Y Foster Care Placement - FAQs

Last updated: January 4, 2023, at 5:17 p.m. PT

Originally published: January 4, 2023, at 4:43 p.m. PT

Foster parents with two teenage kids. Family is reading together with smiles.

How does foster care placement work? That’s a good question, and it’s one we get asked all the time by prospective foster parents. It’s also a big question. Here are the top five questions people ask (and answers to them).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If I license with a Child Placement Agency (CPA) instead of the state, will it change or limit my access to youth? 

No. The state and CPAs all place from the same group of youth in need of care. But the state placement desk will contact you directly about all youth in need of placement, whereas a CPA (like the Y) has placement coordinators who will only contact you about placements that are a good match. Our placement coordinators receive the same information about youth in need of care.

How does the YMCA receive placement referrals? 

The Department of Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF) has a placement desk for each of its regions throughout WA State. Social workers will submit ChIPRs (Child Information/Placement Referrals) for youth who need placement to those placement desks. Those coordinators will then contact state licensed families and child placement agencies to find a home. There is no central database that YMCA placement coordinators can search for available youth.

YMCA placement coordinators receive daily emails from DCYF placement desks in our regions of service. Those emails contain a small blurb about the child, categorized by location, and include their initials, age, gender, placement date needed, type of placement needed (short term, receiving care, long-term), and 1 to 2 sentences about them. Y placement coordinators then reply to the DCYF email, asking for the ChIPR for that child. Y placement coordinators will then contact the social worker to ask questions that were not included on the ChIPR, and which are specifically relevant to your family.  

When can I start receiving placement referrals?

Once your license is approved, you must attend a YMCA foster care orientation. You will be asked to sign up for this in advance. Once you have finished orientation, your Y placement coordinator will reach out via email to schedule a placement discussion. At that time, you will receive an overview of our placement process, have a chance to ask any questions you may have, and share your placement preferences.

How often will I hear from my Y placement coordinator?

At least once a month. A general rule of thumb is that the more open a foster family is, the more referrals they will receive. Referrals will be sent via email during regular business hours. Your Y coordinator may contact you via text or phone if there is an urgent request. 

If you feel you’re not hearing from your placement coordinator frequently enough, please reach out to them directly. Our team strives for transparency and welcomes conversations about increasing referrals.  

Can I say no to a placement?

Yes. If you are not positive about it, then you can ask more questions and/or decide that the placement is not for you and your home. You are not required to take a placement you are not comfortable with. Our placement coordinators work hard to get to know our foster families and their preferences, along with what behaviors they are ready for, but the choice always remains yours to make.

Contact Us

Got questions? We’d love to talk. Fill out <this simple form> and a foster care team member will reach out by email in 2-3 business days.