Foster Care in Washington: Selecting an Agency

Last updated: February 26, 2021, at 1:37 p.m. PT

Originally published: November 30, 2018, at 12:13 p.m. PT

When you are ready to foster it’s vital to select the agency that shares your value and provides the services and support your family needs. Here are some frequently asked questions to get you started.

1. What geographic areas do they serve?

A: The Y’s Community of Fostering program predominately serves western King County, but has licensed and currently supports some foster homes in Snohomish and Pierce counties.

2. How long have they been an agency?

A: The YMCA began licensing and supporting foster families in 1987.

3. What services do they offer?

A: The Y offers support for all foster families in our service area. Therapeutic, mental health, case management, support services, 24/7 crisis response, training, coaching, and respite. In addition to youth & teen enrichment programs, swimming lessons, and chronic disease prevention programs at all of our 13 branches.

4. Do they specialize in specific types of care?

A: Traditional and therapeutic care. Therapeutic care is for behaviorally high needs youth.

5. Do they have support counselors or case aides?

A: The YMCA of Greater Seattle Community of Fostering provides Child and Family Therapists, Case Managers, Behavioral Support Specialists and a Foster Home Developer/Trainer.

6. How many case managers do they have?

A: A growing number, currently four.

7. How many case managers do they have?

A: Case managers cannot have more than 25 clients assigned to them for traditional foster care and no more than 8 therapeutic clients.

8. What is the education/experience of their case managers?

A: At least a Bachelor's degree and 2+ years of professional experience.

9. How many licensed foster care homes do they serve?

A: 65 and growing fast as the need for foster homes increases.

10. Are their case managers on call 24/7?

A: 24/7 crisis response provided by mental health professionals.

11. How long will it take to get licensed?

A: 6 months on average.