The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is making it much easier for individuals interested in becoming foster parents to apply.
Beginning Jan. 9, prospective and existing caregivers can access a new online application portal that streamlines the process and features user-friendly tools. The new portal aids efforts to increase and diversify the population of licensed and kinship caregivers, group care facilities, and Child Placing Agencies (CPAs).
The Washington Caregiver Application Portal (WA CAP) automates existing paper practices that:
- Streamline the Home Study Process used by both DCYF and CPAs
- Provide a single application source to prospective and existing caregivers
- Support providers in both English and Spanish
- Allow applicants and existing caregivers to upload required documentation and track progress
- Allow electronic signature
- Allow DCYF staff to complete paperwork and track background checks, training hours, and case notes–all online
- Feature tools for efficient recruitment and retention
“Instead of stacks of papers, prospective and existing caregivers can complete application and renewal forms from a computer, tablet, or phone,” said DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter. “WA CAP is one of the ways DCYF is modernizing how we support families across the state and safely speed up permanency for children and youth in out-of-home placements."
DCYF’s transition to WA CAP is expected to:
- Decrease the time it takes families to qualify as caregivers
- Decrease placement interruptions for children in care
- Decrease the drop-out rate of licensed homes
- Increase the number of licensed kinship caregivers to improve access to resources
- Decrease the total number of placements experienced by children in care
WA CAP was created by Binti, a child welfare software provider that has helped modernize data systems for government and private agencies across the country.
"Our mission is to ensure every child has a safe and loving family. Binti's software makes it easy for families and social workers to complete the foster parent licensing process online, resulting in more families getting licensed more quickly and less administrative work for caseworkers," says Felicia Curcuru, Binti's Co-Founder and CEO. " We're excited to partner with DCYF to modernize their licensing process and drive measurable outcomes for children in Washington."