Secretary Newsletter - July

July 7, 2021
Three youth sit together in a park smiling.

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DCYF Appoints New Assistant Secretary of Juvenile Rehabilitation

With more than 20 years of experience implementing trauma-informed care, Felice Upton has been appointed as Assistant Secretary of Juvenile Rehabilitation at the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). She assumed the role on July 1, 2021.

For the last year, Upton has served as the Superintendent of DCYF's Echo Glen Children's Center. Before that, she was with the Washington State Department of Corrections, where she served in various roles over 15 years, from community corrections officer to associate superintendent of programs for the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

"My stated mission in this position is to implement trauma-informed care with trauma stewardship at the forefront of that initiative," said Upton. "I want to see young people leave our care being healthier in mind, body, and spirit, having received a good education and with strong plans for their future."

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Fair Start for Kids Act

DCYF recently launched a webpage dedicated to the Fair Start for Kids Act. High-quality child care and early learning are critical to a child’s success in school and life. With the passage of the Fair Start for Kids Act (SB 5237) on May 7, 2021, lawmakers provided an opportunity to make child care more accessible and affordable for all families in Washington State. The page will contain all information about Act implementation, including:

  • Working Connections Child Care and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) changes for families
  • How the Act is supporting child care and early learning providers
  • Expanded resources and innovations for child care licensing
  • Prenatal to age three supports for families and providers
  • Data and accountability measures that DCYF reports on over the years

This webpage will be updated frequently as the agency moves through implementation. Questions can be sent to

Video Spotlight: 8 Benefits of Extended Foster Care

DCYF’s Extended Foster Care (EFC) program offers youth the option to remain in care until age 21. See eight benefits of EFC in this short video.