Back to School Guidance
for Caregivers

Adolescent Programs

The Adolescent Programs team is working diligently with youth, stakeholders and other community partners to provide information on resources available for adolescents impacted by COVID-19 and working to adjust policies to ensure the continued stability of youth in our care.

Adolescent Programs

Adolescent Program Contact
Extended Foster Care (EFC) email Sherrie Flores
Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) email Sherrie Flores
Missing From Care email Sherrie Flores
Housing email Sherrie Flores
Independent Living Services email Peggy Lewis
Pregnant and Parenting Teens email Peggy Lewis
K-12 Foster Care Education email Shanna McBride
Education Training Vouchers email Kathy Ramsay and Victoria Ackerman
Mentoring email Tom Pennella
Youth Engagement email Greg Williamson

Extended Foster Care

The temporary change to WAC 110-90-0110 allowing youth the ability to give verbal consent to the terms of the Voluntary Placement Agreement and the Participation Agreement for youth wanting to enroll or re-enroll in Extended Foster Care has expired. Youth will need to sign or e-sign the documents upon entry into the program starting August 28, 2020.

Housing Support for Extended Foster Care Youth

Temporary

The Department of Commerce: Office of Homeless Youth allocated $1 million in CARES Act funding to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to provide stipends to young adults who will age out or have aged out of Extended Foster Care (EFC) at age 21, between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.  Read more about the eviction and rent assistance that is available.

Ongoing

Additionally, up to $3,500 is available to youth in Extended Foster Care (EFC) who are transitioning to a Supervised Independent Living Setting (SILS). The funds are available prior to the move, or up to 90 days beyond verified move-in date. These funds can go towards:

  • First and last month’s rent
  • Deposit to get into a SILS placement
  • Basic household items
  • Utility deposits
  • Preventing eviction with a current notice of back rent owed
  • Assistance with rental payments due to a loss of employment/reduction in work hours from the COVID-19 pandemic 

These funds can be accessed multiple times if needed up to a lifetime amount of $3,500.

Accessing Funds

Please contact your regional EFC program lead for assistance with accessing funds.

Regional Leads Phone
emailJoshua Koutecky, Region 1 (509) 413-7106
email Chris McLaughlin, Region 2 (509) 731-9946
email Cyndi Black, Region 3 (360) 631-1333
email Lee Selah, Region 4 (206) 639-6209
email Laneta Able, Region 5 (253) 306-2117
email Lori VanClifford, Region 6 (360) 827-2471
email Sherrie Flores, HQ (360) 902-8332

Education

K-12

Many families are talking about “home schooling” their children, however, this requires a release and unenrollment of the student from their district and, according to 4302a DCYF Education Planning Policy, regional DCYF approval and court order. Enrolling a student in a home school program could also cause a student to lose school of origin, so when schools reopen this may lead to additional school changes.

OSPI and the school districts are supporting distance learning – instruction provided remotely through the child’s school district. Each school district is doing this differently and families should refer to their district’s webpage for guidance and available tech support. 

Treehouse

Treehouse Education Advocates and Graduation Success Specialist are still supporting children and youth. Eligibility and contact information is available on the Treehouse website.

OSPI

The OSPI COVID-19 response page provides resources on continued learning, meal programs, graduation, IEPs, special education services and services provided during school closure.

Post-Secondary Education

Washington Student Achievement Council has also provided COVID-19 resources for graduating seniors and post-secondary students.

Employment

Youth should apply for unemployment as soon as their hours are reduced or they are released from employment.

Utility Assistance

Food

There are many local food banks all around the state. A quick internet search will provide a list of local services.

Available Technology

  • One Simple Wish is providing laptops for eligible students.
  • Coordinated Care health plan recipients (youth who were dependent in foster care at age 18) is providing cell phones. Safelink is also offering COVID-19 related phone programs.
  • School districts are checking out computers and hotspots to enrolled (or previously enrolled) students. Community colleges offer similar programs. Contact your local school or community college and ask for the technology office or help desk.
  • Lifeline Program provides free and discounted phones for low-income eligible WA residents.
  • Comcast is offering two months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to COVID-19 emergency measures.

Drive-In WiFi Hotspots

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

Find out if you qualify for government stimulus payments, how to get a payment and additional answers on the Youth Engaged 4 Change website.

FAQs

Answers will be updated as new guidance and information becomes available.

Extended Foster Care

DCYF does not anticipate a need to modify or issue emergency orders to make sure eligible youth can enter into EFC. To ensure continuity in enrolling or remaining in EFC, guidance has been sent to DCYF EFC regional leads to interpret requirements broadly and make services readily available.

Yes. To ensure continuity in enrolling or remaining in EFC, guidance has been sent to DCYF EFC regional leads to interpret requirements broadly and make services readily available.

Education and Technology Needs

We are currently working on developing additional resources to help youth in foster care access technology resources. At the moment, we do not have funds that can be used for this purpose, but we are diligently working to find solutions.