A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: DCYF Updates

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

January 17, 2020

Farewell to Liz Mueller


The Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) would like to thank Liz Mueller for her leadership and partnership with DCYF and for her wonderful work spanning more than 30 years with DSHS in her role as the IPAC Chair.

Liz served as one of the tribal government representatives to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission, the group that was responsible for making the recommendation of the organizational blueprint of the new agency, DCYF.  Liz co-chaired the ICW Subcommittee and was instrumental in the development of the Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act.

At last Tuesday’s Tribal Policy Advisory Committee, Liz announced her retirement as the Vice-Chair of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Liz will attend the last TPAC and IPAC meetings in April before she finally retires. Liz was selflessly devoted to improving services and outcomes for tribal children and families. Liz will be missed greatly and her legacy will continue on through the mentorship she provided to so many others. 

Read Liz's Farewell Message 

DCYF Strategic Planning Webinar for Tribes

Last November at the Centennial Accord, DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter shared the strategic planning efforts that we are undergoing. The strategic framework will guide agencywide strategic planning efforts in 2020 to align major agency initiatives and practice improvement toward the outcome goals for children, youth and families. We are seeking tribal input on this plan that will guide our collective work at DCYF and will include a plan to address racial disproportionalities among those we serve. Please join us on January 30 at 1 p.m. for a Strategic Planning webinar  (meeting password: tribes).


New NAIR Email Address

The Native American Inquiry program has a new email. All correspondence with NAIR should now be sent to dcyf.nair@dcyf.wa.gov. Tribal staff responding to inquiries sent out by the NAIR Unit can elect to return completed inquires electronically or by my mail.

Feel free to reach out to Heidi Walker, Native American Inquiry and Relative Search Program Manager with any questions or concerns: heidi.walker@dcyf.wa.gov or 253-208-8825.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 23: IPEL Meeting, Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle 98103, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join by Webex

Jan. 28: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention in Rural America webinar. Noon to 1 p.m. Register here

Jan. 31: National Home Visiting Summit. Register for the free live-stream here

Feb. 12: ICW Subcommittee, 1500 Jefferson St. SE, Room 2042, Olympia 98501, 9 a.m. to noon. Join by Webex

Job Announcements

DCYF Indian Child Welfare Social Services Specialist - Bremerton 

Puyallup Tribe Grand View - Early Learning Center Director

Washington State Governor's Committee on Disability Issues & Employment - Chairperson

ECE Teachers

Be part of the Nondominant Native Indigenous, East African and Latinx Communities’ perspectives of Education Project. The objective of this project is to elevate your values and histories in your classroom, indoors and outdoors. Deadline to sign up is Jan. 25. Download the flyer

Member of the Year

NICWA honors and recognizes an outstanding individual member or program at their annual membership meeting. NICWA is looking for their 2020 NICWA member nominee. Deadline is Feb. 14. Apply here

Call for Presenters

2020 Celebrating Salish Conference (Call for Presenters)

Deadline for proposals is Jan. 24. Conference is March 11-12 at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. Register here

Nominations Open for the Governor's Volunteer Service Awards

Deadline for submission of entries is January 30 at 5 p.m.

lisa humphrey

New Region 5 ICW Consultant/Tribal Liaison

The DCYF Office of Tribal Relations is thrilled to have Lisa Humphrey join our team as the new Region 5 ICW Consultant/Tribal Liaison.   

Lisa is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in northern Minnesota. She comes to us with a variety of child welfare experience, working as a CPS case manager for her tribe, then as a social worker for Sawyer County, WI, and most recently as a Child Welfare Specialist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

She completed her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in child welfare at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. In her free time, Lisa enjoys hiking, mountain biking and binge-watching Netflix shows. She has two children, a 26-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, and has been blessed with three granddaughters.

Lisa is stationed out of the new Bremerton office, located at 1410 Wheaton Way, and can be reached at lisa.humphrey@dcyf.wa.gov or 360-204-0016. Please help us in welcoming Lisa in her new role.


Home Visiting Community Exploration Opportunity

Letters of Interest are now being accepted from communities wishing to participate in the community planning process, during which a team of local stakeholders will convene to:

  1. Explore whether home visiting would be a good strategy to support local families
  2. Determine which home visiting model is most aligned with community priorities
  3. Select a local agency that is best poised to implement the home visiting program

This process can benefit communities with or without existing home visiting services, particularly if there are gaps in family supports that HV could address and deeper community dialogue and consensus is needed before moving forward.

At the end of this round of community planning, funds will be available to participating communities that most demonstrate readiness, fit and feasibility to implement a home visiting program. 

Save the Date

  • Feb. 4-6: NICWA February Training Institute, Positive Indian Parenting, Portland, Oregon. Register here.
  • Feb. 18-20: First Annual Lakota Food Summit, South Dakota. Download the flyer.
  • Feb. 20-21: Western Washington Native American Education Consortium’s 2020 Educator Conference, Emerald Queen Casino. Register here or download the registration form. Download the flyer.
  • March 29 - April 1: 38th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference, Denver, Colorado. Early bird registration deadline is Feb. 28. Register here.
  • April 1-3: NICWA April Training Institute, Positive Indian Parenting | Understanding ICWA, Denver, Colorado. Register here.
  • June 2-4: NICWA June Training Institute, Positive Indian Parenting | Working with Substance-Abusing Families | Qualified Expert Witness, Portland, Oregon. Register here.