 6, 2017.

The term of service is three years. The following describes the qualifications and responsibilities of the Adult Family Home Council board members.

The purpose of the Board, on behalf of Adult Family Home Council’s membership, is to ensure that Adult Family Home Council (1) achieves appropriate results for the membership at an appropriate cost (as specified in Board Ends Policies), and (2) avoids unacceptable actions and situations. The Board commits itself and its members to ethical, professional, and lawful conduct, including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum when acting as Board members.

General Duties of the Board of Directors of Adult Family Home Council:

    • On behalf of the membership it represents, the Board of Directors assumes direct responsibility for defining and ensuring appropriate organizational performance.
    • The Board of Directors will be the conduit linking the membership’s interests and operational performance through needs assessment and advocacy.
    • The Board of Directors will develop and maintain written governing policies that realistically address the broadest levels of all organizational decisions and situations.
    • The Board of Directors will assure successful Executive Director’s performance.
    • The Board of Directors will make determinations regarding membership dues.
    • The Board of Directors will establish the Adult Family Home Council’s legislative and public policy agendas, on behalf of the membership.
    • The Board of Directors will assume responsibility for the Collective Bargaining process, including the establishment of the Collective Bargaining negotiating team.
    • The Board of Directors carry one (1) vote on each motion presented at the Adult Family Home Council Executive Board Meetings.

General Responsibilities of the Board of Directors of Adult Family Home Council:

    • Attendance at all Adult Family Home Council Executive Board Meetings (8 regularly scheduled in-person meetings with additional conference call meetings as necessary).
    • Preparation and participation of agenda materials in advance of Board and committee deliberations and will participate productively in discussions.
    • Voluntarism in Board activities and committees.
    • Participation in organizational activities such as attendance at state-wide conferences, chapter meetings, state-wide trainings, and legislative awareness days.
    • Board of Directors are encouraged to participate in events/functions, such as but not limited to face to face meetings to cultivate relationships with legislators, availability to represent Adult Family Home Council at events and functions as the Board may determine.

Adult Family Home Council Board members must:

  • Be members of Adult Family Home Council in good standing;
  • Be an adult family homeowner for a minimum of two years before assuming office, and
  • Have no history of or current substantial enforcements or violations with DSHS, Labor and Industries, IRS, or other government sanctions against the adult family home.

The Board of Directors shall be composed of eleven (11) persons, each of whom must be general members, in good standing, of Adult Family Home Council.   Board members shall be elected to terms of three (3) years. To ensure the Board’s composition includes representation of geographically diverse areas of the State of Washington, the Board will be comprised of four (4) at-large Directors, at least one of which must come from Eastern Washington and seven (7) Region Directors, to represent each of the six regions as set forth by the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) with two Directors from King County.  Terms shall be staggered so that two of the region directors’ terms, and up to two of the at-large directors’ terms, will expire each year.

If you have questions or want additional information please feel free to contact the council directly at (360)754-3329 or

WAC 388-76 Review Process

You have the opportunity to make your voice heard! We have opportunity to improve the rules that govern adult family homes.

After attending several Adult Family Home Council chapter meetings, the Assistant Secretary of Aging and Long Term Supports Administration (ALTSA), Bill Moss, heard the concern of adult family home providers. The rules (WAC 388-76) are sometimes unclear, and imposed without consistency. To take action, ALTSA and the Council are participating in a full and comprehensive review of the 388-76 chapter of WAC.  In order to allow the voices of providers to be gathered, the process will be broken down into several sections.  First up are the rules related to the physical plant requirements and residents rights.

To comment on the WAC, please download the document related to the section. You can use the track changes features within Microsoft Word, or add your comments directly into the document.  Please send your responses and feedback to by the posted deadline for best consideration.

Updated 3/14/17

Sections Time FrameDocument
• Physical Plant
• Resident Rights
Please provide comment to the Council by October 31, 2016
Resident Rights and Physical Plant
• Fire Protection
• Disaster and Emergency
• Fire Drill
Please provide comment to the Council by January 31, 2017
Fire and Disaster
• Resident Records
• Resident Assessment
• Care and Services
• Food Services
• Specialty Care
MAR - MAYTransfer and Discharge
Residents Records
• Inspections Complaint Invest.
• Remedies
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