This email was sent from DCYF to visit provider organizations
edit: A similar email was sent to caregivers on 11/30
As you know, in-person family time is mandated in state law, court-ordered and statistically has a large impact on many positive outcomes for kids. Unlike the prior proclamation, there is no exemption from in-person visits allowing DCYF the flexibility to allow only virtual visits. Without such an exemption or legislative changes, we must continue to provide in-person visitation when safe to do so, adhering to all safety measures, guidance and protocol we currently are operating under. We are working with the Governor’s Office, stakeholders and our court partners to establish consistency of approach across the state for court-ordered Family Time visitation that prioritizes the safety of staff, children, parents, caregivers and providers, and also allows for continued flexibility where Family Time can be delivered safely in-person.
Moving forward, collaboration and planning for visitation between the caseworker, parents, caregiver, children and courts are key to providing a flexible visit plan which focuses on the health and safety of all involved. Additionally, we need to pay attention per CDC guidance to high-risk individuals (age, health or type of employment), locations (indoor, poor ventilation, limited space) and protective bubbling to lower risk. These factors should be considered on top of the current screening protocols already practiced. Below are the current guidance documents:
Family Time Guidance for Providers https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/sites/default/files/pubs/CWP_0056.pdf
Family Time Guidance for DCYF staff https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/sites/default/files/pubs/CWP_0059.pdf
Family Time Guidance for Parents https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/sites/default/files/pubs/CWP_0057.pdf
Family Time Guidance for Caregivers
The safety of children, youth, foster and kinship families, caregivers, staff and our tribal partners has always been, and remains, our top priority.