So, what now?
Well, one thing is for sure, we definitely aren’t done. However, we are working a little differently these days. As the overall tone of Washington state foster care begins to shift, we are working to support and encourage those who are making the changes. We are currently working on the following:
Helping a private agency conduct exit surveys in order to better understand why families close their license. And more importantly, we are helping that agency to apply what they learned to serve families that are still licensed.
Providing feedback and input to leadership of the new department and other organizations. We are greatly encouraged by the conversations that we are having and truly believe that change is happening.
If you work with an organization that needs help and guidance with data collection and iterative change, holler at us, we would love to help. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Can I Do?
One of our biggest requests right now is for those dealing with the current system to be patient and be kind. We know it’s bad, and for many on the front lines, it doesn’t seem like things are changing. In a system this big and complex, change will take time. And that change is highly dependent on the attitudes of everyone involved. In the face of frustration and fatigue, it gets easy to doubt. We get that. Oh boy, do we get that.
But kindness can go a long way. Belief that the other party is truly doing their very best can help us to hear each other. The kids stuck in this system deserve the very best we can give them, and that very best is going to require some teamwork.
If you need some reassurance that change is truly possible, take a moment to listen to one of our very favorite TED talks.