The United Indians ICW/Foster Care Support Program is a private agency which licenses and supervises foster homes for indigenous children throughout Western Washington. In addition to our licensing services, we provide ongoing support for caregivers of Native American foster children, offering support groups and opportunities for cultural connection. We also serve as advocates for foster parents, offering guidance and support throughout the licensing process, the paperwork, the required trainings, and beyond.

Foster Care Licensing

Our ICW/Foster Care Support Program is a Child Placing Agency contracted by the state of Washington to license homes for Native children in need of out-of-home placements in King County and along the I-5 corridor. We work with caregivers throughout the licensing process and beyond, guiding them through the necessary training, paperwork, and other elements in addition to providing ongoing support. We provide one-on-one attention to each family to ensure that all needs are met. While we are always looking for more Native foster parents, prospective foster parents do not have to be Native providing that they are committed to keeping their foster child(ren) culturally connected. 

Interested in becoming a foster parent? See if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Are over age 21 
  • Have a valid driver’s license 
  • Willing to undergo three background checks 
  • Are committed to keeping Native children culturally connected 
  • Meet minimum income requirements 
  • Are up to date with all vaccinations 
  • Have time to complete the required training hours 
    • 36 hours during the first three-year licensing period 
    • 30 hours during the second three-year licensing period 
    • 24 hours during all subsequent three-year licensing periods 

If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent, contact us! We’ll be in touch.  

Support Services

We provide ongoing foster care support as well as licensing. Pre-pandemic, we offered two monthly support groups for caretakers of Native foster children. These sessions would begin with a meal for families, and then would split into groups for the children and the caretakers. The caretakers would go to a training which provided credited training hours, such as a training on adverse child experiences (ACEs). Meanwhile, the children would engage in cultural activities such as hand drum making or powwow dancing led by a member of the Native community.  

During the pandemic, our support offerings have shifted to a hybrid virtual model called Daybreak Circle Time Connections. We gather on Zoom, with some sessions geared towards providing caretakers with credited training hours and others intended to promote cultural connection (even, or especially, in this time of isolation). Recent sessions have included discussions on the challenges of the holiday season for foster children, classes for the whole family on how to cook a traditional salmon dinner, and a virtual holiday party where we constructed gingerbread longhouses. If you’re interested in participating, contact us or keep an eye out on United Indians social media (Facebook/ Instagram / Twitter) for event notifications. 

Cultural Connections and Field Trips

Our primary goal is a program is to help Native foster children remain culturally connected. We organize special cultural events, such as an annual mini-powwow to help children and families learn about powwow culture while centering our youth. We also organize periodic culturally-centered family field trips, such as camping trips to learn about canoe journeys, or snowshoeing. Though these events have been on pause throughout the pandemic, we look forward to returning to them soon.  

Contact Us

Matthew Sam-Thornhill

t: (206) 285-4425 I C: (206)681-7447