Olympia — In response to national and statewide concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is developing updated guidance for our child welfare community.

DCYF remains committed to serving the approximately 9,000 youth in out-of-home care and the providers, caregivers and parents that partner with our agency.

“While child safety is our number one priority, we’re also concerned with the safety of staff, caregivers, parents and providers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Steve Grilli, Director of Child Welfare Programs. “We want to be good partners, and where we can, we intend to be flexible with certain expectations and services to reduce risk of exposure.”

With safety in mind, DCYF will ensure critical safety services continue during this time. Field staff who must have face-to-face contacts are advised to follow the screening process for COVID-19 and are urged to follow guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

Over the next several days, DCYF will share guidance on the following:

  • Family Time (parent-child visitation)
  • Contracted Placement Services (such as CPAs, BRS facilities)
  • Combined In-Home Services (such as evidence-based practices, behavioral health outpatient services)
  • Fiscal Remedies

DCYF is committed to fulfilling its mission to protect children and strengthen families so they flourish. For the latest information and guidance, the public is urged to visit DCYF’s COVID-19 website:https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/coronavirus-covid-19.