A Message from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

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DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

April 5, 2022 Issue

Recent News

Adolescent Programs Partners to Bring Creative Writing to Echo Glen

Child Care Workers May Be Eligible for $0 Health Care Premiums

DCYF Seeks Organizational License Pilot Participants

Grant Funds for Child Care Providers Available Through June 2022

Join Us at We Are Family Day with the Mariners on May 8

New Ways for Child Welfare Contractors & Licensees to Help Homeless Youth Get ID Cards

Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign

Tax Season Information for Caregivers 

Town Halls for Transition and Independent Living Program Redesign

Recent Reports

Understanding & Supporting Dual Language Learners in ECEAP Classrooms

Upcoming Events 

Provider Supports Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Early Learning Advisory Council Meeting: Tuesday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fair Start for Kids Act Temporary Licensing Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, April 13, from 1 to 4 p.m.

LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee Meeting: Thursday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to noon

Outdoor Nature-Based Advisory Group: Monday, April 25, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Transition Planning and Independent Living Program Redesign Town Hall: Tuesday, April 26, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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

A young person holding the transgender flag against a blue sky background.

Statement of Support for Transgender Youth

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently created a nightmare for transgender youth by directing state officials to open child abuse investigations on families who supported and sought gender-affirming medical care for their children.

A Texas judge blocked this action – for now.   

Gov. Abbott’s directive is just one example of a wave of bills and legal action in our country that attack the human rights of transgender youth with regard to their identity, social movements, discussion of history, medical choices, and sports participation.

Politicians modeling and advocating prejudice against transgender youth could lead to increased suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among trans youth. Policies matter, and Texas decisions and legal processes are matters of life or death for trans youth.

Here at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), we do not support the intimidation of families that access gender-affirming medical choices, efforts that discriminate based on gender identity, or weaponize the child welfare system against youth and families. This includes intimidation or discrimination concerning names/pronouns, gender expression, and placement of transgender youth in our foster care system, juvenile rehabilitation, pre-adoption homes, and facilities.

This is a troubling trend in our country. We won’t follow it.

We do not support public policy based on prejudice and cynical evaluations of political gain. We stand for all youth and all families in Washington.

Read more.

A small plant growing out of a jar filled with quarters with a soft nature background.

Washington State Ends Practice of Charging Families For Their Child’s Incarceration

Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 2050, repealing parent pay in Washington State. DCYF, Stand for Children, and the Center for Children and Youth Justice applaud Gov. Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for adopting this bill and ending a dated and harmful policy.

Parent pay, which requires families to pay a percentage of their income to support their child’s incarceration, was a barrier to young people's successful transition out of the juvenile system and toward a second chance. The policy had inequitable racial outcomes, created debt for families already struggling financially, and was an inefficient source of revenue for the state.

DCYF has been working to eliminate practices that are harmful to children and their families. Requiring parents to pay for the incarceration of their children is a prime example – it probably costs more to collect than we bring in and may make it less likely for youth to reunify with their families, destabilizing their transition back to the community. We’re excited the Legislature repealed it!

Read more.

Advocates plan pinwheels on the lawn of the Washington State Capital Building

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Families and children can find love and support in many ways – through places in communities that offer a sense of belonging, from teachers who inspire and lift children, or through home visitors who step in and offer support and guidance to families. April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, is a time to celebrate and lift up the places and people in your community that celebrate the importance of children and their families. You, too, through your partnerships with families and community partners, build protective factors by recognizing the strengths and resiliency support in families and community.

DCYF coordinates statewide activities for Child Abuse Prevention Month through the work of the Strengthening Families Washington team.

All month long, DCYF, organizations, and individuals throughout Washington and the country plan activities and promote messages to remind us of the importance of positive childhood experiences and that we all have a role to play, which includes the important work you do to support families experiencing hardship and trauma.

The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign is part of the Prevent Child Abuse America national effort to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect prevention. This year, almost 15,000 blue and silver pinwheels will be distributed around the state. Thousands were also planted at the state capitol building on March 31.

Read more.