Regional Support

Region 3

Welcome! You’re in Region 3, which includes Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties. 

Mentors help you by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences, and connecting you to regional and state resources.  They are experienced caregivers who are familiar with the supports and services available in your region. Mentors are generalists who can help all types of caregivers statewide find the resources and support they need for successful placements. Mentors do not  offer legal, medical, or mental health advice.

Deshanna Brown

CaRES Mentor Region 3, 4, & Culturally Conscious Caregiving Specialist
dbrown27@uw.edu

Deshanna has been working in the Foster Care field in various roles for six-plus years. She has been a visit supervisor, a case manager, and is a current volunteer Child Appointed Advocate in Pierce county. Most recently, she worked at Amara as a Foster Care Specialist. Along with these roles within the system, she is also a kinship caregiver. Deshanna’s passion for working with children and families in foster care comes from her drive to help every child find permanency. She loves helping families find the resources they need to help a child in their home thrive and helping foster parents and kinship caregivers navigate the world of foster care. 

Raelyn CookRae Cook

rcook3@uw.edu
CaRES Mentor Region 3

Rae and her family have been a licensed foster and adoptive home for seven years, and were able to adopt their son in winter 2018. Rae began volunteering to speak on foster parent panels and with her local foster community groups. She was also able to be one of the original satellite families that formed a Mockingbird Family model in her area. She has dedicated herself to building a community of support to all foster families.

Stephanie Reid

sdreid@uw.edu
CaRES Mentor Region 3

Stephanie and her family have been fostering since 2018 but were introduced to kinship care in 2014.  She has worked in communication for the last 15 years and holds a Bachelors degree in Social Science. She also worked in a foster care receiving shelter, as a volunteer grief group facilitator, and is active in advocacy for rare disease research and support. Stephanie has experience caring for medically fragile children, kinship care, transracial adoption, and child loss. As the wife of a retired veteran, she understands the ins and outs of military life. Stephanie is passionate about supporting children in the foster care system as well as their families and understands the value of foster parents being seen and heard members of the team.
Stephanie is a mother through biology, adoption, and foster care. Most of her free time is spent with her husband and four daughters.

We know relatives and foster parents feel more successful in their journey when they are connected to others who “get it.”  That is why Alliance CaRES is in the community to help you get connected with local foster and kinship families to share common challenges, feel heard, and solve problems.

CaRES Connectors are foster and kinship caregivers themselves; they organize in-person events and community groups to bring families together for support, resource sharing, and connection. You might even build a new respite opportunity! Meet your region’s Connectors below.

Sarah 
CaRES Connector
Snohomish and Skagit Counties

 

June

(6/22) Camano Island Event

Hike & Play at Iverson Spit Preserve on Camano Island

Join CaRES Connector Sarah and other local foster and kinship families at 10am for a short, fun family hike. Or meet us at the beach afterwards to play and chat. Pack a lunch or snacks and bring along some beach toys if you’d like. Meet Sarah in the parking lot at 10:00 am. 

Hike the Hobbit Trail  

The Hobbit Trail is an approximately 1-mile (roundtrip) easy hike through a thicket of moss-covered trees and bushes leading out to the canal with views of the Sound. Whimsical characters are hidden all throughout the trail!

Beach Time

Following our hike, we will head to the beach where we can visit and play.

RSVP: Appreciated but not required. caresarlington@gmail.com 507-358-1328

DIRECTIONS

From I-5, take Exit 212 and head west for 10 miles on Highway 532. Pass through Stanwood and cross the bridge onto Camano Island. Stay left on East North Camano Drive. At the light turn left on Sunrise Boulevard and go 2.5 miles. Turn left on Iverson Beach Road, turn left at a T intersection, and head downhill. Make another left at the next intersection and drive to the preserve at the end of the road.

Caregiver Continuing Education (CCE)

Visit the Caregiver Continuing Education (CCE) webpage to learn more about the ongoing training requirements to maintain your home’s foster license and find training recommendations. 

Topic Support Groups

Topic-based conversations bring caregivers with similar needs together to find solutions while earning training credit. Caregivers’ knowledge is the foundation for shared problem-solving and self-advocacy skills.
Check the calendar below for current listings or, for a complete list of our Topic Support Groups, click here.

Join us for a CaRES Book Club!

Big Baffling Behaviors Book Club, Introduction: This 2-week book club is an introduction to the concepts detailed in Robyn Gobbel’s book, “Raising Kids with Big Baffling Behaviors.” The weekly discussions are focused on section one of the book. Throughout the guided conversations, you will have the chance to consider how the neuroscience of behavior can help you better understand your child’s actions and needs. This book club is an encouraging and welcoming space for foster parents and kinship caregivers to engage in foundational learning about trauma, behavior, connection, and regulation. Participants may participate in this group as a mini-book club or as the pre-requisite for the Topic Support Group: Big Baffling Behaviors Book Club, Continued. Register here!

And

Big Baffling Behaviors Book Club, Continuing: This 4-week book club is an extension of the Topic Support Group: Big Baffling Behaviors Book Club, Introduction. The weekly discussions will cover sections 2 and 3 of Robyn Gobbel’s book, “Raising Kids with Big Baffling Behaviors.” Throughout the guided discussions, you will have the chance to consider how the concepts of the Owl, Watchdog, and Possum brains impact your child’s behaviors, develop parenting strategies tailored to your home, and build your own self-regulation toolkit. This book club is an encouraging and welcoming space for foster parents and kinship caregivers to engage in the next step in peer-to-peer support, problem-solving, and learning facilitated by a TBRI practitioner or CaRES Mentor. Register here!

Most of these are available to foster and kinship families, some require proof of caregiver status, usually in the form of a foster care license. This is noted whenever we are aware of it. The Alliance CaRES program does not support or endorse any of the listed items; they are compiled for your convenience. We make every effort to keep these up-to-date, if you know of a correction or an item not listed, please let us know by emailing notifycares@uw.edu

Click here for resources available statewide, guides for licensure, and more.

Check out these places in your area that offer discounts or free opportunities or items to families in the care system: 

Blue Skies for Children: Blue Skies for Kids offers a Little Wishes enrichment program which provides ongoing financial support of extracurricular activities for children in youth in foster care. They also offer one-time Little Wishes which fund special items like camp registration, bicycles or school related equipment which children need to thrive. They also have an instrument loaner program, a shoe and backpack distribution and the Winter Warm-Up program which offers warm clothing to foster youth in need. The child must reside in Whatcom or Skagit County and be aged 6-18.

Clothes for Kids: Clothes for Kids in a clothing closet located in Lynnwood which provides clothing for children ages 4-18. Children should reside or attend school in Snohomish County or the Northshore School District.

Foster Hearts: Foster Hearts provides apparel, shoes, coats, hygiene products, toys, bedding and supplies for infants, children and youth and those in Extended Foster Care residing in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Island and San Juan counties. The Foster Hearts Store is in Bellingham. They also offer foster and kinship families beds or other donated furniture on a case-by-case basis if needed. 

Kids First: Kids First serves children placed in Island and San Juan counties with gift boxes, birthday and holiday gifts or special gifts such as bicycles or funding for a back-to-school outfit. They also provide sponsorships for extracurricular activities on a case-by-case basis. 

Skagit Children’s Museum: Children in out of home care and their caretakers are offered admission to the Skagit Children’s Museum at a discounted rate of $3.00 per person, for up to 4 people. This is also available for children and families across the state.

Snohomish Aquatic Center: Snohomish Aquatic Center provides scholarships for swimming lessons for children in out of home care, which covers 20%-50% of the cost for lessons.

The Treasure Chest: The Treasure Chest is a kids’ clothing closet located inside Cascade Community Church in Monroe. It is open to shop weekly by foster, kinship and post-permanency families and stocks children’s clothing size newborn through youth 12/14.

Mentors and Specialists can help you by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences, and connecting you to regional and state resources. Specialists can help caregivers by providing emotional support, sharing their experiences, and connecting them to resources.  They have an area of dedicated knowledge that may be especially important for a caregiver looking for understanding.  Mentors and Specialists do not  offer legal, medical, or mental health advice.

Camille Hereth

CaRES Trauma-Informed Caregiving Specialist

Camille has worked in foster care for over 16 years in many different capacities, including being a foster parent, a foster home licensor, providing in home counseling to foster kids, and teaching evidence based parenting classes to foster parents and post adoptive parents. Camille is passionate about supporting families with newborns, helping people understand how trauma impacts function, and supporting families who have children that are neurodivergent.

Christa Murray

Permanency Specialist
christa6@uw.edu

The time spent in kinship care as a youth, started Christa’s awareness for the needs of families within the foster care system and opened her heart to becoming a foster parent. Christa has received support and encouragement from many during her foster/adoptive mom journey. She is honored to be able to help others as they navigate the system. Christa has written several articles on supporting foster children in child care. Her family spends much of their time exploring the outdoors or cozily tucked inside reading.

Christina Urtasun

CaRES Statewide Mentor
Curtasun@uw.edu

Christina has been a licensed foster parent, in Oak Harbor, for twenty years. She has been involved in many aspects of the foster care community including providing liaison services with Fostering Together program for 13 years and being a co-trainer with the Alliance for Child Welfare. Christina is excited to join the Alliance CaRES program as a mentor so she can continue supporting and encouraging families as well as help them navigate the system. Christina has four sons and one daughter. In her spare time, Christina loves to be hiking, camping, reading, and spending time with her family.

Deshanna Brown

CaRES Mentor Region 3, 4, & Culturally Conscious Caregiving Specialist
dbrown27@uw.edu

Deshanna has been working in the Foster Care field in various roles for six-plus years. She has been a visit supervisor, a case manager, and is a current volunteer Child Appointed Advocate in Pierce county. Most recently, she worked at Amara as a Foster Care Specialist. Along with these roles within the system, she is also a kinship caregiver. Deshanna’s passion for working with children and families in foster care comes from her drive to help every child find permanency. She loves helping families find the resources they need to help a child in their home thrive and helping foster parents and kinship caregivers navigate the world of foster care.

Nathan LaChine
CaRES Mentor Region 5, 6, & LGBTQIA+ Community Specialist
nlachine@uw.edu
Nathan has been a therapeutic foster parent with Community Youth Services serving BRS Youth for the past 16 years. He has held a variety of roles within the foster care community and has been a strong advocate within the LGBTQ2IA+ community. Through his teaching and public speaking, Nathan hopes to elevate and provide a voice for system involved families.

Sylvia Cardenas

CaRES Mentor Region 2 & Spanish Speaking Community Specialist
sylviac1@uw.edu
Sylvia holds a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. A lifelong resident of Eastern Washington, she embraces the diverse range of outdoor activities the region offers. In 2017, Sylvia and her husband assumed the role of kinship caregivers, sparking a deep commitment to make a positive impact. Motivated by this experience, they both chose to become licensed foster parents. Recognizing a specific need within limited English-speaking communities, she has taken on role as a mentor, specializing in assisting monolingual Spanish-speaking individuals.

Would you like to have one of our wonderful mentors reach out to you for individualized support? Send us an email or leave a voice mail with your contact information, a sentence or two about what general areas you need support in, and if you need language support or interpretation.  

If you are sending a referral on behalf of a caregiver, please also let us know if they are expecting a call from us. Mentors will respond within 48 hours.

alliancecares@uw.edu or call 206-221-4913

If you are a caregiver going through an investigation, be sure to visit our page on support for allegations and investigations.

If you are a caregiver experiencing challenges in your fostering journey, visit our page on caregiver challenges for training suggestions. 

Never Miss an Event with CaRES: To add the Region 3 Calendar to your personal Google Calendar, click on the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the calendar. This will open your personal Google Calendar webpage and give you the option to add the CaRES event calendars for this region and the state.

The Alliance CaRES offices are closed Monday, September 4th, in observance of Labor Day. Thank you caregivers, social workers, and staff for all you do to care for families, youth, and children!