DCYF Launches Tribal Initial Licensing Process

March 14, 2024
Adult woman and man with smiling child in front of trees

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) has been working with tribal partners to develop and launch an Initial License process for children in tribal jurisdiction.  

Starting March 13, Initial Licenses are now available to tribal jurisdiction children at time of placement or placement change. This new procedure includes tribal nations located throughout Washington State that operate via Intergovernmental Agreement or run a Tribal Child Placing Agency.  

Although kinship licenses have been available for tribal jurisdiction since July 1, 2023, the pathway to access this license was not specifically defined for this population. This collaboration with tribal partners not only resulted in the new initial license process, it also provided an opportunity to improve the existing kinship licensing process, thus increasing understanding, communication, and accessibility for all those seeking kinship licensing in Washington State.  

"We are so thankful for the partnership with tribes on this process,” said Tleena Ives, DCYF Office of Tribal Relations Director. “It is through this collaborative approach that DCYF has been able to pilot — and now launch — the initial licensing system for children in tribal jurisdiction, a system that ensures cultural competence and equity of access.”  

For further information, please review DCYF’s Foster Care Licenses for Tribal Dependent Youth and Caregivers One-Pager.

For questions, please contact the Office of Tribal Relations at dcyf.tribalrelations@dcyf.wa.gov.