Welcome to Karen Brady, a new board member of the WACF 501(c)(3), which is also titled the Institute for Practice Improvement. Karen has the honor of being the CEO of Ryther, a 135 year old pediatric behavioral healthcare facility in Seattle. Karen's career has been dedicated to child and youth serving agencies that focus on child welfare, houselessness, and behavioral health. As part of that work, she has served on a variety of work groups, task forces and committees. She is delighted to be joining the WACF 501(c)(3) Board.

Mind Meets Body -
A Biopsychosocial Approach to Child & Adolescent Behavior

February 11, 2022 9-11 a.m.

Join us for this free virtual training and earn two Continuing Education Credits. Registration deadline is Feb. 4th. Click here for more details. Register here.

In September WACF released our first Annual Report. The report highlights the important work and changes that occurred in 2020-21. WACF is growing and as we do our footprint across child welfare and other cross services has grown. WACF continues to find ways to communicate the impact of our association and the work being done on behalf of our members. In 2020-21 we met many of our goals to expand member value, including acting as a COVID-19 hub for information, providing PPE and small grants, and growing into more areas where we can influence and champion the cause of children, youth and families. WACF was also successful in advocating for additional revenue for members, adding up to a total impact of 37 million since 2018 to strengthen children, youth, and families in Washington State.

Welcome to Dave Newell, our new board president of the WACF 501(c)(3), which is also titled the Institute for Practice Improvement. Dave is the CEO of Children’s Home Society of Washington, serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Home Society of America and serves on the CEO Council of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. Dave is well known for his innovation and commitment to improving outcomes for families. He joins other 501(c)(3) board members Charlotte Booth (Vice President), Ray Deck III (Treasurer), and Jeff Clare (at Large). Dave has more than 30 years of social service experience both in direct service and leadership roles. In partnership with his wife, Theresa, Dave also has 29 years of experience as a parent of six children. His kids continue to provide him with many learning opportunities. We are fortunate to have Dave’s expertise and passion as an addition to our WACF 501(c)(3) Board!

The Y takes a big leap to advance equity and justice for all.  Read the full press release here.


Please welcome our new President, Secretary, and returning Treasurer, along with our new CPA and IL Division Chairs. Thank you for your leadership and dedication to the success of the organization.

Effective July 1, 2021:

President - Carla Arnold, Youthnet (2-year term)
Secretary - Sandra Gormon-Brown, Grassroots Therapy Group (1-year term)
Treasurer - Ray Deck III, Skookum Kids (2-year term)
CPA Division Chair Nicole Mazen, Amara (2-year term)
IL Division Chair - Julie Brown, Y Social Impact Center (2-year term)

A commitment to supporting families: Check out great resources at the Children’s Bureau website including a new Prevention Resource Guide "Thriving Children and Families: Prevention With Purpose.”


What is a home licensor? It’s a vital part of the foster care process! The Foster Home Licensor works on securing, training, and licensing foster care individuals and homes for the placement of children.

For more information please check out our flyer: Foster Home Licensor Job Posting

Check out how Child Placement Agencies support children and foster families and partner with state social workers and DCYF in this new WACF CPA webpage and video: https://wachildrenandfamilies.org/cpa/. This page is dedicated to clarifying the roles and benefits of CPAs in working toward good outcomes for children and their families.

Throughout his career, Brian Carroll has been a partner and colleague of so many of us.  He was instrumental in the early formation of WACF, helping to bring together agencies providing residential, foster care, and preventive services.  Brian’s leadership was crucial during the early days, helping with the formation of our corporation, bylaws, and creation of our original three division structure.  His insight and experience serving on local and national boards was critical during this phase of our organization.  From 2012 – 2017, Brian served as our Vice President and Public Policy Chair.  He spent countless hours in Olympia meeting with DCYF leadership and key legislative stakeholders on behalf of WACF.  In 2017 – 2019 Brian served as President of WACF.  Throughout his service, Brian has been dedicated to providing excellent services to children and families through his own organization, Secret Harbor.  This commitment was highlighted in 2012 when the national membership association Alliance for Children and Families presented Brian and Secret Harbor with the Alliance for Children and Families Agency of the Year award.  Brian will truly be missed but we wish him all the best in retirement and consulting work.

The Family Connections Program is a framework to build relationships between all the important people in a foster child's life.

Read more at  FCPWA.  Thanks to Amara, FCPWA and Washington Courts. 

Family Connections: King's Story 

Family Connections: Yuvia's Story

In January, Health and Human Services repealed a rule that prohibited government contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression (SOGIE) or on religion. We applaud DCYF’s stance  and stand with others across the state against any form of discrimination in alignment with the equity commitment adopted by our members last month: Members shall commit to removing practices and policies that lead to poor outcomes for people of color in the child welfare system. WACF will ensure all policy, advocacy and practice improvement changes have a focus on removing racism. We value providing best practice that promotes improved outcomes for children and youth regardless of their economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, language, or age.

Welcome to our newest WACF Board Member Julie Brown, from the Y Social Impact Center.  Julie is serving as the chair of the newly formed WACF Independent Living Division. Julie has been with the Y Social Impact Center for 7 years, and leads Foster Care Transitions.  She has focused her career on adolescents and young adults, starting about 20 years ago supporting youth transitioning out of correctional institutions, and then providing BRS support to boys 13 - 17.  We’re fortunate to have Julie’s expertise and passion as an addition to our WACF Board!

Choosing to become a foster parent is a major decision that will make a huge difference in a foster child’s life — and it will change your life too.  For anyone who is considering becoming a foster parent, or anyone who just wants to learn about how to support foster children, this free video course is a great place to begin.  Access the free webinar here:  https://foster.wachildrenandfamilies.org/courses/foster/

WACF recognizes racial equity as a priority in preventing families from entering foster care, improving the disproportionality of foster families and reducing the number of youth of color in group care. We are dedicated to advocacy and policy and practice improvement that eliminate racism within the child welfare system. Our members recently voted to update WACF bylaws to more clearly state our shared commitment to racial equity:  https://wachildrenandfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/WACF-Bylaws-1.19.21.pdf.

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