Kids and families thrive when parents and caregivers build supportive relationships.
Building Family Partnerships (BFP) was established in partnership with parents and caregivers in Washington, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), Casey Family Programs (CFP), the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance, and the Youth Law Center/Quality Parenting Initiative. Through various statewide convenings, we sought insight into how true partnership and co-leadership can occur amongst parents, kinship caregivers, and foster caregivers on behalf of children and youth. The BFP work has centered around listening and valuing people who have experienced the child welfare system. This project has been co-designed with parents, caregivers, and youth, since its inception.
BFP listened to a wide range of people to:
- Learn from all who touch the lives of children in the child welfare system;
- Share learning from child welfare stakeholders and families;
- Identify relationship-building strategies and recommendations from parents and caregivers to improve relationships for children and youth in out-of-home care; and
- Identify common themes and barriers families experience to develop recommendations for system improvements.
Read the full report here.
Brave Conversations are welcoming virtual spaces for conversation about building supportive relationships between parents whose children are placed in out-of-home care and those who are caring for the children (both foster parents and relative/kinship caregivers). Our goal is to help bridge the gap between parents and caregivers, and center the children so all can learn and grow together. We will utilize a liberating structure for our meetings with six themes guiding and grounding us in the conversation together.
- Why do we need to shift the culture? – The Importance and Value of Building and Supporting Parent/Caregiver Relationships.
- Let’s start at the very beginning – How to get Parent/Caregiver relationships off on the right foot/Dispelling the myths.
- Moving from shame & blame to support – How to work through feelings and challenges, and move toward partnership.
- Bumps in the Road – How to avoid/overcome difficulties.
- Changing Perspectives – Why language matters.
- Fear to Love – Moving from fear to love, so everyone has a safe space to belong.
Our next Brave Conversation is Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 6 pm – 7:15 pm. Following conversations will be held on the first Tuesday of every-other month. There is no cost to participate in our Brave Conversations. Download the flier here.
We welcome all individuals interested in building and supporting relationships between parents and caregivers, including:
- Parents impacted by the child welfare system (current or previous)
- Caregivers (potential, new and experienced licensed foster caregivers or relative/kinship caregivers)
- Anyone interested in continuing the conversation that began with the BFP Townhall and Convening