Tribal Relations

The Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) has two primary roles:

  • Support the delivery of DCYF services that are of high quality and culturally sensitive.
  • Ensure tribes can access DCYF services in a timely manner.

Our office coordinates, monitors, and assesses DCYF’s relationships with tribes and Recognized American Indian Organizations (RAIOs), working to enhance and improve government-to-government relationships. Our goal is to assist the collective needs of Tribal Governments and RAIOs to assure quality and comprehensive program service delivery in the areas of child welfare and early learning.

Grant Opportunities: 

RFA For Piloting Culturally Responsive & Specific Prevention Services for Native Families

DCYF is excited to announce that on April 26, 2024, a Request for Applications (RFA) was launched to select three to six programs to pilot culturally responsive and specific prevention services to reduce entries into out-of-home care among Native children. Tribal governments, Recognized American Indian Organizations (RAIOs), and other community-based organizations that serve American Indian/Alaska Native families are eligible to apply. 

The agency anticipates awarding contracts ranging in value from approximately $100,000-$200,000, for one year, with a possibility of further extension. Successful applicants will contract with DCYF to provide culturally specific or responsive prevention services such as, but not limited to, Positive Indian Parenting, Family Spirit, Healing of the Canoe, and Family Circle. The proposed program does not need to be an “evidence-based model,” nor does it need to be a program that is currently being offered. 

Applications are due June 25, 2024, by 2 p.m. 

Click here to view the full RFA.

To apply, visit

For assistance, contact Tessa Velasco at

Tribal Early Learning Fund (TELF) 

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-2024 Tribal Early Learning Fund grant opportunity is now closed. The FY 2024-2025 TELF grant opportunity will open soon. If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Thomas, Tribal Early Learning Liaison, at or (509) 688-7942.

Helpful documents:

Upcoming Events:

Caregiver Supports Project

DCYF is engaging with Tribal partners to understand the impacts of the Caregiver Supports Project for each Tribe and ensure a successful transition that best serves Tribal children and families. 

Phase 2 of the Caregiver Supports Project is the implementation of a new Caregiver Supports contract to provide placement supports to both licensed and unlicensed caregivers. Case aides will be part of the placement supports available for caregiver supports, when children are leveled into the 3 through 7 levels, based off the rate assessment. The Caregiver Supports contracts will be awarded to providers through a bidding process and the placement supports will be phased in starting in 2024 and implemented statewide in 2026. 

  • Tribes will have the option of entering into a Caregiver Supports contract to serve their caregivers of tribal jurisdiction children; or 
  • Tribes will have the option of utilizing the contracted provider to serve their caregiver families of tribal jurisdiction children.

Support areas include accessing resources such as education advocacy, health and well-being coordination, finding local child care, culturally and developmentally appropriate care/resources, transition to adulthood, and crisis supports. 

If you would like to meet with DCYF to discuss the Caregiver Supports Project and impacts to your Tribe, email Mandy Morlin at

Important Documents:


HB 1227 - Keeping Families Together Act

In 2022, the Washington State Legislature passed E2SHB 1227 - the Keeping Families Together Act. The act made several changes to RCW 13.34, the Juvenile Court Act, regarding child dependency cases. The intent of the act was to safely reduce the number of children placed into foster care, reduce racial disproportionality in the child welfare system, and support relatives to take care of children when they must be placed out of home to protect their safety. The Keeping Families Together Act went into effect on July 1, 2023. For more information, visit our HB 1227 webpage.


DCYF contracts with all 29 Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State to provide Indian Child Welfare (ICW) and Independent Living (IL) services to their members.  Each Tribe that has a contract with DCYF must provide Quarterly Expenditure Reports (QER) and an Annual Report at the end of the fiscal year. 

Reporting Forms

Centennial Accord

DCYF is working with the 29 federally recognized tribes in Washington to create its state agency Centennial Accord plan. Once complete this plan will be posted here.

Consultation Policy

The purpose of this policy is to direct the procedures that reflect the government-to-government relationship of Washington State federally recognized tribes and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). This policy follows a government-to-government relationship in seeking consultation and participation by representatives of tribal governments in policy development and service program activities in a manner that complies with Chapter 43.376 RCW and the Washington State 1989 Centennial Accord.