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During Parent Recognition Month each February, Washington State’s Department of Early Learning Strengthening Families Washington, in partnership with Seattle’s Child, honors 28 primary caregivers──parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, grandparents, guardians──who are an Unsung Hero to their families or their communities.

We honor each hero with a short bio that will be posted on Seattle's Child website and at a recognition event in late February.

Do you know a parent, primary caregiver, guardian, foster or adoptive parent or a grandparent who shows one or more of these strengths:

  • ability to bounce back from stress (parental resilience),
  • a strong support system (social connections),
  • understands their child’s developmental needs (knowledge of parenting and child development),
  • shows empathy and support towards their child’s feelings (social and emotional competence of children),
  • and not afraid to ask for help or receive help (concrete supports in times of need)?

All of those traits are called Protective Factors. Research has found that these five Protective Factors reduce stress and promote the well-being of families.

We are accepting nominations for the 2014 Unsung Heroes awards through Jan. 4, 2014. If you know of a primary caregiver whose outstanding work with their own family or in the community deserves recognition, tell us about them in the nomination form and submit it to us by email, fax or mail.

Strengthening Families Washington helps families strengthen family bonds, understand childhood development, cope with the challenge of parenting and develop positive discipline skills. Strong, connected families help children grow up healthy and ready to learn.

Dr. Bette Hyde is the director of Washington’s Department of Early Learning, the state agency is responsible for building a statewide early learning system. Find more information at

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