A Message from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

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DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

Nov. 2, 2021 Issue

Recent News

Child Care and Early Learning Licensing Guidebook Now Available

President Biden Proclaims October as National Youth Justice Action Month

Recent Reports

Annual Recidivism Analysis for Youth Leaving Juvenile Rehabilitation (FY17-18)

King County "Shots Fired" Program Report

Upcoming Events 

LGBTQ+ Advisory Group Meeting: Thursday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to noon

Community Transition Services Stakeholder Group Meeting: Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon

Organizational License Pilot Presentation: Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Indian Policy Early Learning Committee Meeting: Monday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Tribal Policy Advisory Council Meeting: Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon

Foster Parents Rights and Responsibilities Document Review Workgroup Meeting #3: Thursday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Parent Advisory Group Meeting: Thursday, Nov. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Provider Supports Subcommittee of ELAC Meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Community Transition Services Stakeholder Group Meeting: Thursday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon

Early Learning Advisory Council Meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

Banner Flag for LGBTQIA+ Pride.

DCYF Earns RAIN’s Outstanding Agency Award

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) earned the prestigious Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network’s (RAIN) Outstanding Agency Award for its commitment to create a work culture where “people can bring their true selves.”

RAIN’s Oct. 21 award ceremony highlighted Washington State agencies leading the way in developing and implementing practices that provide for a safe and inclusive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees.

DCYF was selected for the award based on employee feedback collected by RAIN, including nominations that spoke to the following innovative practices and qualities:

  • A culture that encourages people to bring their true selves by working towards a welcoming workplace that is free of judgment
  • An office dedicated to racial equity and social justice (the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice)
  • An agency that offers foundational LGBTQIA+ training, which highlights youth-specific data collection and outcomes and steps to best practices on creating open and affirming spaces for LGBTQIA+ children, youth, young adults, families, and staff

As Secretary of DCYF, I accepted the award on behalf of staff who have worked to foster a supportive workplace that fuels the agency's mission. 

Our agency strives to ensure that staff can bring their authentic selves to work. We must all do our part as DCYF staff, parents, foster parents, and kinship caregivers to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ children, youth, young adults, and the people we work with.

Large proportions of young people in out-of-home placements and foster care identify as LGBTQIA+, and we must emphasize the importance of staff who bring LGBTQIA+ lived experience to their jobs.

The Developmental Disabilities Administration at the Department of Social and Health Services and the Employment Security Department also received Outstanding Agency Awards alongside DCYF for efforts that weave LGBTQIA+ inclusion into fulfillment of their agency’s daily work.

For more on DCYF’s work on racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, visit: www.dcyf.wa.gov/practice/racial-equity-diversity-inclusion.

A group of youth walking down stairs at school.

Gender-Responsive Treatment in Juvenile Rehabilitation

Residents of Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) that identify as female represent a population with unique needs. While they make up less than 10% of the JR population, DCYF acknowledges and integrates the context of female’s thoughts, feelings, experiences, and behaviors into gender-responsive programming at Echo Glen Children’s Center (secured facility) and Ridgeview Community Facility (less restrictive community setting).  

The core practices of DCYF’s gender-responsive treatment include approaches that are relational, trauma-informed, strengths-based, culturally competent, and holistic. Echo Glen and Ridgeview work together to support these youth throughout the treatment continuum and transition them to a community setting. They do this by orienting youth and establishing relationships at Ridgeview before the transfer, including one-on-one meetings to discuss programming, answer questions, and tour the facility.

To connect female residents with as many resources and opportunities as possible, Echo Glen and Ridgeview collaborate with community partners such as Real Escape from the Sex Trade (REST), Reentry Initiated through Services and Education (RISE), Hope for Homies: Worthy Women, LGBTQIA+ groups, Indigenous women events, and volunteers with lived experience to assist in gender-responsive programming. JR also participates in the Justice for Girls Coalition of Washington, offering practices, programs, and policies tailored for girls facing adversity so they can overcome obstacles, access opportunities, and secure a purposeful future.

“We want to teach female youth about healthy power and control,” said Ridgeview Administrator LeeAnn Delk. “We provide them opportunities to exercise those skills while also focusing on empowerment and personal advocacy.”

Read the full article

A desk covered with notebooks, pens, glasses, etc.

Child Care Stabilization Grant Application Now Available 

DCYF is pleased to announce that the Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now available.

Licensed and certified child care providers can apply for the Child Care Stabilization Grant in the WA Compass Provider Portal. License-exempt Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers can apply on the DCYF FFN Stabilization Grant Website. The grant is non-competitive and the application will close at 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2022.

For more information about this grant, including frequently asked questions and contact information for technical assistance, please visit the DCYF Child Care Stabilization Grant Webpage.

If you have questions about the application, the timeline of the grant, or other questions specific to the grant, email dcyf.stabilizationgrant@dcyf.wa.gov.