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$1.2 M Contract for CSBSSW

Published: October 22, 2015

CHENEY, Washington. - Eastern Washington University's College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work (CSBSSW) is receiving just over $1.2 million in contract funding over the next two years for a unique peer mentoring program for foster parents. The funding comes from the state of Washington's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The program, FosteringWA (, will be managed by the CSBSSW's Idaho Child Welfare Research and Training Center (ICWRTC) and modeled after a similar program in Idaho.

The ICWRTC will adapt its successful Recruiter Peer Mentor (RPM) program to meet the needs of eastern Washington's families. Since its implementation in 2007, the RPM has been highly successful, increasing the demand for foster parent training by 60 percent throughout Idaho. With the program being highly adaptive, its strategies have been sought by other states.

Because it is a regional and local approach to foster parent recruitment and retention, regional staff and advisors are able to focus recruitment and retention strategies on the needs of local children. The program insures that foster parents receive consistent messages on practicing best principles, roles, and responsibilities from initial inquiry through assessment, selection and preparation, first placement of foster children and beyond. The main purpose is to train, develop and support the needs of children and families.

Eastern has significant experience providing services to recruit and support foster families over the past 18 years. EWU's ICWRTC Director, Kim Fordham, facilitated an Idaho Advisory Resource Family Board, focusing on improving outcomes for families, children, youth and young adults served by the child welfare system. The Board worked to promote permanency and successful transition through community collaboration, dissemination of best practice tools and methodologies, and encouraging innovations that improved permanency, safety, and well-being outcomes for children, youth and young adults.

The ICWRTC continues to provide recruitment and retention services to the entire state of Idaho, and was recently awarded $1.14M for continued services through June 2016. Additionally, the ICWRTC has received $158,000 for Family Group Decision Making, and an additional $10,000 for Foster Care Licensing TEAM Support.

Totals funds received by the ICWRTC since July 2015 are $2.6M.


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