A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: DCYF Updates

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

May 26, 2020

DCYF Forming Taskforce Groups

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Licensing Division (LD) has provided an update on several projects, including the Foster Parent Application Portal (FPAP).

In the 2019-21 biennium, the legislature approved funding for the FPAP. As a part of creating this new system, LD is mapping the business processes in anticipation of the portal.

Nine taskforce groups have been created to map existing processes, make recommendations for process changes or improvements and guide in development of the portal.

The process of gathering requirements and building a vendor-ready RFP started around December 2019. The full RFP for the FPAP was submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families for formal review on April 29, 2020. The Children’s Bureau approved the RFP package on May 12, 2020.

LD anticipates posting the RFP for vendors in the coming weeks. After vetting and selection of the vendor, the projected date for a completed, signed contract is approximately September or October 2020. A possible timeline for implementation is on or about September or October 2021.

We have asked for a Tribal representative in each group. We’re thankful for those that have already shown interest and are still looking for representation in each of the following groups:

  • Inquiries and Recruitment: In preparation for the new provider portal, this group will create a flow chart of the recruitment and inquiry process. This flow chart will define the course of work, which may include: recruitment landing page/platform, prospective foster parent inquiry questionnaire, recruitment information functionality used to support caregivers through the licensing process, and application submission process.
  • Group Care Licensing: This group will work on the DCYF licensed group care facilities. It will discuss the functions needed for the licensing portal from the application to the completion of the licensing process.

Upcoming Meetings

Wed., May 27, 2:30-4 p.m.
ECEAP Tribal Workgroup: Discussing DCYF ECEAP Tribal work and gathering feedback about where Tribal ECEAP should go in the future. Also seeking feedback about the ECEAP Tribal Pathway Report due to the Legislature later this year. Join Meeting

Thurs., May 28, 12-1:30 p.m.
Teacher Time: Supporting Children and Families When Programs are Closed Webinar. Register Here

Thurs., May 28, 12-1 p.m.
Office of Head Start: Family Engagement and Child Welfare Webinar. Register Here

TPAC, June 10 - Canceled
Due to ACF Tribal Consultation also scheduled for June 10, TPAC will be rescheduled.
2020 ACF Annual Tribal Consultation Dear Tribal Leader Letter
Fact Sheet
- Agendas: Day 1 | Day 2

Job Opportunities

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care - Child Care Specialist. Deadline to apply: May 27, 2020.

U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, Finance Office - Accountant. Deadline to apply: May 29, 2020.

  • Adoptions: If you have a passion for ensuring legally free children have safe, forever homes, please consider volunteering for the Adoption Task Force. This task force will be working to develop step-by-step process mapping for applicants who apply to adopt legally free children but are not interested in being licensed. We will also develop process mapping for currently licensed/unlicensed caregivers who apply for an adoption update for children in their care. This is an exciting project to be a part of, as the process map developed by this team will be incorporated into our future online caregiver portal.
  • Kinship (licensed and unlicensed applications): In preparation of the new provider portal, this group will create and establish a flow chart for children who are currently placed or in need of placement in kinship care. This Task Force will develop the roles, responsibilities and timeframes for a newly created Caregiver Engagement Unit. This Task Force main responsibility will be working with unlicensed and prospective licensed kinship caregivers.

For further information or interest in groups, please contact Reagan Henry, Licensing Division Tribal Specialist, at reagan.henry@dcyf.wa.gov.

Read More

ccb online

Child Care Basics Moving Online

Child Care Basics (CCB) will soon be offered online on the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) Training Portal. CCB is the initial training requirement for educators working in licensed child care facilities.

CCB online will be available in the summer of 2020 in English and Spanish. 

Read More

Active Efforts During COVID-19

For more information on how to get your child welfare cases back on track with active efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out this self-help article from the California Indian Legal Services website: Active Efforts in ICWA Cases During the Pandemic

The Office of Tribal Relations has a regional consultant that can work with DCYF to help staff ICWA-related issues. As a reminder, these staff and the ICW Program Manager’s contact information can be found here.

smallest warriors

A Children's Storybook - Our Smallest Warriors, Our Strongest Medicine: Overcoming COVID-19

This children’s storybook is a retelling of My Hero is You, developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (IASC MHPSS RG). An intertribal workgroup convened to rewrite this story and create illustrations that represent Indigenous peoples, values and communities. The adapted story seeks to reach Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and portray a sense of communal efficacy, strength and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to the Johns Hopkins University Alliance for a Healthier World, as well as the JHU Office of the President and Office of the Provost, for funding this project.

Available online at https://caih.jhu.edu/programs/strongmedicine

Queerantine: A Virtual Queer Community

There is a new free virtual session support group that may be of interest to you, your clients and/or your families.

This series is geared to Indigenous youth who identify as 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ and their allies between the ages of 14 and 30. The events are inclusive of non-binary participants.

It can be socially isolating to be Indigenous and queer, and in the time of COVID-19 these feelings of isolation can be compounded. This series was developed with the support of the Tegan and Sara Foundation to provide a venue for connection. Join an upcoming session:

Wednesday Nights
7-8:30 p.m. PST on Zoom

  • May 20 On being Indigiqueer
  • May 27 Green time instead of screen time
  • June 3 Hearts and Parts, Part 1
  • June 10 Hearts and Parts, Part 2
  • June 17 Indigenous Futurism
  • June 24 Connecting Through Song
  • June 30 Oracle Card Making
  • July 7 Closing Circle

Register Online

native education for all

IllumiNative and Partners Launch New Native American Education for All Initiative

Free digital lesson plans and activities for distance learning in response for COVID-19.

To access the curriculum or for additional resources, visit the Illuminative website.

Funding Opportunities

  • DCYF Child Care COVID-19 Grants: Applications are open for all child care providers to apply for funding to support their business needs and expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis. How to apply:
    • Online: WA Compass Provider Portal
    • By Email: print application online and complete, scan/email to dcyf.covid-19@dcyf.wa.gov 
    • By Mail: Print the form, and mail completed form to: DCYF Attn: Child Care COVID-19 Grants, P.O. Box 40970, Olympia WA 98504-0970
  • Washington State Arts Commission - Creative Start Regional Grant: This grant will provide funds to support, invite and develop professional learning opportunities in arts integration that serve students and educators in preschool through third grade in the 2020-21 school year. For more information or to apply for the grant click here. Application deadline is June 5, 2020.

  • CDC Non-Competitive Grant - COVID-19 Funding for Tribes: Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness and Response (CDC-RFA-OT20-2004) to expand access to all tribal communities. For more information visit the CDC website or email TribalCOVIDNOFO@cdc.gov.