A Message from DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

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DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter

May 4, 2022 Issue

Recent News

Elevating Trauma-Informed Care in Juvenile Rehabilitation

Important Information Regarding Child Care and Early Learning Background Checks

Mental Health Awareness in Juvenile Rehabilitation

National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Town Halls for Transition and Independent Living Program Redesign

WA Legislature Awards $10.6M in Stipends for Youth Exiting Extended Foster Care

Recent Reports

Child Welfare Housing Assistance Pilot Program Outcomes

Employment Outcomes for Clients Released From Juvenile Rehabilitation, SFY19-20

Foster Youth Developmental Disability Services Eligibility Report

Home Visiting Services Account Annual Report, 2021

Upcoming Events 

Community Transitions Services Stakeholder Group Meeting: Wednesday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to noon

Fair Start for Kids Act Temporary Licensing Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, May 4, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Parent Advisory Group Meeting: Wednesday, May 18, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Fair Start for Kids Act Temporary Licensing Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, May 25, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Provider Supports Subcommittee Meeting: Wednesday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Family holding their baby.

Celebrating Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time dedicated to celebrating foster parents, kinship caregivers, and the people who support children in out-of-home care.

Foster parents, kinship caregivers, and caseworkers are critical to meeting the needs of children and youth in out-of-home care, and we recognize that their selflessness and commitment are not unique to the month of May. Caregivers open their hearts, their homes, and their lives to children and youth year-round. 

Gov. Jay Inslee joined the nation in proclaiming May as Foster Care Month in Washington State, giving us an opportunity to acknowledge foster parents, kinship caregivers, caseworkers, parents, and our partners who commit to the agency’s mission to protect children and strengthen families.

There are around 6,600 children in out-of-home care in Washington, which is the lowest it’s been in more than 40 years.

Fewer children in out-of-home care is definitely a good trend. That said, we continue to rely on foster care parents and kinship caregivers as partners to birth parents on the path to reunification. We need foster parents from diverse backgrounds to meet this need. We also want to see more kinship caregivers become licensed, so that they may obtain additional support, including a monthly reimbursement of costs associated with caring for a child experiencing foster care.

To all our foster and kinship families, thank you for making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families!

A young person and their family wearing Seattle Mariners gear.

Mariners Join DCYF to Celebrate Caregivers on May 8

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and the Seattle Mariners are excited to announce the return of our annual foster parent and kinship caregiver celebration - We Are Family Day! 

Please join us on Sunday, May 8, as the Mariners take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Enjoy a fun-filled day at the ballpark, visit us on the Rooftop Boardwalk for a pregame event and pick up a limited-edition We Are Family Mariners-themed hat (available to all individuals holding a specially priced We Are Family ticket).

After receiving dozens of nominations, a committee of DCYF staff selected Annaleigh Free, of Puyallup, to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Annaleigh is 10 years old and lives with her brothers and her grandparents, and frequently gets to see her father, too. Annaleigh is in fourth grade and well known for being a kind, focused, hard worker who never gives up and always does her best. Join us at We Are Family Day and see Annaleigh throw the first pitch, and here’s to all the incredible foster and kinship families who help to ensure that all of Washington’s young people grown up safe, loved, and celebrated!

Tickets are available at www.mariners.com/wearefamily for the special price of $18 for seats on the main level and $8 for view level. Be sure to check the Mariners “Know Before You Go” webpage for COVID-related and other entry protocols. 

Virtual Event graphic design.

Save the Date: 3rd Annual Virtual 2022 Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families Conference

Aug. 9-11, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The third annual virtual Indigenous Children, Youth, and Families (ICYF) conference is coming this summer, so be sure to mark your calendars! 

The ICYF conference is a unique opportunity to gather with DCYF staff, child welfare professionals, caregivers, tribal staff, alumni, and youth to discuss our common thread of children, youth, and families. The full agenda and registration link will be sent this summer.

If you or someone you know would like to be a presenter during one of this year's sessions, please reach out. We are seeking presenters, as well as topics you might find helpful.

If you have questions or would like to present?

If you have topic ideas, general questions, or would like to present, please email brandy.otto@dcyf.wa.gov or dcyf.tribalrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.