Strengthening Families Washington Spring Newsletter

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SFWA Spring Newsletter

In This Issue:

CAP Month 2022

SFWA Resources

Children's Trust of Washington Fact Sheet

Home Visiting Services by County

COVID-19 Parent Guide

Strengthening Families Washington Coloring Book: download and print, or email Strengthening Families Washington for a mailed copy

Contact SFWA

Email | Website

Brochures and Publications

Speak Up When You’re Down: Postpartum Depression

Have a Plan: Shaken Baby Syndrome

Infant Safe Sleep: Safe Sleep for your Baby

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 supports 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.

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (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 supporting 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. The pinwheel is a timeless symbol of the joy and happiness of childhood and the symbol of the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign, offering a visual representation in communities to remind children and those around them that they are important. Proceeds from the pinwheel sales go to the Children’s Trust of Washington, housed at DCYF.

Every act that builds protective factors in families is an act of prevention. These can be a connecting a family to a concrete support, parent spending quality time invested in their child, or a neighbor providing a meal to a family so the family can reduce stress and enjoy each other. Each pinwheel you see can be a reminder to inspire us all to support children having joyful and happy childhoods.

The pinwheel is also represented in a variety of other free items, including our Protective Factors coloring book, our annual Child Abuse Prevention coloring page, seeds for starting your own garden or helping the bees, pinwheel temporary tattoos, and our build your own bulletin board pinwheel display. You can email to request any of these items to be mailed to you.

Funding Opportunities

There are a number of funding opportunities emerging from the Strengthening Families Washington and Home Visiting Teams at DCYF including :

  • 2022 HVSA Spring Expansion: General Home Visiting Expansion Application is out, applicants must have submitted an LOI by March 11 at noon to be able to apply.
  • Tribal Home Visiting Expansion Application (to be released in early April).
  • Perinatal Mental Health community capacity building, due April 12.
  •  Community Based Child Abuse Prevention Program Applications are out, and Letters of Intent to Apply are due on April 15, at 5 p.m.

The best place to learn about these is the new DCYF HV Funding Opportunities webpage. We anticipate releasing several more funding opportunities this year related to families and supports.

Highlight on Protective Factors

Knowledge of Parenting & Child Development 

Parenting can come naturally – however, not always and not all aspects of parenting are instinctive.
We can all learn new things about raising children and their abilities at each age and stage. 

When parents have a strong understanding of how their children will grow and develop over time and are able to implement positive parenting practices to help support their child’s development, they are more equipped to respond effectively to their children’s needs. Current research emphasizes that a parent’s ability to consistently meet a child’s needs at each stage of development is crucial to foster a secure parent-child attachment. This bond allows children to develop trust, self confidence, and feelings of safety that in turn support their child’s future well-being.

The best way to learn is to ask questions – to your family doctor, your child’s teacher or family and friends. Take a parenting class or research on your own – at the library, online newsletters or websites about child development.

Share a Story to Strengthen Families Locally!


Struggling child in the school system

“When my daughter was in school, she was struggling in every subject. I would be told she’s just lazy or she talks too much. Never was it about the educational system or the teachers - it was always about my daughter. I decided to have her tested at [local Native support service], and she was diagnosed with ADHD and has trauma from generations past. This, I feel, is passed down from my grandma being put into Boarding Schools. I was frustrated and decided to teach my daughter every part of her IEP, teach her rights, and let her know her voice does matter. She matters.” – Washington parent

Share a story today about an experience of advocating for a child’s or family’s rights!

Care Connect services

Care Connect would like your help in spreading the word that people who need to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 can receive food, personal care kits, and financial assistance. These services help people stay home, and that in turn helps slow the spread of the illness. People who need help should call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.

If your program has a newsletter that you send out to partners, we’d appreciate if you could include information about Care Connect and share links to the social media and infographic materials available. Care Connect has downloadable social media graphics and a one-page overview PDF in 37 languages. We appreciate your help in getting the word out about this important resource!



  • In the BUILD Initiative’s March 16 Child Welfare Prevention webinar, presenters discussed how Plans of Safe Care protect infants affected by prenatal substance exposure. State and county community and family empowerment approaches to prevention were also discussed. Presenters included Sarah Holdener, from DCYF. You can access the webinar recording here and the webinar slide deck here. Access the Child Welfare resource collection here.
  • The Trauma Stewardship Institute – Overwhelm and Burnout Guides. Did you know that burnout at work can result from trauma? This website has free guides and additional resources on trauma, overwhelm, and burnout at work.

In the News

  • Bright by Text, is a text messaging program that provide information on child development and resources to parents and caregivers. Find out more here.
  • Commerce awards nearly $19 million in infrastructure funding to boost affordable housing development in seven counties. Read the full list here.

Racial Equity Resources

Below are resources and opportunities to engage:

  • The power of Expectations: In this beautiful animation from Invisibilia’s season one episode “How to Become Batman,” the show explores whether your private thoughts and expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze, and how those expectations can have a profound impact on our own lives.
  • Native American Heritage Month Resources: In celebration of American Indian Heritage Month, November 2021, DCYF ESIT Tribal Support Specialist Brian Frisina compiled a collection of educational materials to help us learn more about Native American history, culture, storytelling, media, and much more, available on DCYF's website.
  • Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit: "The Summit’s aim was to Inspire, Enlighten and Ignite the salmon recovery community through presentations about treaty rights, the status of salmon and its habitat, and critical policy issues." For more information and a comprehensive archive of past Summits, visit the Salmon Defense home page.
  • Chief Arvol Looking Horse and wife talk about the pandemic and what the Lakota elders say: listen as Chief Arvol Looking Horse shares their story, insights, and perspective.