Media Statement

May 5, 2020

Contact: Debra Johnson


DCYF Recognizes National Foster Care Month

Olympia — The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) joins the nation in celebrating National Foster Care Month, a time dedicated to recognizing those who play an essential role in the lives of children and youth in out-of-home care.

DCYF recognizes the more than 8,100 children in out-of-home care, 5,100 licensed foster homes and over 5,000 kinship caregivers. We also acknowledge the DCYF staff and partners who commit to the agency’s mission to protect children and strengthen so they flourish.

In a letter to foster and kinship caregivers, DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter wrote, “We are grateful to have foster parents and kinship caregivers who have stepped up during these critical times, focusing on the health of our families and going above and beyond. You deserve that affirmation all year long and even more so during this pandemic.”

To kick off the month, DCYF is highlighting a foster youth who was chosen to throw the first pitch on the “We Are Family Day” at the Mariners game before it was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Shane Guevara, 18, was placed with his “suitable-other” caregiver four years ago on his 14th birthday. He and his brother were in multiple placements before arriving in Kim Farnes and Carl Scanson’s home.

When Shane first moved in with his new caregivers, he struggled with past trauma and trust. He consistently avoided being around others because he didn’t want them to see him. 

Over the past four years, Shane has blossomed. He got a job, bought himself a car, is in advanced placement classes, volunteers for many community events and presented at the “We the People – The Citizens and the Constitution” annual competition.

“We sat in the audience amazed at how far this kiddo has come,” said Farnes. “He went from hiding under benches and behind poles to avoid any interaction with others, to a kiddo who shared his perspectives in front of judges and others.”

Farnes, now a licensed foster parent, worked closely with the boys’ biological mother and eventually Shane’s younger sibling returned home.

Shane is set to graduate in June and will begin his basic training with the National Guard in August, he was recognized by his school and supporters this past week in a drive-by celebration.

“I wish everyone knew how awesome being a placement home could mean, both for the kiddos, but more importantly, for the homes they come into,” said Farnes. “I don't know what’s in store for him down the road. I just know that Shane can do whatever he sets his mind to do.”