IFCA - International Foster Care AllianceIFCA – International Foster Care Alliance http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news Connecting Youth, Caregivers, and Professionals Overseas Sun, 21 May 2017 23:20:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Join Us to Drum Up Funds for Foster Kids!! http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/316/ Sun, 21 May 2017 23:20:30 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=316 JOIN US TO DRUM UP FUNDS FOR FOSER KIDS

Friday, July 21, 2017

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Featuring Seattle Kokon Taiko Drummers and an Awesome Silent Auction

You can buy your tickets at: http://ifcaseattle.org/fundraiser2017/index.html

Tickets: $25 per person (Food and drinks will be provided.)


Join Us 2017

The US Alumni and Professional Team will be traveling to Japan! http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/310/ Sat, 04 Mar 2017 23:39:21 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=310 4 selected members from IFCA’s US Alumni and Professional Teams will arrive in Tokyo on 3/17 for their 10-day trip.

They will be collaborating and presenting in 5 events in 5 separate cities (Fuji City, Kyoto, Kita Kyushu, Fukuoka and Tokyo. )  Please see below for their itinerary and profiles.



Foster Care Forum in Fuji City – Shizuoka”  Sponsored and organized by Fuji-Nijinokai and IFCA

March 20th (Monday-Holiday in Japan) 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Venue: Fuji City Shobo Boen Chosha 7F Large Conference Room

Audience: foster youth/alumni, child welfare professionals, foster parents and their support professionals local/city/prefectural government officials

(Free Admission) 500 yen for handouts

ふじ虹の会 IFCAセミナー2017チラシ_Page_1ふじ虹の会 IFCAセミナー2017チラシ_Page_2

“Foster Care Symposium with Foster Care Research Association”

Hosted by Prof. Masako Nagase

March 22nd  (Wednesday) 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Venue: Bukkyo University  (Kyoto)

Audience: child welfare professionals and scholars


Dinner and Conference” with NPO Bokenou  https://www.facebook.com/QAdventure/

March 22nd (Wednesday)   6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Venue: Kitakyushu City Child Protection Services in Tobata

Audience: child welfare professionals, foster parents, facility staff, congressman/women from the city government, city administrators and students (about 20 people will attend)


Youth Rights and Youth Advocacy – KKB 2016 Final Session with Friends from IFCA”

March 23rd (Thursday)  Dinner and Seminar   6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Venue: Seinan Gakuin University Community Center, All Purpose Room 1-3

Admission: 1000 yen for handouts, 2000 yen for dinner

Audience: Child welfare professionals, foster parents and their support professionals, managers/staff from foster care facilities


Collaboration with Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT)   http://www.a-i-t.net/en/

Venue:  Twin Bldg. Daikanyama B-403, 30-8 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo


Taku Mineshita, MSW

Born in Japan. Earned a BA in Psychology from Lewis-Clark State College and coauthoured a paper as an undergraduate, “ Teenage Non-Violence Test: A New Measure of Non-Violence,” which was presented at the 1998 American Psychological Association Convention in San Francisco. Worked for Seattle Children’s Home, a psychiatric residential treatment facility offering comprehensive mental health services for youth who are among the most acute in the state of Washington from 2000 to 2009. Took on a variety of roles ending as Program Manager. Graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s of Social Work. From 2009 to 2014, served the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services [DSHS], Children’s Administration at the Office of Indian Child Welfare working with the American Indian and Alaska Native population. Currently, working as a Mental Health Systems Integration Program Administrator for the DSHS Children’s Administration Division of Program and Policy Development.

 Timothy Bell

Tim is a son of the State of Washington where he grew up in foster care for over six years before “aging out” at eighteen years old. Now, Tim is a Masters Degree Candidate in Public Affairs at the University of Washington’s Evans School. Additionally, Tim is an ally and adult supporter for the youth board in the state of Washington called Passion to Action, is a member of the Washington State chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America, and sits on a second board of directors at FosterClub. Formerly, Tim helped direct IFCA’s Youth and Alumni Programs before taking on a role with the Board. Throughout his life, Tim has had multiple periods of homelessness, struggled with mental health, and has witnessed his brothers and sisters from care experience poorer outcomes than their non-foster care peers. It is because of these struggles that he stands ready to help address the problems facing foster youth and foster families through his work on the International Foster Care Alliance Board of Directors.

Melissa Raap

Melissa Raap is the Counseling Services Coordinator for the University of Washington Champions Program. As the sole coordinator of the program, Melissa meets regularly with students, providing support through innovative programming and events. Prior to her work with the Champions Program, Melissa worked with Dr. Mark Courtney on the Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth Outcomes at Age 23 and 24 and in Austin, Texas with young adults who “aged out” of care. Melissa is currently an Adult Supporter of Passion to Action, a statewide youth-led advisory board to Washington State’s Children’s Administration and an ally member of the newly formed Foster Care Alumni of America, Washington Chapter. She is very happy to join the IFCA team as an Advisory Board member.

Daniel Lugo

Daniel Lugo has spent a little over three years in the Washington State foster care system. He was also born and raised in Washington State. After graduating from high school, he left for the University of Washington in Seattle. Initially, Daniel had little insight as to what sort of degree he wanted to get but half way through his sophomore year, Daniel decided to major in Political Science.

Daniel’s experience in the University of Washington has been quite the journey. After the first quarter of his freshman year, Daniel was sure that he wanted to be an astronomer. The universe seemed so open to exploration and discovery, which intrigued Daniel very much. However, after taking science and math classes, Daniel found that he wasn’t happy. Something felt missing. What he discovered is that he has a passion for helping others and everything else in the world around him. Nothing makes Daniel happier than to see a smiling face and knowing that he’s made a positive impact on the world. With that passion realized, Daniel decided to major in Political Science to hopefully get involved in politics some day.      Currently, Daniel is still attending classes at the University of Washington while also working part time. In his free time, Daniel also enjoys playing video games, watching movies and spending time with his loved ones. The small things in life are what matter the most to him and for that reason, he likes a slower paced lifestyle.



IFCA 11/3 Cultural Day Fundraiser to be Postponed http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/304/ Tue, 25 Oct 2016 22:10:42 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=304 Dear IFCA Supporters,

We have heard from many of you that our timing for the November 3rd fundraising event was not ideal.  We have decided to postpone the event until next spring.  We will let you know as soon as we have a new date.

In the meantime, our fundraising efforts will continue.  If you were planning to attend, we encourage you to donate your ticket money with the link below.  As a straight donation it is 100% tax deductible.

How about getting some Christmas shopping done early!  We are offering the auction items for sale at their retail price.  All proceeds will go directly to IFCA and you’ll be supporting a great cause while getting a head start on your shopping list.

Thank you for your continued support for IFCA.  We will be in touch.

IFCA Board Members = Taku, Tim, Melissa and Jenn


Click here to make a one time or monthly tax deductible donation. http://www.ifcaseattle.org/fundraiser2016/

Click here to browse auction items for sale. http://ifcaseattle.org/fundraiser2016/silent-auction/index.html 

IFCA Cultural Day Fundraiser http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/293/ Sun, 09 Oct 2016 00:48:25 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=293 Join US! IFCA Cultural Day Fundraiser In addition to the IFCA program, this year will be our first Silent Auction.

You can buy your tickets at: http://ifcaseattle.org/fundraiser2016/

Please RSVP at info@ifcaseattle.org and come to an event congratulating IFCA and thanking all of you for your generous support!

IFCA Alumni Members to Present at the 21st ISPCAN International Congress http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/287/ Fri, 19 Aug 2016 06:37:45 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=287 Janice Cole, Janell Braxton and S.Y. (IFCA US Foster Care Alumni Team) will be traveling to Calgary, Canada this next week to present at the 21st ISPCAN International Congress!!!
ジャニスとジャネル、そしてサンウォンがIFCAの米国ユースチームを代表して、来週末、ISPCAN (国際児童虐待防止学会)の第21回世界大会に登壇するため、カナダのカルガリーに出発します。Amy Salazar, Ph. D. (Social Development Research Group) will be presenting in the workshop with these three young presenters at this conference. Best of luck with your presentations. Safe travels!

From the conference web page: http://ispcan2016.com


AUGUST 28 to AUGUST 31, 2016

The 2016 Congress theme is “Protecting our Children, Protecting our Future”. It is expected to attract approximately 1200 -1500 delegates, with a major focus on attracting professionals from developing countries. We are looking forward to a stimulating event where we can come together from all corners of the world to consider how best to protect children from being maltreated and maximise their wellbeing.


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IFCA Alumni Team’s Abstract

<< Creating a trauma-informed workforce from the perspectives of youth and alumni of care >>

Too often, foster youth are defined by the problem behaviors they exhibit, without an understanding of the complex trauma that rests underneath the surface.

There are 415,129 U.S. youth in foster care and about 45,000 Japanese youth living in out-of-home placements – most in large, group home facilities. Youth in these two countries suffer from complicated emotions and trauma related to their past abuse and neglect, as well as from an astounding lack of quality mental health services available to them. In both countries, foster youth have considerably worse outcomes than youth who grow up in traditional home settings. To combat these outcomes, International Foster Care Alliance (IFCA) seeks to create a venue for foster care alumni, professionals, and caregivers to collaborate on how to better serve foster youth globally.

Through an interactive workshop, IFCA and Dr. Amy Salazar will share information about the rising use of trauma-informed trainings for professionals who support foster youth. In a twist on the usual style of presentation, our research expert will be joined by experts of a different kind: alumni of the Japanese and American foster care systems who have special insights into the policies and practices that most impact young people. Alumni of care from the U.S. and Japan will share their first hand experiences of foster care, under the framework of mental health and trauma, and facilitate activities and discussion with workshop participants on the value of adding youth perspective into mental health service provision. Ultimately, this workshop will argue that training a workforce to be trauma-informed is not enough. In order to best support this vulnerable population, mental health service providers and social workers should be educated on the unique challenges and barriers foster youth face so that they can become healthy members of a global community.

Janice Cole (International Foster Care Alliance), Amy Salazar (Social Development Research Group), Janell Braxton (International Foster Care Alliance), S. Y. (International Foster Care Alliance)

Topic Area: Mental Health

Session: W-10 » Workshop 10 (16:30 – Monday, 29th August)

IFCA Foster Care Alumni’s Schedule in September 2016 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/283/ Thu, 28 Jul 2016 18:52:42 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=283 TOMODACHI Foster Youth Leadership Program 

[Fall 2016 IFCA US Alumni Team’s Trip to Japan]

Date   Topics and Themes


9/2 Friday Leave Seattle


9/3 Saturday Arrive in Tokyo

Staying in Taitoku Ward, Tokyo, throughout the week.


9/4 Sunday Team Building Day” in Tokyo

“Team Dinner” with Japan Alumni Team


9/5 Monday




Foster Care Forum in Fuji City – Shizuoka

Sponsored and organized by Fuji-Nijinokai and IFCA

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM  Venue to be announced

Targeted Audience: foster youth/alumni, child welfare professionals, foster parents and their support professionals, local/city/prefectural government officials (Free Admission)


  • Using youth voice to improve child welfare
  • Adults’ roles in establishing foster youth’s permanency and in supporting youth during their transitioning period


9/6 Tuesday Site Visits 


9/7 Wednesday




Symposium on Youth Organizations in the US and Japan” Organized by IFCA and Japan Women’s University

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM   Nippon Foundation Building

Targeted Audience: leaders from foster youth serving organizations and NPOs, managers/staff from foster care facilities, child welfare professionals and scholars (Admission 1000 JPY. Expecting about 40 to 60 people)


  • Foster youth advocacy organizations youth serving organizations in the US [Mockingbird Youth Network, Passion to Action, UW Champions Program, FCAA, FosterClub, etc.]


9/8 Thursday




“Learning Collaborative with the Tokyo Metropolitan Child and Family Services (TPCFS) ”Hosted by the TPCFS

2:00 PM – 4:30 PM   TPCFS Building Conference Room

Targeted Audience: leaders from foster youth serving organizations and NPOs, managers/staff from foster care facilities, child welfare professionals and scholars (Free Admission. Expecting about 40 to 60 people)


  • IFCA’s youth programs
  • Your own experience in foster care
  • Advocacy and other activities as a foster youth/alumni
  • US foster care system and independent living programs
9/9 Friday Site Visits 
9/10 Saturday





1:30 pm – 4:30 PM  Futaba Preschool Hall

Targeted Audience: foster youth/alumni, child welfare professionals, foster parents and their support professionals, managers/staff from foster care facilities

(Admission 2000 JPY for adults, 500 JPY for students, free admission for foster youth/alumni.  Expecting 100 people)


< Services and Policies for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care in the US and Japan >

  • IFCA youth’s own experience in care, current circumstances and future challenges in both countries.


9/11 Sunday Return to Seattle



Our Tokyo Foster Care Alumni Team is Coming to Seattle for the Third Time!! http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/278/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 01:31:10 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=278 << NEWS RELEASE >>

Based in Seattle, International Foster Care Alliance [IFCA], is the only nonprofit organization that connects child welfare between the United States and Japan, and has foster care alumni teams in Seattle and Tokyo.

These two international teams visit each other’s country once a year.

IFCA’s Tokyo Alumni Team will be visiting for from 7/29 through 8/6 and will be engaged in a series of activities in the greater Seattle area and Oakland, California.

These 6 young people from the Tokyo area, aged 18 through 34, grew up in various settings in Japan, including baby nurseries, group and foster homes and independent support facilities.

Their profiles and life stories in both English and Japanese can be viewed from the IFCA alumni blog website.     http://ifcaseattle.org/youthandalumni/

In Japan, most foster children still live in large capacity group care facilities. The Japanese government is being pressured by the United Nations to move these children from institutions to more family-like settings such as foster and kinship homes.

The 6-member Japanese delegation is eager to learn about foster youth advocacy and independent living programs in the United States and to use this knowledge to reform the system used for children and youth in foster care in Japan.

Alumni members will visit foster youth and child welfare service agencies to learn how the systems work in this country and will talk with area foster youth, community leaders, social workers and foster parents.

The highlight of the trip is the Seattle and Tokyo Alumni Teams’ “International Child Welfare Learning Collaborative” at the University of Washington on Sunday July 31st, 2016.  For more information, please open this link.


Please spread the word about this event!

If you want to speak to our alumni members and/or if you want to know more about our organization, please feel free to email us at info@ifcaseattle.org  or call us at (206) 661-8225.

Thank you.

Miho Awazu, President, IFCA

International Foster Care Alliance [IFCA] 501 (C)3 ■ Connecting Youth, Caregivers and Professionals Overseaswww.ifcaseattle.org



Our First “International Child Welfare Learning Collaborative” Will Be Held at UW on Sunday 7/31 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/272/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:46:42 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=272
International Child Welfare Learning Collaborative


Purposes of the collaborative are:

  • To exchange information and knowledge about the US and Japan’s foster care systems, policies and practice.
  • To give IFCA’s young members opportunities to prepare their presentations and to present their own experiences and gathered information in a public environment.
  • To bring awareness of all participants that child welfare is a global issue that touches everyone’s lives.
  • To spread the word about the TOMODACHI-IFCA’s Foster Youth Leadership Program


Date:  Sunday, July 31st

Time: 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Venue:  University of Washington, Mary Gates Hall

Admission: Free [Handouts and snacks/drinks will be provided for the audience]

Facilitators: Janice Cole and Daniel Lugo


11:45 AM              Lunch and Event Preparation [All alumni members and professional speakers will be provided with catered lunches.  Alumni members are requested to come on time to set up the classroom.]

12:00 PM            Event guests sign in at the door. 


IFCA US Japan Foster Care Alumni Teams’ Presentations:

12:30 PM              Mission and Goals of IFCA by Chihiro Sato

12:35 PM              Presentation on the Japanese Foster Care System by Yusuke Nakahara and Susumu Yamanouchi

1:05 PM                 Report on the IFCA Japan Team’s Current Advocacy and Other Activities

by Chihiro Sato and Yasuharu Tsutsui

1:20 PM                 IFCA’s Impact on Alumni Members by Daniel Lugo, Sang-Won Yu and Janell Braxton

1:30 PM   Break (10 Minutes)


Child Welfare Professionals’ Presentations:

1:40 PM                 Dee Wilson-Overview of the US and Washington State Foster Care Systems

2:40 PM                 Carol Overbeck –The US Children’s Bureau and the Principle of Data Driven Child Welfare Practice

3:20 PM                 Larry Nelson –Roles and Responsibilities of Child Protection Social Worker

4:00 PM   Break (10 Minutes)


Alumni Panel Discussion:

4:10 PM                 Panelists [Michael Adams, Thalia Garcia, Alissa Neuman, Yukako Numata and

Tatsuki Takahashi ]

4:40 PM   Clean up


International Foster Care Alliance [IFCA] www.ifcaseattle.org ■  6542 4th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117 ■ 1-888-447-IFCA  info@ifcaseattle.org

This project is supported by the TOMODACHI Initiative’s generous grant and partnership.  




IFCA Youth Publication Vol. 4 is Now Available http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/268/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 00:36:42 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=268 This issue opens with an essay by Yasuharu who represented his country to attend the Inaugural International Conference on the Legal Issues of Street Youth in London.  He was one of the few participants who spoke about the problems of street youth from the perspective of youth in foster care.

In this issue, you will also find two essays (Susumu and Daniel) that address the resource issue of higher education in both the US and Japan.

In our Youth Publications, foster care alumni talk about how they grow up in care. This issue features Jacob’s reflection on his experiences in foster care written in a vivid and detailed account.

IFCA’s Youth Programs include youth advocacy in which foster youth members use their own voices to raise awareness of issues surrounding foster care in the US and Japan and to propose solutions to the problems and difficulties that youth face in both countries.  In this publication, the Japanese Alumni Team members’ proposal to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is introduced in its entirety.

If you would like a copy of the publication, please contact us at info@ifcaseattle.org

[IFCA Editorial Team]


IFCA YP 4 Screen Shot

Shannon Dorsey, Ph.D. Will Be Conducting a 3-day TF-CBT Workshop in Tokyo from April 8th, 2016 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/all/259/ Fri, 11 Mar 2016 23:48:29 +0000 http://www.ifcaseattle.org/news/?p=259 IFCA is excited to announce that Shannon Dorsey, Ph.D. (University of Washington) will be providing 40 Japanese clinicians with a 3-day introductory TF-CBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) workshop in Tokyo on 4/8, 4/9, and 4/10.

Following the very successful 3-day TF-CBT Workshop by Monica Fitzgerald, Ph.D. (University of Colorado) in February 2016, Dr. Dorsey’s workshop will be the second TF-CBT workshop that IFCA is sponsoring this year.

Dr. Dorsey and some of Dr. Fitzgerald’s workshop recipients will be receiving 12-week online consultation by David Hong, Psy. D. from Uptown Psychology Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information about David, please see the following link: Dr. David Hong



Shannon Dorsey, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. Her research is on evidence-based treatments (EBT) for children and adolescents, with a particular focus on dissemination and implementation of EBT domestically and internationally.  Her work has often focused on Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), with hybrid research designs that include both effectiveness and implementation questions. Research has focused on adaptation for unique populations (e.g., foster care) and on training and supervision strategies to deliver TF-CBT and other EBT.  Dr. Dorsey is a Principal Investigator on two NIH-funded randomized controlled trials (RCT) involving TF-CBT, both of which include implementation and clinical outcome research questions. The first, in Washington State, studies the role of supervisors in public mental health settings in supporting EBT with clinicians under their supervision. It includes both a descriptive study of common supervision practices and a RCT of supervision strategies. The second, in Tanzania and Kenya, is a RCT of TF-CBT using a task-shifting/task-sharing model in which lay counselors, with little to no prior mental health training, deliver group-based TF-CBT to children and adolescents who have experienced the death of one or both parents, under close supervision by local supervisors, themselves supervised by TF-CBT experts. Dr. Dorsey is also involved in common elements EBT training initiatives and research both in Washington State and internationally, in low and middle income countries. With colleagues at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, she is involved in RCT and feasibility studies in Southern Iraq, the Thailand-Burma border, Colombia, Zambia, and Ethiopia.