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Contracting Process

Contracting Process

Department of Community and Human Services

About DCHS Contracts

The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is responsible for delivering, directly or via community-based contracts, a wide variety of housing and human services for King County's most vulnerable residents. DCHS contracts out about 80% of its annual budget to community agencies.

  Contract Forms

 Form W-9

 Instructions for Businesses

 Instructions for Individuals

 Equal Benefits Compliance Worksheet and Declaration Form: (only for non-government contracts that have been competitively bid and have a value of $25,000 or more)

What's in a contract?

A contract with DCHS is a binding legal document that describes what each party signing the contract will do. A contract is not considered effective, and services are not authorized until both parties have signed. DCHS can not prepay for services.

A contract generally contains these terms and conditions:

  • Period of the contract, and the amount and source of the funding for the services described in the exhibit(s).
  • General and service area-specific requirements.
  • One or more exhibits which contain a description of the specific services to be provided, program description, expected outcomes, compensation and method of payment, and reporting requirements.
  • The internal controls the agency is required to have to ensure the appropriate handling of funds and maintenance of records to document work completed and all expenditures under the contract.
  • Hold harmless provisions that require the agency to protect, defend, indemnify and save harmless King County from any and all costs and claims arising out of the performance of the agency.
  • Insurance requirements that include having the appropriate types and amounts of insurance, and requirements for providing certificates and endorsements from the insurance carrier.
  • Corrective actions or basis for termination when a breach of contract occurs.
  • Non-discrimination in hiring and subcontracting and fair employment practices. This includes signing several forms documenting the personnel employed by the agency and attesting that the agency will comply with all county non-discrimination requirements including providing equal employee benefits between employees with spouses and employees with domestic partners.
  • Terms addressing the agency's:
    • Assisting and protecting people with disabilities.
    • Subcontracting with other agencies and the purchasing of services and some goods.
    • Avoiding conflict of interest and political activity related to the contract.

Questions or concerns about being able to comply with all parts of the contract should be discussed with the contract monitor/manager. They will work to explain the provisions and determine if those concerns can be met. In some limited circumstances, applying is still possible, even if some conditions cannot be met. Other alternatives are to sub-contract or partner with an entity or agency that can meet county contracting requirements.

Contracting glossary


Standard format for a document, specifically a contract format.

Certificate of Insurance

Certificate submitted by the agency or its insurer or insurance broker verifying the agency’s types and limits of insurance coverage, which must comply with the insurance requirements of the contract.

Conflict of Interest

The actual or apparent conflict between the public interest and the private financial interest of the individual or agency concerned.

Consultant Disclosure Form

Form a consultant is required to submit on all contracts over $2,500. This form is submitted to the Board of Ethics to determine whether there are any ethics code or conflict of interest issues.


An intentional agreement between two or more competent parties to do or abstain from doing some legal act in exchange for some form of consideration.

Contract Execution

After the contractor has signed the contract with King County, it is upon the signature of King County that the contract is actually executed and binding and at no time prior to such act.

Contract Manager or Monitor

A contract manager or monitor negotiates the terms and conditions in contracts and ensures compliance with the terms and conditions, as well as documenting to changes that may arise during the term of the contract.


Individual or agency that agrees to provide services.


A process that provides a means of evaluating, selecting and contracting with qualified mental health providers for the purpose of providing services under a publicly-funded managed care program.

Equal Benefits Ordinance

The King County Ordinance that sets forth certain conditions under which contractors doing business with the county must provide benefit packages to their employees' domestic partners that are equal to the benefits offered to their married employees.

Non-profit Organization

A legally recognized organization whose primary objective is to support an issue or matter of public concern such as human services for non-commercial purposes, without concern for monetary profit.

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

Announcement by a funder, or group of funders, of funding available for housing and/or supportive services through a competitive process.


An offer submitted to the county to enter into a contract.


Agencies that prepare and submit proposals for work solicited by the county.


Refers to the Revised Code of Washington.

Request for Information (RFI)

A research tool used to assist the county to determine or clarify business requirements.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A document soliciting proposals for a particular service. The document includes project information, and submittal information and requirements.

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Refers to a request to an agency to document their qualifications to provide a given service.

Scope of Work

A specific description of the work to be performed. This description may include tasks, schedule, time and place of services and performance requirements.


An agency that signs a contract to perform part or all of the obligations of another's contract.

DCHS often uses a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to select a vendor or provider of services when funding is available. Open opportunities for contracting with DCHS are advertised through RFPs or Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA). Interested agencies with the required qualifications are invited to respond.

 View All Open RFPs

Request for Proposal (RFP) process

DCHS Policy

DCHS's policy on RFP processes includes:

  • Equal accessibility to any qualified organization serving the county's diverse communities.
  • Using guidelines for RFPs that facilitate an equitable procurement process.
  • Assessing the cultural competence of an agency responding to an RFP.
  • Ensuring services are provided in a culturally competent manner.
  • Ensuring all communities have access to funding opportunities.


Most RFPs are posted through an online service called ZoomGrants, and all are listed on the “All Funding Opportunities” table found on the “Contracting with DCHS” web page. Through the RFP process, a wide range of agencies capable of providing the service can learn about RFPs to consider whether to submit a proposal. RFP instructions will clearly state the criteria for evaluating an RFP response. All RFPs will include a question regarding the cultural competency of the proposing agency.

Proposer/Bidder Information

The RFP process may include several processes designed to assist potential bidders in understanding the services requested, and proposal submission and evaluation processes, including:

  • Provide community outreach and information regarding the RFP and, when appropriate, provide technical assistance.
  • Include a “question and answer” period before proposals are due to allow agencies to get additional insight into the opportunity and RFP process.
  • Also, DCHS may conduct a bidder's conference after the RFP is issued to respond to questions regarding the RFP. All interested agencies are generally eligible to attend.

RFP Content

RFPs will vary in the specific content, but generally should include the following:

  • Introduction and Background
  • Scope of Work
  • Period of performance
  • Minimum qualifications of proposing agency
  • Overview of the evaluation process
  • Specifics about the acceptable proposal format
  • A statement about the allowable grounds for appeal and the appeals process
  • Requirements from the funding source, if any

DCHS Contract Service Areas

The mission of DCHS is to provide equitable opportunities for people to be healthy, happy, self-reliant and connected to community. We provide the majority of our services through five divisions:

  • Adult Services including the King County Veterans Program
  • Behavioral Health and Recovery Division
  • Children, Youth and Young Adults
  • Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports
  • Housing, Homelessness and Community Development

Who to contact

Aging Program

CONTACT Linda Wells, 206-263-9069

The Aging Program helps in a small but targeted way to fund operations at 26 multipurpose senior centers and adult day health programs, most of which serve residents of the county's unincorporated areas.

Behavioral Health and Recovery Division

CONTACT Sean Davis, 206-263-8981

Behavioral Health and Recovery Division coordinates comprehensive inpatient and outpatient mental health care for persons with severe mental illness and supports an effective system of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery support for persons who are at risk for or who are dependent upon alcohol or other drugs.

  • Mental health services include community-based outpatient services, residential treatment, inpatient services, and crisis services. 
  • Substance use disorder services include community-based outpatient services, residential treatment, medication assisted treatment, sobering and withdrawal management services, and other recovery support services.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention services include outreach, community education, coalition-building, school-based prevention/intervention services, delivery of evidence-based prevention services, policy development and advocacy, positive youth development, parenting education and support, and Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) as well as other services.

Community Development Program

CONTACT Kathy Tremper, 206-263-9097

The Community Development Program funds projects that benefit low and moderate-income communities and/or clients such as community facilities; public improvements such as parks, sidewalks, water and sewer systems; and minor housing repair. Non-profit agencies and local governments are eligible to apply for these funds annually. A Pre-Application is required. A subsequent detailed application must be completed and submitted to the Community Development Program by May 31 of each year. Awards are announced each year at the end of September.

Developmental Disabilities Services

CONTACT Michaelle Monday, 206-263-9055

The Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division funds programs that help support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to lead full, integrated, and productive lives. DDECSD services include support for birth-to-three year old children and their families; employment support for adults, including the School-to-Work program; community access services; technical assistance for service systems; and community information and outreach. Requests for applications to become a contracted service provider occur periodically or on an ongoing basis, depending on community needs and contractual requirements. Contracting opportunities are posted on the DDECSD and Procurement websites.

Employment Programs: King County Jobs Initiatives, WorkSource, Youth Programs

CONTACT Nancy Loverin, 206-263-1394

Employment Programs collaborate with many community partners to create a customer focused workforce development system throughout Seattle-King County. Education and employment opportunities are in place to help youth and adults become successful in their careers. Young people are assisted to stay in school or re-engage in school through a variety of programs that build skills to ensure success in school and work. Adults are assisted to make smooth career transitions through the Seattle-King County WorkSource system.

King County Jobs Initiative (KCJI) provides vocational training and job placement services for low-income, disadvantaged adults, working with a network of employers around the county. KCJI contracts with community-based organizations to perform account executive services and job readiness training, including outreach, recruitment, assessment, comprehensive case management, enrollment into job training, job placement and support services.

Homeless Housing Program

CONTACT Kate Speltz, 206-263-9084

The Homeless Housing Program funds programs that provide emergency shelter, transitional housing, homelessness prevention services, and permanent supportive housing for families and individuals in King County. The program regularly runs Request for Proposal (RFP) processes related to a variety of federal, state and local funding sources.

Program and eligibility requirements, as well as application dates and funding periods are in the RFP guidelines and are posted electronically. A technical assistance workshop is held early in each process to provide additional information and answer any questions a potential applicant may have.

Housing Finance Program

CONTACT Jackie Moynahan, 206-477-7524

The Housing Finance Program funds acquisition, rehabilitation, and new construction of permanent housing for low and moderate-income people, emergency and transitional housing, and first-time homebuyer assistance programs. Awards are made following an annual application/review process, and help leverage other public and private funding.

Housing Repair Program

CONTACT Clark Fulmer, 206-263-9087

The Housing Repair Program provides financial and technical assistance to eligible applicants for the purpose of repairing or rehabilitating homes in King County. Services are available to low to moderate-income homeowners. Contracts are negotiated with each eligible and approved homeowner.

Special Programs


Special Programs are one-time only funds designated through the annual county budget process for services or special projects supporting a range of community service areas. These funding awards must comply with all contracting requirements.

Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy (VSHSL)


In November 2005, King County voters passed the first Veterans and Human Services Levy to generate funding for a wide range of programs to assist: veterans, military servicemembers (and their families) and individuals and families in need.

In August 2011, King County voters overwhelmingly supported a six-year renewal of the Veterans and Human Services Levy (expired December 31, 2017).  The VHSL Service Improvement Plan guided the implementation of the levy from 2005 - 2017.

In November 2017, King County voters approved the renewal and expansion of the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy (VSHSL). The current levy is guided by the VSHSL Transition Plan in the first year (2018) and by the Implementation Plan for the remaining five years (2019-2023). King County staff from the Department of Community and Human Services are leading the process to implement the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy throughout 2018. Updated information is available on the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy page.

King County Veterans Program


The Veterans' Program provides financial assistance, employment services, short and long-term transitional housing, mental health and trauma counseling services to low-income veterans, their families and their dependents residing in this county. Services are provided by county employees as well as by contractors.

Women's Program

CONTACT Linda Wells, 206-263-9069

The Women's Program funds domestic violence and sexual assault services, batterer's treatment, legal services, shelter and transitional housing services, information and referral, and interpreter services.

Youth and Family Services Network

CONTACT Stephanie Moyes, 206-263-9064

The network is a group of community-based agencies that are located and serve youth and families in each of the 19 school districts in King County, providing a range of family support and individualized services to at-risk youth.

Contractor and Agency Qualifications

The qualifications required to contract with DCHS vary widely because of the diversity of the programs and services provided. Required qualifications may include:

  • Demonstrated ability to serve the relevant client population
  • Required legal licenses and certificates in good standing
  • Clear and current criminal history background checks
  • Must not be presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in federal programs
  • Sound financial condition
  • Acceptable history related to any legal issues
  • Ability to provide quality data
  • Ability to meet performance standards and measures
  • For some contracts, must be a non-profit with a board of directors
  • Ability to meet insurance requirements
  • Non-discrimination policies for hiring staff

Also, there are specific requirements for different division of DCHS.

Contract Development and Monitoring

When we award a contract or allocate new funding, a King County contract monitor or manager will contact the agency to help with each step of the contracting process, including monitoring the agency’s performance for compliance with contract terms.

When a contract has been awarded or new funding allocated, the agency will be contacted by a King County contract monitor/manager who will assist with each step of the process.

Contract development steps:

  1. Drafting a description of the specific services to be provided (called a work statement or program exhibit), program description, how payment will be made, and any reports required for submittal.
  2. Reviewing the standard contract boilerplates, completing any required forms, providing needed insurance certificates and endorsements, and having the appropriate authorized person sign the forms and the contract document.
  3. Contracts with the Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) may also require a special credentialing process to be completed prior to approval of any contracts.

Contract monitoring steps:

  1. The contract monitor/manager is the person responsible for monitoring compliance with the contract terms, and reviewing and approving all invoices submitted by the provider.
  2. The monitor/manager may also conduct a site visit during the term of the contract to review compliance with policies and the quality of work completed under the terms of the contract.
  3. The Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) has special monitoring requirements for mental health and substance use disorder services.
Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9105

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-5260

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