SCC RRC2 Kiaya Van Scoyoc prevented four teenage girls from being abducted on Sept. 5 in Spanaway.

The instinct to react in an instant is embedded deep within Kiaya Van Scoyoc.

That’s a benefit to society because the Special Commitment Center residential rehab counselor has found herself in such situations several times.

The most recent difference-making incident came Sept. 5 when she prevented three teenage girls from being abducted on a busy highway in Spanaway.

“When I look back, it happened so fast I don’t even recall having a fight or flight response,” Van Scoyoc said. “I didn’t hesitate to get involved. …


Seven in 10 Washingtonians will need long-term care, new earned benefit helps ensure residents can afford care when they need it

Contact:
Chris Wright
chris.wright@dshs.wa.gov

OLYMPIA, WA — Starting January 2022, Washingtonians will begin making contributions into the WA Cares Fund. The WA Cares Fund is a new long-term care insurance benefit workers earn, like Social Security, that can help people stay in their own homes as they age.

“Most people don’t think about long-term care early in life and only start to consider it in their 50s or 60s, when it is more expensive,” said Ben Veghte, PhD, Director…


DSHS Transforming Lives logo, black and white

Beginning in September, the Department of Social and Health Services will reduce its physical footprint in Clallam County. Customers will still have the same access to food, cash, medical assistance and other support services, online and via phone, as they have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the Forks Community Services Office will downsize and only provide emergent services in its existing space at 421 5th Ave.

The reduction in office space comes as the agency’s lease expires on Sept. 30. DSHS’ Community Services Division, which issues benefits and operates CSOs throughout Washington state, will sublet a small space and share…


Western State Hospital celebrates its 150-year anniversary this month

Contact: Tyler Hemstreet, DSHS Media Relations, 564–201–0027

LAKEWOOOD — Once tribal hunting grounds, a farm and a military outpost, the site of Western State Hospital has a unique and storied history.

Where woolly sheep once grazed across Puget Sound prairies, Western State Hospital now stands. Washington state’s first public behavioral health treatment facility celebrates its 150-year anniversary on Aug. 19.

“I am proud to be a part of the Behavioral Health Administration as we celebrate this historic milestone,” Behavioral Health Administration Assistant Secretary Kevin Bovenkamp said. …


Kerry Clark, plumber supervisor, left, with apprentice Caleb Cole. Photo courtesy of Esme Crosson.
Kerry Clark, plumber supervisor, left, with apprentice Caleb Cole. Photo courtesy of Esme Crosson.

Contact: Norah West, DSHS Media Relations, 360–489–5587

It’s been more than 18 months since the Department of Social and Health Services was approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council to launch its Trades Apprenticeship Program, only to be met head-on by a global pandemic. Despite the myriad challenges presented by COVID-19, the program got off the ground in September 2020 and now has its first three apprentices in place at its Medical Lake campus in eastern Washington, serving Lakeland Village and Eastern State Hospital. …


A young child stands on a short step ladder and uses white chalk to draw a rocket ship on a grey wall. A miniature schnauzer sits to the left of the child, watching.

Contact: Norah West
DSHS Office of Communications
(360) 489–5587

OLYMPIA — As Washington state’s summer hits its stride, some thoughts can’t help but wander toward a new school year. We are still living in uncertain times, and many families remain concerned about how they will support their children. The Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Child Support wants to remind parents this August, officially proclaimed as Child Support Awareness Month by Gov. Jay Inslee, that help is available.

The Division of Child Support helps parents pay and receive child support at little or no cost, and signing up…


In honor of Pride Month in June, the Behavioral Health Administration recognized Two-Spirit people. Two-Spirit is a term used by Native Americans and spans across western categorizations of gender, sex and sexuality, holding diverse cultural and individual meanings. Two-Spirit is also an umbrella term under lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, or LGBTQ+, that commonly refers to an individual who is Native American, regardless of gender, who combined activities of both men and women with traits unique to their status as Two-Spirit in their tribe.

Two-thirds of the 200 Native American languages spoken in North America are said to have…


When Tessa Bowen attended her first retreat at the Child Study and Treatment Center in the summer of 2020, what impacted her the most was hearing from other parents of the hospital’s pediatric patients.

“I was blown away by hearing the previous patients talk about ‘This was my experience, and I’m so much better for it’ because I just had so much guilt as parent,” said Bowen, describing how she felt admitting her then 8-year-old daughter for inpatient psychiatric care. …


Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Contact: Norah West, DSHS Media Relations, 360–489–5587

OLYMPIA — Over the course of the next three years, the Department of Social and Health Services will team up with school districts and the Washington State Interagency Fatherhood Council to educate teens and young adults about the financial, legal and emotional responsibilities of parenthood. DSHS’ Division of Child Support is among nine state agencies and two federally recognized tribes that were awarded $1 million grants by the Office of Child Support Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

“This is an exciting next step…


Outline of Washington state with the Department of Social and Health Services, Health Care Authority and Criminal Justice Training Center logos.

DSHS Office of Communications

Tyler Hemstreet

Tyler.hemstreet@dshs.wa.gov

(564) 201–0027

OLYMPIA — Washington state has now marked two years of progress in implementing a federal judge’s orders stemming from the Trueblood Contempt Settlement.

The state agencies tasked with implementing the orders — the Department of Social and Health Services, the Health Care Authority and the Criminal Justice Training Commission — are now setting their collective sights on applying the best practices learned during Phase 1 as Trueblood-required programs are implemented in King County, the focus of Phase 2, which began July 1.

The Trueblood vs. DSHS lawsuit challenges unconstitutional delays in…

Department of Social and Health Services

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