FPAWS believes all children are entitled to a safe and nurturing family experience, and families recruited to provide such experiences deserve to be retained, respected and supported by the community.
To empower, to support and to advocate for foster, kinship and adoptive families to enrich the quality of life for Washington State’s children in out-of-home or adoptive care.
FPAWS answers the 800-391-2273 toll-free hotline where caregivers can talk with an informed veteran caregiver who is familiar with CA’s current policy and practice. This is often the entry point for caregivers whom are having challenges with the foster care system. FPAWS will guide the caller through the steps to get the answers they need or begin the process of walking beside them through the issue. FPAWS may train and encourage the caregivers to write “letters of understanding” as they communicate with CA staff and others. These letters let the social know what they believe the social worker said. This may include FPAWS writing or calling the Children’s Administration staff that can help resolve the issue. It could include attending meetings or FTDMs with the caregiver. Support is whatever it takes to help the caregiver get their needs met. Sometimes that includes helping them understand the law, that it is not the social worker’s choice.
FPAWS believes there is a need for additional caregiver training, and something more than training. We believe caregivers need to gather with each other for comradery, support and an influx of hope for a better future. These gatherings are opportunities to build the caregiver community and break the sense of isolation by including their voices in the dialog for change.
FPAWS is committed to bring relevant training to the communities where caregivers live. In partnership with the Coordinated Care Training Team, Children’s Administration staff and many other trainers, there is no limit to the variety of trainings available for caregivers, from Trauma 101, Coping with Holiday Stress, to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children and Social Media Warnings. We even have a training to teach caregivers how to patch the holes some kids punch in their walls. Two parent trainee families can get their 12-14 hours of required training done in a day.
In all that FPAWS does, our eye is on helping caregivers feel empowered to keep going. This often includes helping the caregiver meet the challenges when they get an allegation. Though 96% of allegations against foster families are investigated and result in an unfounded, the pain and suffering can go on for months. By working with all the stakeholders, we want to help create a kinder, gentler investigative system that continues to be responsive to DLR requirements. Trusting families, their agencies and people around them should be a bigger part of the equation.
Happy foster parents keep fostering. Happy adoptive parents adopt again! Happy kinship families keep the relatives in the family. These folks share their experiences with their friends, family and social media contacts. FPAWS will work tirelessly to fulfill our vision and our mission so that the kids who come into care can succeed in every way possible.