Tribal Relations

Current Events

ECEAP Definition of an Indian Child

We will be participating in several roundtables to work on creating the definition of an Indian Child that will be used for Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) enrollment.  We would like to invite tribal leaders to complete the survey if you are unable to attend, or feel free to provide written feedback.

Important Documents:

Caregiver Supports Project

DCYF is engaging with Tribal partners to understand the impacts of the Caregiver Supports Project for each Tribe and ensure a successful transition that best serves Tribal children and families. Efforts to engage and inform Tribes of the development of this project began at the ICW Sub-Committee meeting on Feb. 10, 2021, with subsequent presentations occurring in December 2022, July 2023, and September 2023.

There will be another presentation about the project and impacts in an upcoming ICW Sub-Committee meeting on Nov. 8, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m

Tribes have the option to do their own rate assessments on tribally dependent children and to provide placement supports to their own members instead of using a contracted provider in their catchment area. DCYF will engage in a formal consultation with Tribes to determine project impacts and engage Tribes in project implementation.

There will be roundtables on Nov. 14, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 28, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A consultation will follow on Dec. 12, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about this Tribal Consultation, email the Office of Tribal Relations at

If you would like to meet with DCYF to discuss the Caregiver Supports Project and impacts to your Tribe, email Mandy Morlin at

Important Documents:

Tribal CPA Roundtables

DCYF's Licensing Division (LD) is in the planning stages for restructuring Kinship and Foster Licensing programs which includes Licensed Child Placing Agencies (CPA) and the foster family homes they certify.

Tribal CPA partners are invited to discuss the restructuring of our licensing programs at the roundtable discussion on either Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There are currently two assignment options that DCYF is seeking Tribal CPA input on:

  • Two (2) LD Tribal Specialists assigned to Tribal CPAs; one located on the east side and one on the west side of the state; or
  • Tribal CPAs assigned to their respective regional office locations.

For questions, please contact Mandy Morlin by phone at (253) 278-7120 or via email at

HB 1227

In 2022, the Washington State Legislature passed E2SHB 1227 - the Keeping Families Together Act. The act made several changes to RCW 13.34, the Juvenile Court Act, regarding child dependency cases. The intent of the act was to safely reduce the number of children placed into foster care, reduce racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, and support relatives to take care of children when they must be placed out of home to protect their safety. The Keeping Families Together Act went into effect on July 1, 2023.

For more information, visit our HB 1227 webpage.

The Office of Tribal Relations has two primary roles:

  • Support the delivery of DCYF services that are of high quality and culturally sensitive.
  • Ensure tribes can access DCYF services in a timely manner.

Our office coordinates, monitors, and assesses DCYF’s relationships with tribes and Recognized American Indian Organizations (RAIOs), working to enhance and improve government-to-government relationships. Our goal is to assist the collective needs of Tribal Governments and RAIOs to assure quality and comprehensive program service delivery in the areas of child welfare and early learning.


DCYF contracts with all 29 Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State to provide Indian Child Welfare (ICW) and Independent Living (IL) services to their members.  Each Tribe that has a contract with DCYF must provide Quarterly Expenditure Reports (QER) and an Annual Report at the end of the fiscal year. 

Reporting Forms

Centennial Accord

DCYF is working with the 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington to create its state agency Centennial Accord plan. Once complete this plan will be posted here.

Consultation Policy

The purpose of this policy is to direct the procedures that reflect the government-to-government relationship of Washington State federally recognized tribes and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). This policy follows a government-to-government relationship in seeking consultation and participation by representatives of tribal governments in policy development and service program activities in a manner that complies with Chapter 43.376 RCW and the Washington State 1989 Centennial Accord.