Caregiver Connection - June 2023

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caregiver connection

June 2023 Issue:

Keeping Families Together Act (HB 1227) Webinar

Please join DCYF on Jun. 21 to learn more about House Bill 1227 and how it may affect the foster care experience.

We will host two webinars, and questions from the webinar will be used to develop a FAQ resource which will be shared on the Foster Parenting and Kinship Care webpage, along with a recording of the webinar. Some of the topics we will cover include:

  • Why we still need foster parents
  • Why foster parents will continue to care for kids across the continuum of care
  • Why guardianship and adoption will be equal options for permanency when kids cannot return home

Wednesday, Jun. 21 | noon-1:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m.

Webinar Link:

Webinar ID: 837 5124 9669

Passcode: 482475

Foster Parent Information Session

Held on the first Tuesday of every month:

Visit DCYF's Foster Parenting & Kinship Care Webpage!

Foster Parenting & Kinship Care | Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Adoption Support Information Sessions

Join Us to Learn More About:

  • Adoption Support program
  • Eligibility and application process
  • Benefits available through the program

Adoption Support Information Sessions occur the first Wednesday of every month.

Pick the time slot that works best for your schedule.

12-1 p.m. |  Meeting Registration - Zoom

6-7 p.m. | Meeting Registration - Zoom

Caregiver’s Guide to Juneteenth



Juneteenth comes from combining "June" and "nineteenth," commemorating enslaved African Americans' emancipation. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, on Jun. 19, 1865,  and announced the end of the civil war and slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came two and a half years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, many enslavers continued to hold enslaved Black people captive after the announcement. Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African-American freedom.

The first Juneteenth in 1866 was celebrated with food, singing, and the reading of spirituals, and it commemorated newly freed Black people taking pride in their progress. Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021.

Notable Figures

Opal Lee: An American retired teacher, counselor, and activist in the movement to make Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday. She is often described as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth."

Al Edwards: A civil rights activist and former Houston legislator who helped Texas become the first state in the country to make the abolition of slavery an official holiday. He is also known as the father of Juneteenth.

Rev. Jesse Jackson: A civil rights, religious, and political activist. He has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice.


When children and youth are placed into foster care, away from parents, siblings, and extended family—they can lose their cultural identity. That is why supporting, encouraging, and honoring a child’s race, ethnicity, and culture is so important. While this may seem hard, one way to support a strong cultural identity is through literacy!

Here are three books we recommend:

  • Freedom, We Sing by Amyra Leon
  • What is Juneteenth by Arlisha Norwood
  • Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth by Alice Faye Duncan

We Are Family 2022 Recap

We Are Family Day family

We Are Family Day 2023

We Are Family Day 2023

We Are Family Day 2023 First Pitch Kid and family

The Mariners, DCYF staff, and over 2,500 guests celebrated foster and kinship families at We Are Family Day on May 7.

A highlight of the day was First Pitch Ambassador Davonte Robertson. Davonte joined KXLY Spokane's Robyn Nance on stage during her keynote address in an impromptu moment of connection. Davonte threw a great first pitch to his foster dad. After the first pitch, Davonte and family, as well as our first pitch nominee runner-up and their veteran foster family, watched the game from a suite provided by the Mariners.

Secretary Hunter greeted guests and welcomed the entire We Are Family group, who brought enthusiasm, games, gifts, and talents to recognize foster and kinship families and the difference they make in the lives of children and youth experiencing foster care and their families. The Mariners gave event ticket holders We Are Family blankets, and DCYF shared tote bags.

Thank you to our We Are Family partners: Washington State Parks, United Indians of All Tribes, the Northwest Adoption Exchange, Compelled to Care, the Alliance CaRES, Community and Family Services Foundation, Coordinated Care, FPAWS, and Treehouse.

DCYF also extends its thanks to all of our foster and kinship families, staff, partners, and guests who made the day a success!

Coordinated Care Training

holding hands

Suicide Prevention

Provides an overview of the topic of suicide, its signs and symptoms, and how caregivers should respond in times of crisis. The training will dive into the rates of youth suicide, risk factors, and proactive steps to take for prevention. Training certificates will be provided to attendees.

Trainings Dates:

Jun. 29, 2023, 6-7:45 p.m.


Jul. 17, 2023, 02-4 p.m.



Sexual Health and Foster Care

Sexual Health and Foster Care examines reproductive and sexual health in relationship to the foster care system. Foster youth often have higher rates of risky sexual behavior, higher rates of negative sexual outcomes, higher rates of sexual exploitation, and become sexually active earlier than their peers. This training will help participants better understand the sexual health needs of foster youth and how they can help meet these needs.

Trainings Dates:

Jun. 15, 2023, 2-3:45 p.m.


Jul. 12, 2023, 03-4:45 p.m.


For training questions, contact:

You Are Invited to Attend Brave Conversations

support group

Brave Conversations are welcoming virtual spaces for conversations about building supportive relationships between parents and caregivers (both foster parents and relative/kinship caregivers) of children placed in out-of-home care.

Open to parents with children in out-of-home care and caregivers (kinship, foster, suitable other)

Conversations are held every other month. The next meetings are scheduled for Aug. 1 and Oct. 3.

Register for each session here: Building Family Partnerships - Amara ( Caregiver training credits are available.

The Building Family Partnerships project was created with parents and caregivers in Washington State, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), Casey Family Programs, the Children's Trust Fund Alliance, and the Youth Law Center/Quality Parenting Initiative.

To learn more, visit

Adoption Support Payment Delayed

Please note that adoption support payments that would typically come at the end of June (for the month of July) will be late due to the end of the fiscal year. The payment will not be issued until July 3 at the earliest, and there could be additional delays due to the July 4 federal holiday. Post offices and banks are closed, and that may affect the date you receive your payment (even direct deposit). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Please visit our website to stay connected and up to date on our program: Adoption Support Program | Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Beware of Medicaid renewal Scams

Washington has received reports of fake texts and phone calls to Medicaid clients pertaining to renewing their Apple Health coverage. We are asking Apple Health clients to be aware of suspicious contact seeking money to maintain their health coverage.

HCA will never ask for money to enroll or re-enroll in Apple Health coverage.

If they receive a phone call or text message they think is a scam, they should hang up and report this to Apple Health customer service at 1-800-562-3022.

Sometime over the next 12 months, Apple Health clients will receive a renewal notice prior to the end of their renewal period based on their renewal date. HCA may text and call with a reminder that it's time to update their contact information or renew coverage. These will be generic in nature and will never ask for money to maintain their coverage.

For more information about changes to Apple Health's continuous coverage, visit