The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) has implemented changes to its Foster Family Program to provide more families with the opportunity to camp and enjoy parks.
The changes include a new streamlined application process, an official discount pass card for families to carry and an expansion of the program to include more qualifying families.
The Foster Family Pass gives Washington residents who provide out-of-home care – including foster parents, caregivers and kinship families – to a minor child access to free nightly camping (reservation processing fees still apply) and free day-use parking.
Parks is now accepting applications for the updated Foster Family Program.
Foster families were previously required to show their Washington State driver’s license and a foster license or caregiver ID card to prove they qualify for the program. However, this process excluded an estimated 48 percent of families who provide out-of-home care to children.
The new Foster Family Pass will open the program to kinship families. Now, families who provide out-of-home care to a child from their extended family will be able to enjoy this discount with their loved ones.
Families can still use the current system of proof until June 1, 2024. After that, they will need to apply for the new Foster Family Pass to participate.