DCYF has decided to bring recruitment work done by these groups in house, and has chosen the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence to take over the retention and support work currently done by these two groups. Fostering Together and Fostering WA will end their contract on June 30, and have announced that all Facebook groups they run will close on that date.
Announcement from DCYF: New Caregiver Recruitment and Retention Program
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is in the midst of launching a new caregiver recruitment and retention program that will provide a hybrid approach to the work. This includes hiring internal staff as Targeted Recruitment Specialists while contracting out caregiver Retention and Support Services.
DCYF is required to follow a competitive solicitation process in the procurement of goods and services. This process started for the caregiver recruitment and retention program on April 23, 2020, when the Request for Proposals was initiated. After careful consideration, the process concluded on June 16, 2020, and the apparent successful bidder for the Retention and Support Services contract is Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence.
The goal is for this contract to be initiated on July 1, 2020. However, there is currently a personal/professional service contract freeze. This contract is subject to approval by the Office of Financial Management (OFM) and will require DCYF to go through the OFM exemption request process. DCYF has submitted the exemption request and it is currently under review.
We understand that this decision has many impacts on our caregiver community, external stakeholders, tribal partners and DCYF staff. We want to acknowledge the tremendous work that our current contracted providers have done with the Fostering Together and Fostering Washington programs. We are grateful for all they have done to recruit and retain exceptional caregivers to meet the needs of children placed in out-of-home care. Their work and commitment to our mission at DCYF remains steadfast, and we wish to express sincere gratitude for their contributions.
We know that change is hard. We also know that with change comes many questions and unknowns. We are committed to walking along with you in this transition and answer any questions or concerns that arise.
We are currently working on a transition plan. Unfortunately, due to the current approval process and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be a gap in available caregiver recruitment and retention services. DCYF is working diligently on addressing these gaps and will provide specific details and communication as to what our caregivers, stakeholders, partners and staff can expect on June 30, 2020, when the current recruitment and retention services contracts expire.
If you have any questions, please email Codie Veitenheimer, DCYF Foster Care Recruitment Program Manager.