Parent Allies - Amara

Parent Allies

Empowering Parents. Strengthening Families.

The Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WSPAC) is a group of parent allies who have successfully gone through the child welfare system and work together to make things better for families. WSPAC advocates for keeping families together, reuniting children and their parents after entering the foster care system. WSPAC brings the parent voice into the development of child welfare policy and practice and advocates for parent leadership in the service, training and public awareness that strengthen families.  

 We believe in supporting children and families who have entered the child welfare system so they can fully realize their potential. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WSPAC) is to bring the parent voice into the development of child welfare policy and practice; promote equity for those in the child welfare system, develop parent leadership and elevate diverse lived experience and public awareness activities that strengthen and support those families. Through this work the WSPAC instills hope in parents, stakeholders and the child welfare system.

Our Values

  • Parent ally work in Washington State is ultimately about and for the whole family;
  • People and systems can change;
  • Parent ally support is empowering; 
  • Parent allies are necessary integral partners in changing the culture of practice; 
  • Parent allies provide hope and inspiration both to parents entering the system and to stakeholders working within the system; 
  • Collaboration among all stakeholders (such as parent allies, child welfare agency personnel, attorneys, courts, GAL’s/CASA’s, community service providers and foster parents, caregivers) is at the heart of successful parent ally work;  
  • Parents need to be heard; 
  • Fathers’ involvement and participation in the child welfare system must be a goal;  
  • Members of the WSPAC should reflect the gender and racial diversity of the families in the child welfare system and the diversity of reasons why families become involved with the system; 
  • Everyone has value;
  • Our work focuses on overcoming challenges and strengthening protective factors; and 
  • Meet parents where they are.  

Our History

WSPAC formed after delegates at the 2006 Washington State Family Engagement Summit convened by Children’s Home Society of Washington’s Catalyst for Kids identified the need for structured opportunities to hear the voice of parents who have successfully navigated the child welfare system. Catalyst for Kids with support from Casey Family Programs and birth parent, Brenda Lopez launched the WSPAC in March 2007. WSPAC has helped pass legislation since 2012. Amara is the current fiscal sponsor of WSPAC and provides administrative support. 

Who We Are

WSPAC Members are parents across the state who have successfully navigated the child welfare system, and who are known as parent allies. A parent ally is a person who:  

  • Has been involved with the child welfare system;
  • Has reunified with, and/or is supportive of/reconciled to an alternative permanency plan for, his/her/their child(ren);
  • Has resolved the issue(s) leading to his/her/their child(ren)’s dependency;
  • Is living a lifestyle that is healthy;
  • Takes responsibility for his/her role in his/her/their child(ren)’s dependency; and
  • Wants to partner with other parents and child welfare system stakeholders to advance the WSPAC mission.

Get Involved with WSPAC

  • Join our team
  • Share your story 
  • Advocate
  • Attend a meeting 
  • Receive regular e-updates 
  • Join our Google Group list serv