Secretary Newsletter - October

October 7, 2020
Happy couple sitting in nature with their adoptive daughter.

Read the full October Secretary Newsletter.

Additional COVID-19 Relief Funds for Child Care Stabilization

Last month, Gov. Inslee announced Phase II of Washington’s child care pandemic support investments. The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) worked closely with the Legislature to agree on the structure of the changes, which include another $78 million on top of the $173 million invested in Phase I. The new investments include caps on co-pays to enable more families to afford care, grants to providers and funding for the extra costs of full-day instead of part-day care when schools are operating remotely.

The following investments are coming this fall:

  • Another $30 million round of grants to licensed child care providers to help with COVID-19 costs, re-opening child care and stabilizing the system. Formal family, friends and neighbor providers will receive some funding as well.
  • Co-pays will be waived for October through December 2020 and will be capped at $115 through June of 2021.
  • Funding for increased costs for full-day care while schools are in distance learning or hybrid models.
  • Extra support for families caring for foster children to ensure they can manage dealing with the school and childcare impacts of the pandemic.

Read Secretary Hunter's detailed message about the agency’s plan and approach to help stabilize child care affordability and accessibility.

Children's Bureau Approves DCYF's Prevention Plan

The federal Children’s Bureau approved DCYF's Family First Prevention Plan last week. Washington is now one of a few states to have its Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) plan approved.

FFPSA provides states the option to use Title IV-E funds for prevention services for eligible children at risk of foster care placement and their families, based on a federally approved Prevention Services Plan.

In building our plan, DCYF actively engaged with stakeholders, partners and tribes statewide.

DCYF leadership and staff celebrated news of the approval, which comes after months of working with federal partners to incorporate feedback and amendments to the plan.

Read more.

Supporting Families in Crisis

Many families are in need of additional supports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. DCYF and our partners can help. We recognize family foundations are, and continue to be, disrupted during COVID-19, natural disasters and social unrest. There are five protective factors to support strong families during this challenging time: parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child/youth development, social connections, concrete supports and social and emotional development. These protective factors will help support the overall well-being of you and your family.

If you notice a family in crisis or suspect child abuse or neglect, please call the End Harm Line at 24/7 at 1-866-363-4276 to report it.