A Message From The Office of Tribal Relations: December Newsletter

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A Message From the Office of Tribal Relations

December 2021

Share Your Story to Strengthen Families Locally


Join parents, volunteers, community agencies, schools, tribes, and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) in building stronger, healthier communities and families. Strengthen Families Locally aims to increase family resilience and reduce rates of child maltreatment and entry into foster care in target communities.

DCYF is receiving funding from the Administration for Children, Youth and Families to work with community members in Bremerton, Port Angeles/Sequim, Spokane and Stevens County. We are partnering with community organizations, government, tribes, schools, families, and volunteers in these service areas to design community-driven solutions to prevent child abuse and strengthen community supports for families.

What successes or challenges has your family faced recently? We are prioritizing the voices of families and youth to design community-based family strengthening programs. We are collecting stories through the University of Kansas Our Tomorrows Story Project.  Families and community partners will work with DCYF to understand the stories together and use them to plan Strengthen Families Locally and DCYF prevention activities. More information about this project can be found on the flyer and you can share a story.

Share a Story Now to Strengthen Families

In This Issue:

Job Opportunities

University of Washington: 
Director, Tribal Relations

University of Washington: 
Assistant Teaching Professor of Justice in Early Learning

United Indians Native Art Market

Dec. 18 & 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park. Learn more here. Shop the online gift shop here.

Youth Voice: Mondrell, Green Hill School


"A time when someone changed my thinking was when I arrived at Walla Walla Penitentiary—having a talk with my older cousin and a cat that had been down for 27 years. It was sort of like a lecture, with me being the only student. They asked if this gang stuff was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and it just changed my way of thinking because I got to see some people who were living what I was and what it led to. Hearing someone that had been down for almost 10 years and someone who had been down for 27 years helped me realize a lot about what I wanted to be and what I had to do to achieve it.

One of the problems we have to fix in our world is racism and the mistreatment of black women in our society. As a young black man in this society, it has been hard taking steps toward making our world better. If I had the power, I would start by changing all white people’s thinking in the way they see black folks, and for our black women, I would start having more awareness on the hardships they continue to go through and try to help them as best we can as a whole." 

– Mondrell Robertson, 21 years old, GHS, MADE Men

DCYF News & Updates

Committee Volunteer Opportunity

DCYF is excited to announce the recruitment of members for the Provider Supports Subcommittee of the Early Learning Advisory Council (ELAC). We are currently recruiting for interested and qualified individuals with expertise in the Washington State child care system. More information and the application can be found on the the Provider Supports webpage.

If you are interested and qualify to serve on this group, we encourage you to apply by Dec. 17. If you know someone who also might be interested, feel free to share this opportunity! We look forward to partnering with you and bettering the lives of children, youth, and families.

If you have questions about this recruitment or would like to request translation, please contact us at dcyf.communityengagement@dcyf.wa.gov.

Organizational License Pilot Project

DCYF is establishing a pilot project to determine the feasibility of a center or school-age child care license category for multi-site programs operating under one owner or entity.

Referred to as the “Organizational License,” DCYF will create a streamlined process for one entity with multiple locations to gain licensure, streamline oversight, and address varying community needs. The Organizational License Pilot project is a directive from the Washington State Legislature, Senate Bill 5092 sec. 229 (19).

New or existing child care providers may participate in the pilot, with representation from a mix of rural, urban, and suburban locations. DCYF has multiple pathways for interested participants to be involved in the process:

  1. Workgroup Participation – Designing the Process
  2. Observer Participation – Assessing the Process
  3. Pilot Participation – Practicing the Process

If you are interested in any of these pathways, please fill out the Interest Survey for Organization License Pilot. DCYF is in the process of designing the pilot and application process. We will share more information as it becomes available.

If you have questions, please email Michelle Balcom, Organizational License Pilot Project Manager.


QEW Training Opportunity

DCYF Office of Tribal Relations is partnering with the Alliance for Child Welfare to provide three additional Qualified Expert Witness (QEW) trainings. This training will provide context around the role of QEWs in state ICWA cases and offer you an interactive learning session to illustrate what QEW testimony looks like in practice. In 13.5 hours over three days (via a virtual learning platform), you will gain an understanding of how to be a QEW to testify in ICWA cases. This training is intended for Native Americans interested in becoming a QEW (or already providing QEW services).

The trainer will be Lorraine Brave (a consultant for NICWA). The target audience is tribal members. Sessions are Dec. 14-16, Feb. 22-24, and May 10-12. The sessions are identical, so you only need to register for one. There is no fee. Please feel free to share with others.

Registration InstructionsRegister here

American Indian & Alaska Native Grandfamilies


Over the past several years, NICWA and Generations United have been working with grandfamilies (relative caregivers) through a project called Grand Voices: Strengthening and Elevating African American and Native American Grandfamilies. They are pleased to share with you this resource, American Indian & Alaska Native Grandfamilies: Helping Children Thrive Through Connection to Family and Cultural Identity.

This toolkit is designed to give resources and tips to child welfare agencies, other government agencies, and nonprofit organizations, so they can better serve all American Indian and Alaska Native grandfamilies regardless of child welfare involvement. This is a free download on the NICWA website:

Download Toolkit

Pierce County Diaper Bank

There are 10 diaper bank locations open for families in Pierce County. Information for each diaper bank location including open hours is available on the Help Me Grow Pierce County website, or by calling 2-1-1. Families are able to pick up a three-day supply of diapers once per month at their nearest location. Flyers to share in English and Spanish.






  • Administration for Children & Families: Promoting Equity and Celebrating Resilience in Tribal Early Childhood - Two-Part Series Recordings. Part 1 | Part 2
  • How the US Stole Thousands of Native American Children: Watch | Read

Funding Opportunities

  • Farm to School Purchasing Grants: The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Farm to School is excited to offer a new Farm to School Purchasing Grant available to schools, child care centers, and summer meal program operators for the purchase and use of Washington-grown foods in child nutrition programs. This is a competitive reimbursement grant. The Washington State Legislature provided $5 million in the 2021-23 state budget to make grants and expand the WSDA Farm to School program. The grant will be offered twice. The period for Year 1 is January 2022 - August 2022 and the period for Year 2 is September 2022 - June 2023. The Farm to School Purchasing Grant is administered in partnership with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Learn more and apply here.

Youth/Scholarship Opportunities

  • American Indian Endowed Scholarship: Applications for the 2022-23 academic year American Indian Endowed Scholarship (AIES) are available now. AIES helps financially needy students with close social and cultural ties to an American Indian community in the state of Washington. Students can use the scholarships at public colleges and many independent colleges in Washington. The program prioritizes upper division and graduate level students, however, all applicants receive award consideration. Award amounts range from around $500 to $2,000. About 15 students are selected each year to receive the awards. Students may get AIES funding for up to five years, but they must reapply each year. Applications are due March 1, 2022. The application and instruction materials are downloadable from the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) website.
  • Walter Littlemoon Indigenous Researcher Scholarship: This scholarship will allow aspiring researchers to further pursue their research, academic, and workforce related goals; enhance their experiences, skills, and resumes; partner with universities for work-study and practicum credits; support their families; and support positive changes and adherence to traditional values in Native communities. Applications due Dec. 20. Apply here.
  • YouthBuild 25th Cohort: YouthBuild is a Six-Month Construction-Based Pre-Apprenticeship Program that focuses on GED or High School Equivalent attainment, job-readiness, and exploration into long-term careers in the trades. Download the flyer. To refer a student or schedule a meeting, contact Jamie Rose, Program Manager, at 206-310-7423 or Jamie.pinilla-odea@youthcare.org or Marty Wall, Case Manager, at 206-639-3410 or marty.wall@youthcare.org.