The Foster Parents Association of Washington State (FPAWS) is a non-profit corporation chartered in 1973 providing support and services to foster families throughout the State of Washington. Our Association has evolved over the years to develop direct support for adoptive, foster and kinship parents as well as initiating legislative action for the betterment of foster and adoptive families.

In 1990. FPAWS was busy managing several State contracts including FIRST and the Liasons. Darlene Flowers was the Executive Director.

In 2005 FPAWS reorganized as an all-volunteer organization. Steve and Danielle Baxter were the Co-Presidents and reached out to Mike and Beth Canfield to return as Vice-Presidents.

Mary McGauhey, Tess Thomas, Dru Powers, Daryl Daugs and Jamie Belitz sat with Steve, Danielle, Beth, and Mike to build a new FPAWS. An FPAWS that would truly advocate and support caregivers. So, what could we do?

As volunteers with no real FPAWS income, this group had a goal to bring both sides of the State together for the good of the families and kids we all care about. We planned to take our Board to each of the 6 Regions once a year. If we were going to be driving all over the State, we decided to do some training. So, Board meetings on Friday night and training on Saturday. We named these Saturday training, “Mini-Conferences” wanting to bring a conference atmosphere to caregivers.

Our first event was in Spokane in the basement of Lutheran Social Services. We gathered in the morning made sandwiches for lunch. We had more Board members than attendees, but we were doing something we believed was needed.


To empower, to support and to advocate for foster, kinship, and adoptive families to enrich the quality of life for Washington State’s children in out-of-home or adoptive care.


800-391-2273 /