This month, I’m excited to provide an update about the work underway at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to implement the Fair Start for Kids Act.
While we are seeing job gains in Washington State, families are still facing barriers to bettering their children's livelihoods and educational outcomes. The choice for some Washington parents is between work that pays not quite enough for high-quality child care or investing in child care that depletes much of what’s gained from employment.
Access to affordable, high-quality care for children is a challenge that limits the ability of parents, guardians, and caregivers – disproportionately women – to make a living.
High-quality child care provides children with high-quality early learning experiences that help them develop the skills they need to be successful in school and beyond. Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, DCYF will initiate changes that allow up to an additional 6,000 families in our state to afford that care. We are implementing two child care policies provided under the Fair Start for Kids Act, which makes child care more accessible and affordable for all families in Washington State.
Read the full message from Secretary Ross Hunter.
September is Kinship Care Month
Every year in September, we celebrate National Kinship Care Month. Kinship care refers to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adult siblings, and even family friends.
Nearly half the children placed in out-of-home care by DCYF are placed with a relative or person known to the child or family. As a result of their commitment, the home provided for many of these children becomes their “forever” home.
In honor of National Kinship Care Month, we thank all kinship caregivers for their ongoing commitment to providing a safe and loving home to children in out-of-home care.
Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week
For the last five years, the National Child Welfare Workforce Institution (NCWWI) and the Children's Bureau have celebrated Child Welfare Workforce Development Month during September.
For child welfare programs, it's a time to focus on how to better support and recognize the workforce. For child welfare professionals, it's an opportunity to get reconnected with the reason they got into the field.
As part of that celebration, DCYF recognizes our child welfare staff during Child Welfare Worker Appreciation Week held Sept. 13-17. We appreciate all that they do for the families we serve. Their commitment, passion, and compassion are not overlooked.
Child Welfare Worker Shout Out from Adoptive Parents
"We would like to take a moment and recognize Angie Andrew for everything she has done. In addition to fulfilling her regular duties with excellence, she always goes above and beyond. She takes the time to get to know the individual needs of each child on her caseload and proactively researches resources and programs to support them. In addition, she is almost always available to provide guidance, support, or be a sounding board to help resolve difficult situations. Without her support, we wouldn't have been able to recently adopt three children from foster care."