Emailed from DCYF: sign up at https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/services/foster-parenting. Only extracts from the newsletter are included here.
Since August 1, 2019, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has made the “Caregiver Connection” articles available on DCYF’s Foster Parenting and Kinship Care page. Every Tuesday, we publish new articles and at the end of the month you will receive this newsletter with links to all the articles. DCYF maintains its commitment to bring you information that is timely, useful and an affirming reflection of all of the amazing caregivers, children, youth and families that are the foster care community.
Thanking Our Foster Parents and Kinship Caregivers
May is National Foster Care Month, a time that our nation recognizes those who play a part in the lives of children and youth in out-of-home care. In the midst of all we’re collectively facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to pause and say thank you. You deserve that affirmation all year long and even more so during this pandemic.Over the last several weeks, we have all faced unprecedented change and uncertainty. As parents, we all struggle to balance home, work, distance learning, self-care and more, but as foster parents and kinship caregivers, you face added stressors. Yet, you continue to welcome children into your homes and families.We have had a small number of cases where either a foster child or someone in the household came down with COVID-19. (The one we know about turned out well – the family quarantined at home for two weeks and everyone is good!) We are working hard to prevent any caused by contact with DCYF workers by changing visitation and regular check-ins to video as much as possible. If you have questions about this you can check our website or talk to your caseworker.
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is aware of your concerns about a statewide plan to address the spread of COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus). We want to assure you that our leadership is continuing to monitor any new developments about the spread of the coronavirus.
- Please visit DCYF’s COVID-19 page, where you can find information about child welfare, foster care licensing, confirmed COVID-19 cases and more.
Foster Youth Recognized in Drive-By Celebration
Earlier this year, Shane Guevara, a foster youth from Orting, was chosen to throw the first pitch at the Mariners’ “We Are Family Day” but after Covid-19 restrictions postponed the event, his community decided to recognize him on their baseball field. Guevara, 18, was placed with his kinship caregiver four years ago on his 14th birthday. He and his brother were in multiple placements before arriving in Kim Farnes and Carl Scanson’s home. When Guevara first moved in, he struggled with past trauma and trust, constantly hiding from people because he didn’t want them to see him.
Over the past four years, Shane blossomed. He got a job, bought himself a car, is in advanced placement classes, volunteers for many community events and presented at the “We the People – The Citizens and the Constitution” annual competition.“We sat in the audience amazed at how far this kiddo has come,” said Farnes. “He went from hiding under benches and behind poles to avoid any interaction with others, to a kiddo who shared his perspectives in front of judges and others.” Farnes, now a licensed foster parent, worked closely with the boys’ birth mother and eventually Shane’s younger sibling returned home. Earlier this year, DCYF chose Guevara to represent foster youth for the We Are Family Day event. DCYF and his school surprised Shane with the announcement during a small ceremony. Read More
Drive-In Wi-Fi Hotspots Available Statewide
Up to 600 drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots will be added statewide as part of an effort by the Washington State Department of Commerce to provide free public access to all residents.
To date, 140 hotspots are operational in addition to the 301 existing Washington State Library hotspots identified across the state.
Hotspots will primarily work in parking lots with some sites offering indoor public access during business hours. Everyone using the sites must practice social distancing and wear a cloth face covering if necessary.
“Access to broadband was a challenge for many Washingtonians before COVID-19. This rapid, collaborative response is an essential immediate solution but we cannot stop here,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “I’ve long advocated for greater access to quality and affordable broadband for all Washingtonians, and will continue to do so long after this virus is behind us. We thank all of the state and private partners that have stepped up to ensure people are connected today, and look forward to their continued partnership in maintaining that access into the future.”