Foster America congratulates our host agency partner in Washington State on the official launch of the new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). The July 1st launch marks a transformation in Washington State’s approach to providing care for children and families.
By bringing together several previously separate departments under one umbrella, the new department hopes to be more proactive in how it helps families—ideally, before anything escalates to the point where children have to be removed from their homes. As Gov. Jay Inslee said (quoted in a blog post from his office), “We shouldn’t be waiting until a child is harmed to step in. There’s so much we can do starting as early as a mother’s pregnancy to reduce the chances of harm to children and increase the chances they can succeed in school and in life. By bringing together the staff who work most with children and families, we’re going to be much better able to identify children and parents or caretakers who are struggling and need support.”
Foster America fellows work toward North Star goals of helping to keep families safely together and make foster care more loving and far less traumatic, when it is needed. We’re optimistic about the opportunities the creation of DCYF will provide to implement preventive approaches and support families across Washington.