Victory in Washington State!
Parent(s) and children facing economic vulnerability can breathe a little easier thanks to the organizing efforts by Catalyst for Kids, a cohort member of Western States Center's Strong Families Northwest.
7 out of 10 families investigated by Washington’s Child Protective Services (CPS) are due to allegations of neglect – inability to provide shelter, food, clothing and other basic needs. The income of these families is less than $20,000 per year. In 2011, the number of CPS open cases is alarmingly high - 9,500 families in King County alone.
So Catalyst for Kids set its goals to change CPS by working toward the passage of the Family Assessment Response (FAR). Implementing FAR means changing CPS from a system that disrupts families to protect children, to one that supports and protects families where children can thrive.
Catalyst's hard work paid off. FAR was signed into law by Govenor Gregoire on March 30th. Catalyst’s success speaks to the immense power that communities have when they stand up to speak from their own experience, and when they lead from a sense of justice.
All families matter. And some face more struggles than others as a result of prejudice, misguided policies, and practices that punish rather than protect.
Strong Families believe that no matter how your family was formed or who's in it, having a strong and stable base of support is an important part of a healthy and happy life for us all. More wins like this means keeping families together and giving us all a better opportunity to thrive.