I was double booked on Saturday. The largest Veteran's Day parade west of the Mississippi is in Auburn and I always attend. There is an inspirational memorial and great parade.
At the same time, in Olympia, there was an annual meeting of Washington Families United. Jim, my parade drive/husband, and I made it to the meeting just as it was closing. What a great group of people who had come from all over the state and at least one all the way from CA.
DSHS Sec. Susan Dreyfus and the new Children's Director were at the meeting. they listened to the many stories and I believe were trying to learn what they could do better.
Most people in the room felt that Sec. Dreyfus is committed to kinship. I know that she is not only listening but is proactively looking for ways to improve the system. There is a series of bills that the department has researched and that are now on the governor's desk waiting for pre-approval before being introduced in the 2010 Session.
The major messages for Sec. Dreyfus were:
*Follow Existing Law (If they would just do that....60% of the placement problems would not be in play...place with families!)
*Don't pick-up kids without a pick-up order.
*Don't use unsubstantiated hearsay.
*Many CASAs don't even visit the kids and yet they have so much control of the situation. That is a problem along with the drive for anonymity which will add to lack of accountability.
BE READY TO PARTICIPATE THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION. YOU WILL SEE POSTINGS HERE FOR ACTIVITIES, BILL REPORTS AND HEARING NOTICES.