A Message from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

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DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

Jan. 6, 2022 Issue

Recent News

Child Welfare Early Learning Navigators

DCYF's Performance-Based Contracting Named "Leading Example"

Family Time Providers Support Families in Reunification 

Holiday Happenings for Youth in Juvenile Rehabilitation 

January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Mentoring Month

Kindering Success: Julian's Story

Meet Gwena, Echo Glen's Therapy Dog

Recent Reports

Improving Institutional Education Outcomes: Interim Status Report

Upcoming Events 

Community Transition Services Stakeholder Group Meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 9 a.m. to noon

Fair Start for Kids Act Temporary Licensing Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, Jan. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m.

LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee Meeting: Thursday, Jan. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon

State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) Meeting: Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice Meeting: Thursday, Jan. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon

Parent Advisory Group Meeting: Thursday, Jan. 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Outdoor Nature-Based Advisory Group Meeting: Monday, Jan. 31, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Early Learning Advisory Council Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fair Start for Kids Act Temporary Licensing Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Community Transition Services Stakeholder Group Meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon

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

Teacher sits with early learners in preschool setting.

DCYF Invests $260 Million in the Child Care Industry

By the end of 2021, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) distributed $259,706,250 to 4,319 child care and early learning providers across Washington State. These funds support, stabilize, and strengthen the diverse early learning workforce in a way that rebuilds a stronger child care system and expands access to affordable, high-quality care for all families. This support of the child care sector is vital to meeting the needs of children and families and our state’s economic recovery.

DCYF disbursed these funds in the form of the Child Care Stabilization Grant. DCYF opened the Child Care Stabilization Grant for application on Oct. 13, 2021, and the application remains open through June 30, 2022. Grant funds are being distributed to thousands of Washington State child care providers to help stabilize their businesses and workforce.

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Children holding hands while wearing superhero costumes.

Nominate an Unsung Hero for Parent Recognition Month

DCYF is preparing to celebrate Parent Recognition Month in February 2022 by honoring extraordinary parents, caregivers, guardians, and community members across Washington State through the annual Unsung Heroes campaign.

Since 2011, with your help, we have honored 281 parents and caregivers in Washington for the roles they have taken with their families, schools, and communities. They have been recognized because they have shown strength, courage, and empathy in their communities. We also acknowledge that this year, parents and primary caregivers have been called upon more than ever to be the buffer for the traumatic experiences that our world has faced. Parents and caregivers around Washington State are supporting their children, families, and communities in exceptional ways through this pandemic and we want to show our appreciation.

Please help us honor 28 more unsung heroes in February 2022 by nominating a parent, primary caregiver, or guardian for the Unsung Hero award. The nomination form is available in three languages (English, Spanish, and Somali). All nominations must be submitted by Jan. 17. The nominations can be emailed to strengtheningfamilies@dcyf.wa.gov or submitted via the form itself.

For more information, email strengtheningfamilies@dcyf.wa.gov.

A young woman looking through books at a library.

Elevating Education & Career Pathways in Juvenile Rehabilitation

The outcomes on record for youth experiencing incarceration in Washington reflect the lowest graduation rates of any other student population. The needs of students in Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) are complex. They require more intensive services to achieve positive outcomes, making quality education a critical need for this group of students.

House Bill 1295 was passed in 2020 to provide public education to young people in or released from institutional education facilities. The bill requires DCYF and the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI) to make vital improvements in education. With expert consultation from American Institutes for Research, JustLeadershipUSA, and an advisory group, DCYF and OSPI are collaborating to develop recommendations that will transform and dramatically improve educational delivery and system-wide improvements. These improvements will reflect a holistic and trauma-informed approach grounded in research and best practices.

DCYF is also expanding post-secondary pathways to adequately serve JR students up to age 25. JR is developing partnerships with colleges and the community to ensure multiple education and career pathways for the youth and young adults in our care. The framework for guided pathways includes a variety of choices that prepare individuals for living-wage jobs and careers, including registered pre-apprenticeships, career and technical education, academic pathways, and post-release education connections.

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