Giving a voice to children and their birth parents.
The Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WSPAC) is an association of parent allies, who have successfully navigated the child welfare system and who collaborate to improve outcomes for families. WSPAC advocates for parental improvement plans, so families can stay together. If children go into the foster care system, the goal is for children and their families to be reunited. WSPAC brings the parent voice into the development of child welfare policy and practice, promotes positive outcomes for children and their families, and advocates for parent leadership in the service, training and public awareness activities that strengthen and support those families. Children's Home Society of Washington's President's Office & Innovation provides staffing to the committee.
Parent Ally Members
- Alishia Agee-Cooper, Pierce
- Jason Bragg, King
- Heather Cantamessa, Spokane
- Seth Davidson, Pierce
- Ambrosia Eberhardt, Spokane
- Kristina Jorgensen, Snohomish
- John Martin, King
- Tonia Morrison, Thurston
- Shrounda Selivanoff, King
- Marsha Valenzuela, Spokane
- D'Adre Cunningham, Incarcerated Parents Project
- Patrick Dowd, Washington State Office of the Family & Children's Ombudsman
- Mike Heard, Office of Public Defense
- Laurie Lippold, Partners for Our Children
- Holly Luna, Children's Administration
- Maureen Marcenko, Partners for Our Children
- Anthony Wartnik, retired, judge King County Superior Court
- Amelia Watson, Office of Public Defense
WSPAC is supporting the following legislative issues:
Family Assessment Response (FAR): WSPAC supports House Bill 2249 and Senate Bill 6309, an increase in the amount of time a family needs to participate in FAR to 120 days to ensure all families in Washington state are given the opportunity to benefit from the support FAR provides to improve or restore family well-being.
Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF): WSPAC supports continued funding for the newly created DCYF. Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1661 on July 6, 2017 creating the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The DCYF will restructure how the state serves children and youth with the goal of producing better outcomes in all Washington communities.
Supportive visitation: WSPAC supports state funding to provide supportive visitation, so that parents in Child Protective Services cases are given the tools, skills and coaching needed to maintain their relationships with their children, with the end goal to regain custody.
Source of income discrimination: In partnership with Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, WSPAC supports the passage of Senate Bill 5407 that prevents landlords from denying prospective tenants based on their source of income including, Section 8, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Needy Families (TANF).
Support for Parents Involved with CPS:
Dates, times and locations are subject to change - please contact each program to confirm before planning to attend. All groups are free unless specified otherwise.
Parents for Parents Dependency 101 class
The Dependency 101 class is designed to educate parents about the system they will need to understand in order to have their children returned. The class provides tools and resources that help empower parents to be successful during their case. The class is peer-led by parent allies who have successfully navigated the child welfare system and have first-hand experience. Some locations also offer ongoing Dependency 201 classes.
Aberdeen: Second Monday of each month from 4-6 p.m., Grays Harbor CASA, South Shore Mall, 1017 S. Boone St., #312, Aberdeen, 98520. Contact information: Alexa Montoure 360-580-1254.
Bellingham: Fourth Wednesday of each month from noon-2 p.m., Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Ave., #501, Bellingham, 98225. Contact information: Johni Gibson 360-778-5530.
Bremerton: Second Friday of each month from 9-11:00 a.m., and the fourth Monday of every month from 4-6 p.m., Bremerton DCFS Office, 3423 6th St., #217, Bremerton, 98312. Contact information: Dawn Michele Wilson 360-337-5496.
Everett: Denny Juvenile Justice Center, 2801 10th St., Everett, 98201. Contact information, Gina Enochs 425-583-8377.
Kennewick: Third Wednesday of each month from 11-1 p.m., Safe Harbor Support Center, 1111 N. Grant Pl., Kennewick, 99336. Contact information: Krista Iron Bear 509-438-5540.
Kent: Second Monday of each month from 11:30-1:30 p.m., Maleng Regional Justice Center (detention side of complex), 620 W. James, #B-174A, Kent, 98032. Contact information: Dana Dildine 206-477-2566.
Seattle: Third Thursday of each month from 11-1:30 p.m., King County Superior Court, 516 3rd Ave., #C-912, Seattle, 98104. Contact information: Dana Dildine 206-477-2566.
Shelton: Last Thursday of each month from 9-10:15 a.m., Mason County Juvenile Probation Conference Room, 426 W. Cedar Street, Shelton, 98584. Contact information: Tonia Morrison 360-754-7629.
Spokane: First Tuesday of every month from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and the third Thursday of every month from 9:45-11:45 a.m., Spokane Regional Health District Building, 1101 W. College Ave., #320, Spokane, 99201. Contact information: Ambrosia Eberhardt 509-934-0966.
Tacoma: Every second Thursday from 1-3 p.m., and the fourth Thursday of every month from 4-6 p.m., DSHS Building, 1949 S. State St., Tacoma, 98405. Contact information: Tiffany Lyons 253-204-9075.
Tumwater/Olympia: Every third Tuesday from 12:30-2 p.m., Thurston County Family & Juvenile Courthouse Law Library, 2801 32nd Ave. S.W., Tumwater, 98512. Contact information: Tonia Morrison 360-754-7629.