A Message from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

August 3, 2021 Issue

Recent News

Adoption Consortium Connects Foster Youth with Adoptive Families

Back-to-School Donation Drive for Foster Youth

Parent Advisory Group Update

Recent Reports

Newborn Safe Surrender Data 2009-2020

Upcoming Events 

Early Learning Advisory Council Meeting: Tuesday, Aug. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Provider Supports Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, registration links, or questions about these events, please contact DCYF Community Engagement.

Youth gathered together in a park.

COVID-19 Funds Available for Alumni Foster Youth

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and Treehouse are partnering to disperse approximately $1.65 million in congressional funds to help alumni of foster care recover from the financial hardships caused by the pandemic. One of the provisions of the Supporting Foster Youth and Families Through the Pandemic Act is additional funding under the Chafee Program to assist former foster youth with critical financial needs.

The following youth are eligible to receive financial assistance:

  • Youth currently between the ages of 23 and 26
  • Youth who were placed in out-of-home foster care for at least 30 days between the ages of 15 and 17


  • Youth who were either:
    • A dependent of DCYF or a federally recognized tribe, or
    • Would have been eligible for these funds under the same criteria, but were in foster care in a different state

Eligible youth can receive up to $1,000 in financial assistance for a variety of needs, including education, technology, rent, utilities, groceries, and more. The application window closes on Sept. 24, 2021. For more information or to apply, visit the Treehouse Pandemic Aid website.

Child and parent hold hands in a meadow with warm sunset.

House Bill 1194 Impacts on Family Time Visitation

Family Time visitation is critical to strengthening and preserving the family bond and achieving successful reunification.

During the 2021 Legislative Session, the Legislature passed HB 1194, which addresses visitation (Family Time). HB 1194 became effective on July 25, and requires the following:

  • An initial (family time) visit must occur within 72 hours of the removal of a child unless the court finds that extraordinary circumstances require a delay. This visit must be supervised unless the department determines supervision is not necessary.

This requirement is in line with DCYF's policy that an initial visit be held within 72 hours. However, HB 1194 has made this policy a law, meaning DCYF is subject to contempt if it fails to meet these requirements. The new law's timeframe does not exclude weekends or holidays.

Read the full article.

DCYF Virtual Event Graphic

2nd Annual Virtual Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families Conference

Join us for this unique opportunity to gather with DCYF staff, child welfare professionals, caregivers, parents, tribal staff, alumni, and youth to discuss our common thread of children, youth, and families. Conference topics include developing an understanding of each
other’s roles, addressing system issues, sharing ideas for enhancements, engaging and empowering youth, human trafficking, food sovereignty, and more. 

Find more information and register here.

Mother and child reading a story book together.

Video Spotlight: Community Parenting Alternative Program

Since 2010, the Community Parenting Alternative (CPA) has helped in the work of strengthening Washington families. This program allows the Washington State Department of Corrections to transfer an incarcerated parent of a minor home to care for their child. Learn more about CPA in this short video.