WA State Must Reinstate Funding for DCYF to Renew Contracts with NWAE and WARE

WA State Must Reinstate Funding for DCYF to Renew Contracts with NWAE and WARE

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Tristan Luciotti started this petition to Governor Jay Inslee

Due to COVID-19 and budget cuts, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) in the state of Washington lost its contract with the Northwest Adoption Exchange (NWAE) and Washington Adoption Resource Exchange (WARE). These are centralized websites where social workers are able to post children needing a permanent home and it is searchable by potential adoptive families.  

Currently, all WA children have been removed from both websites. This makes it even harder for WA children to find placement since there is no longer a dedicated place adoptive families can search for all of the children at one time. These children deserve an equal chance to be seen and find an adoptive home.

I ask Governor Inslee with urgency to approve the funds needed for DCYF to renew their contract with NWAE and WARE immediately.

From WARE's website:

As of July 1, 2020, all Washington children and family profiles have been removed from the Washington Adoption Resource Exchange. We hope this change is temporary, but we aren’t sure. Sign up to stay informed.

We had to remove Washington children and families from the website because our contract with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) expired on June 30, 2020. DCYF has not renewed the contract because of a statewide contracts freeze initiated by the Governor's Office. The good news is that DCYF has recently submitted an exemption request to the Office of Financial Management. If this exemption request is approved, the contract will be eligible for renewal and services can resume. Until then, though the need to find adoptive families remains, without a contract our organization does not have the funding or the authority to continue recruiting for children in Washington.

In addition to removing youth from the site, we also have to pause our work related to:

1. Community partnerships, such as Wednesday's Child (KXLY-TV) and Saturday's Child (Seattle Times).


2. Our In-Depth Profile work with Washington teens who want to tell their stories directly to adoptive families.

3. Providing some forms of support to families in Washington who want to adopt from foster care.


As you can imagine, we are devastated by having to shut down these essential services. The job of finding adoptive families for children in foster care is hard, and this service interruption will make it even harder. Social workers, already overburdened, will have to do more, with fewer tools and less support. Families will find it even more difficult to navigate the adoption process. And worst of all, this service interruption will decrease children’s chances of finding adoptive families, during a time when we all need family more than ever.

Thank you to those who have sent messages of support and who are advocating for these services on behalf of children and families. We hope to feature and champion Washington children again soon. Want to stay informed? Add your name to our list by filling out the form below, and we’ll let you know the latest and how you can help as soon as we hear more.

Sincerely,

The team at the Northwest Adoption Exchange/WARE

July 30th Facebook Post by NWAE:

Hey, folks. We’re here with a small update to let you know we're still waiting to hear about the status of the adoption recruitment contract renewal.

The statewide contracts freeze put forward by the Governor’s Office here in Washington remains in effect, which means services related to the adoption recruitment contract are still suspended for Washington children and families.

Our team, along with our partners at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), are hoping that will change soon, but as of now we still haven't heard from the Office of Financial Management (OFM) regarding an approval of the waiver to renew the Washington adoption recruitment contract.

We’re so thankful for the messages of support we’ve received. We really feel for the families who have shared how this unfortunate delay is negatively impacting their plans of providing permanency for children in care.

We know that the longer this interruption lasts, the more serious the impact is on Washington children and families. We’re hopeful that we can share good news soon and that we can get back to work helping Washington children find the adoptive families they deserve.

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