Each year we honor parents and caregivers in Washington for the roles they have taken with their families, schools and communities. They have shown strength, courage and empathy in their communities. Help us honor 29 more in February 2024 by nominating a parent or caregiver for the Unsung Hero award. The nomination form is available in English, Spanish, and Somali. Nominations must be submitted by January 5, 2024.
Strengthening Families Washington is a program within the Department of Children, Youth & Families whose main focus is helping families become stronger together through a variety of tactics, including:
- Home visiting
- Community outreach and partnerships
- Funding opportunities with local organizations
In addition, we assist with several public awareness campaigns including, Speak Up When You’re Down and Have A Plan: Shaken Baby Syndrome and Safe Sleep.
There are five protective factors known to help reduce child abuse and neglect:
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Social connections
- Parental resiliency
- Concrete support in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children/nurturing and attachment
By providing information to parents, child care professionals and others who work with children, we help build these protective factors in families with young children and build family strength and a family environment that promotes optimal child and youth development.
We believe in partnering with parents and caregivers and encourage leadership and collaboration in all our work. If you are interested in opportunities or would like to partner with Strengthening Families Washington, please email email@example.com.
Call 1-888-404-7763 for support. Perinatal Support Washington, a strong partner in this work, operates the warm line.
Up to 80 percent of new mothers experience some form of baby blues. Postpartum depression (PPD) is more than the baby blues, and it will not go away on its own. Help is available. Talking about how you feel is the first step. One woman in 10 feels depressed during pregnancy and one woman in eight experiences postpartum depression after birth.
Call the Parent Trust Family helpline at 1-800-932-HOPE (4673) for support.
All babies cry. It is okay. Crying is one way your baby can tell you what they need. It is normal for babies to cry two to four hours a day. Even though crying is typical, it can still be stressful. Have a plan, share your plan and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.
These calming actions can be part of your plan:
- Breathe. Take some deep breaths to help reduce feelings of anger and tension.
- Follow the 10-foot rule. Place your baby in a safe place and walk 10 feet away until you have calmed down.
- Take a break. Gently lay your baby down on their back and take a break.
- Talk to someone. Call a friend or relative who will listen and be caring. It can help to share your thoughts and feelings.
- Go for a walk with your baby. A simple walk around the block can help calm both you and your baby.
This card offers some safe sleeping tips that are shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation.
Research shows parents and caregivers can take specific actions to help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant (less than 1-year-old) death. Make sure everyone that takes care of your baby knows about safe sleep.
The work we do is grounded in the Strengthening Families framework, which is coordinated by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and supported by national partner organizations such as:
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- FRIENDS National Resource Center
- The National Alliance of Children's Trust and Prevention Funds
- Community Cafe
- Parents as Teachers
- United Way Worldwide
- ZERO TO THREE
The Strengthening Families framework is a research-informed approach to increase family strengths, enhance child development and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. We utilize this framework to support, foster and build the five protective factors in communities and organizations alongside our strongest partners – parents. Past collaborative opportunities include selecting community programs to be funded, assisting in developing project ideas and participating in Unsung Heroes and Pinwheels for Prevention events.
Partnering with parents and caregivers is the foundation of our work, and we encourage leadership and collaboration throughout all of our projects.
- Parental Resilience: Help parents set goals and solve problems.
- Knowledge of Parenting and of Child/Youth Development: Find a local parenting class or workshop.
- Social Connections: Host a potluck or cultural celebration.
- Concrete Supports: Call 2-1-1 to find organizations in your area that support families.
- Social and Emotional Development: Establish a daily routine so your child knows what to expect.
Strengthening Families Washington is the Prevent Child Abuse Washington (PCA WA) State Chapter and administers the Children’s Trust of Washington (CTF).
The PCA WA is a chapter of the national organization Prevent Child Abuse America. Together we work to shift existing national policy and support children and families to prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring.
Support Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
The CTF of Washington accepts public and private donations to support child abuse and neglect prevention. There are several ways to contribute:
Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Children’s Trust of Washington
PO Box 40971
Olympia, WA 98504-0971
*All proceeds go to preventing child abuse and neglect
Heirloom Birth Certificates
Celebrate a new life with the official Washington State Heirloom Birth Certificate. A lasting memory of a baby's birth or a reminder of a cherished grandchild, the Heirloom Birth Certificate is the perfect gift for baby showers, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries — even retirements! The attractive, frameable, 8 1/2" x 11" certificate is an official document. It includes the individual's name, date and place of birth, as well as the name and birthplace of the parent(s). It is signed by the Governor and printed in full color. The Heirloom Birth Certificate is a beautiful, permanent keepsake for anyone born or adopted in the state of Washington. Purchasing an Heirloom Birth Certificate helps support families and children. Half of the certificate's $45 purchase price benefits the CTF of Washington.
Order an Heirloom Birth Certificate
Contact the Department of Health Center for Health Statistics at 360-236-4300 or visit their website.
Keep Kids Safe License Plate
When you purchase a Keep Kids Safe license plate, you help keep children healthy and supported. Proceeds from each plate are invested into communities throughout Washington to support programs and services that help support children and strengthen families. Learn how to purchase a Keep Kids Safe plate at the Department of Licensing website.
February – Parent Recognition Month
- Unsung Heroes
February is Parent Recognition month and each year we celebrate by honoring individuals around the state with an Unsung Hero Award.
Since 2011 we have honored 253 individuals in Washington for the roles they have taken with their families, school and communities. They have shown strength, courage and empathy in their communities and beyond.
April – Child Abuse Prevention Month
- Pinwheels for Prevention