Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Foster parents struggle against retaliation by state caseworkers


January 16, 2020

In the silent crisis that is Washington’s shortage of foster homes, one problem is often discussed among foster parents but rarely documented: the punitive ways in which some state caseworkers treat foster parents. It’s a factor that state officials realized and discussed internally long ago – but have yet to fully address, according to state government records and interviews.

For years, foster parents have complained that they chafe under a power imbalance with state-assigned caseworkers. The state workers can threaten to remove foster children from a foster home or reduce the amount foster parents receive in monthly state support payments. They can interfere with planned adoptions of foster kids. They can write up seemingly small matters. Some foster parents even label the threats, and the actions that sometimes result, “retaliation.”


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