Foster Licensing - Why Go With the Y?

Last updated: September 30, 2022, at 1:35 p.m. PT

Originally published: September 30, 2022, at 1:33 p.m. PT

foster family

First off, thank you. The fact you’re even reading this means you’re considering fostering. That. Is. Incredible. It also means you’ve realized that figuring out who to license with to become a foster parent can be confusing! While there are benefits to every child placement agency (CPA)—and to simply licensing directly with Washington State—in this post we’ll break down the benefits of going with the YMCA.

A Smooth Start

Licensing with the state means getting daily emails and calls from their placement desk about all youth in need of placement.

You’re probably thinking that sounds exhausting. We get that. That’s why, with the Y, it’ll look different.

Your family will have our dedicated placement coordinators to field all those communications for you. They’ll get to know you, what ages you’re licensed and equipped for, and who will be the best fit for your family. They will then work with you to place only foster youth who will be successful in your home.

Support - Every Step of the Way

In addition to state assigned social workers, youth in our program are assigned Y case managers and (if suitable) Y therapists, behavioral and peer specialists. Because wraparound support is crucial to successful, long-term placements. And that includes support for parents! So, respite hours are available to you every month, along with training and 24/7 crisis support. A veteran foster parent with over 20 years of experience also facilitates monthly support groups for Y families.

Built-In Community

Having someone who's been where you are is great. But there’s nothing quite like a solid community of people right there with you, all doing the same thing. Because let’s take a second to acknowledge something - what you are doing is big, and will sometimes be challenging.

To build connections and support—and celebrate each other—our tight-knit community of foster families comes together at events throughout the year. From regular parents’ evening yoga classes at our various branches (with child care included), to Mariners and Husky game group tickets, to walking in the Pride Parade with the entire Y, to the annual Summer Park Potluck for all families and staff. We have fun.

Free YMCA Family Membership

Because you’re one of us And your new family is going to need things to do! Membership means access to 14 branches in Greater Seattle, discounts on Y summer camps and sports programs, child care, other Y activities, oh, also free workout classes. And, again, you need time for you. So let our Kids’ Zones take care of them for a couple hours while you get a couple laps in, or we can watch them at one of our regular Parents’ Night out childcare events while you do whatever you want.

You’ve probably still got questions.

Contact us about taking the next step, or sign up for our monthly foster parent newsletter to learn how you can advocate for and support youth in foster care.