A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: DCYF Updates

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

February 14, 2020

DCYF Releases Draft Strategic Plan

As part of our work to integrate and streamline practices as a newly formed agency, DCYF developed a draft Strategic Plan that provides the framework for our priorities.

Over the next five years, DCYF will focus on five Strategic Priorities – three relate to our goals for children, youth and families, and two relate to building necessary agency capacity to accomplish the first three. These strategic priorities are grounded in the agency's mission, vision, values and legislative purpose.

There is more work ahead for us to accomplish the priorities set out in the draft plan. The process to gather feedback on the draft will continue over the next few months with plenty of opportunity for engagement with staff, tribes and stakeholders.

The draft strategic plan has been a discussion item at previous meetings with tribes and some of this feedback is reflected in this newly released draft. DCYF will continue to seek tribal input through the upcoming February 20 IPEL meeting and the April 8 TPAC meeting.

A Dear Tribal letter is being sent with more details. Please check the DCYF Events page for additional opportunities to provide feedback on the draft plan.

If you have any questions, please email us at tribalrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.

Read the Draft Strategic Plan


Building Capacity and Funding Opportunity for Home Visiting

DCYF is requesting applications from Washington State Tribal organizations, Tribes and Urban Indian organizations to implement tribally-driven home visiting.

This funding opportunity will provide funding and technical assistance to implement a capacity building process for Tribes or Tribal organizations to develop a new home visiting program that meets the needs of their community.

A Tribe or Tribal organization must be able to clearly identify the role of home visiting and the need for services in their community. This process for building capacity will support a successful start-up of the selected home visiting model. 

A Dear Tribal Letter is being sent with more details. Applications are due March 9.

Learn More and Apply Here

Upcoming Events

early learning plan

Feb. 20: IPEL Meeting Statewide Early Learning Plan Next Steps. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 22406 Pacific Highway South, Des Moines, WA. DCYF's Early Learning Program is asking for Tribal Community members involved in Early Learning and/or working with families that have young children to please attend the afternoon portion. Tribes are asked to please send/nominate up to five people to attend. If you want to participate, please complete this form for assistance with travel and registration.

April 8: Tribal Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), noon to 4 p.m. 1115 Washington St. SE, Olympia or WebEx. Password: Tribal.

Job Announcements

Administration for Children & Families: Seattle - Child Care Program Specialist

Burke Museum: Seattle Campus - Director of Communications

Urban Indian Health Institute - Public Health Internships

Suquamish Tribal Child Welfare Director. Feb. 21 deadline to apply. For full details, email: mmickel@suquamish.nsn.us

Tribal Regalia 

A letter was recently sent out to all school district superintendents, school building principals, school counselors, federal program coordinators and school communications staff reaffirming OSPI’s support for Native students wearing traditional regalia to school. Read the letter from OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal.

DCYF Background Check Memo

DCYF performs background checks for early learning, child welfare and juvenile rehabilitation. These background checks and criminal histories are received from the Washington State Patrol and Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Background Check Central Unit (BCCU).

The background checks performed are broken into three categories; national, in-state and inter- state. DCYF has a waiver with the federal Administration for Children and Families for the inter-state criminal history and the inter-state sex offender registry Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) background check requirements through Oct. 1, 2020. For the full memo which includes turnaround time, read here.

Early Learning Facilities Grants Awarded

The Washington State Department of Commerce, in partnership with DCYF, recently awarded $17.2 million for early learning facilities. The grants provide financial support to allow Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) contractors and Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy providers to plan, expand, remodel, purchase or construct early learning facilities and classrooms. 

Congratulations to the Lummi Nation on being awarded an Early Learning Facilities grant. 

Read the full Announcement

Aligning and Integrating Early Learning Programs

DCYF will collaborate with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to identify near-term administrative efficiencies and longer-term strategies to improve the alignment and integration of high-quality early learning programs administered by both agencies. The importance of this work is to streamline regulatory functions across the various programs aimed at kindergarten readiness in a manner that allows for the braiding of multiple funds in school and community-based classrooms. These efforts will boost access to inclusive, high-quality and culturally-responsive preschool services so that more of Washington’s children will be prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Read the Governor's Directive

Family Time and Visitation for Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care

The Administration for Children and Families released an Information Memorandum (IM) on research, best practices, resources and recommendations for providing children and youth in out-of-home care safe, meaningful and high-frequency family time that strengthens the family, expedites reunification and improves child well-being outcomes. The IM emphasizes the importance of family time and visitation in reducing the trauma of removal and placement of children in out-of-home care, maintaining the integrity of the parent-child relationship, healthy sibling relationships and overall child and family well-being.

Read the IM

Articles & Resources

  • Community Trauma and Child Well-Being: A Deeper Dive into the Future of Healing (webcast recording available through February 24)
  • Native Languages are being revived in Washington schools: In 2007 the First Peoples’ Language, Culture and Oral Traditions Renewal bill went into state law. A core member of the tribal language education leaders group has been the Spokane Tribe Wynecoop, working together to discuss what Native language certification might look like in Washington State. A big key to this group was the importance that tribes have the autonomy over how languages were taught, keeping the heart of Native languages alive and truthful. Spokane Tribal Elder Pauline Flett will receive a lifetime achievement award on February 28 for her part in revitalizing the Spokane dialect of the Salish language. To learn more, read the full article here.
  • Free Program for Snohomish Justice involved and ARY youth: NW Hearts United and Snohomish County Behavioral Health are seeking referrals and expanding outreach efforts for a horse therapy program. Criteria for receiving this service was expanded even further to include more Snohomish County youth.

  • New Resources for Children in Foster Care in the 2020 Census: With a focus on ensuring American Indian and Alaska Native children in out-of-home care are counted in 2020, NICWA and the Census Bureau created a resource to improve the 2020 Census. To make sure everyone is counted once and in the right place, an FAQ and sample template letter for communicating with caregivers was created. Download the template.

  • The Alliance is looking to create training curriculum workgroups with tribes to focus on the following areas:

    • Review Regional Core Training (RCT) ICW Section
    • Further ideas to address needs of tribes and for state workers
    • Review information, add curriculum

    Interested participants, please email Francis Cacalda at: cacalf@uw.edu

Funding Opportunities

Save the Date - Events & Training Opportunities