• Nutrition

  • Parenting

  • Breastfeeding

  • Car Seats

  • Childcare

  • Food Banks

  • Clothing, Furniture, & Toys

  • Cribs & Safe Sleep

  • Financial Assistance

  • Housing & Homelessness Prevention

  • Transportation

  • Recovery Programs

  • Pediatric Dental Care

  • Donation Opportunities

  • Consumer Products & Recalls

  • Fun Things to Do with Your Kids!




Research shows that no better food than breast milk exists for your baby’s first year of life.  Although breastfeeding isn't the only feeding option, it does provide many benefits to both you and your baby. Ask your case manager about breastfeeding, and check out these helpful websites:


Learn the basics of breastfeeding and get answers to frequently asked questions. Ameda also has a Mom’s Community where you can sign up to swap stories, share tips, and receive support from their community of “BFF’s” – Breastfeeding Friends.  http://www.ameda.com


Babycenter.com will walk you through tips and tricks as your baby grows, so that you can breastfeed effectively, including lists of things to eat that will help you and your baby’s nutrition! http://www.babycenter.com/breastfeeding


Breastfeeding.Com - this site has lots of great answers to questions submitted by real moms. http://www.breastfeeding.com/breastfeeding-questions.aspx


U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Women’s Health - Breastfeeding. This site will help you understand the benefits of breastfeeding. It also has great information for what to do if you feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, or what to do when you have to go back to work. http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/




You want what's best for you and your baby. Your nutrition affects your baby's health and growth both during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. Start with the basics in pregnancy nutrition. Understanding what foods to eat and what foods to avoid during your pregnancy can help you make healthy choices for you and your baby.


The Bump - From the ins and outs of prenatal vitamins and safe weight gain to exercising without overdoing it and making smart food choices, get the info you need to feel your best during your pregnancy.  http://pregnant.thebump.com/pregnancy/nutrition-exercise.aspx

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Car Seats & Safety

A child safety seat may not protect your child in a crash, if it isn't used correctly and installed properly in your vehicle. Take a minute to check to be sure. 

See Below for some great information on car seat safety, from Mary Bridge, including how to choose the proper seat for your child.



Child Restraint Laws

Every state and country has its own child restraint laws.  In the state of Washington, RCW 46.61.687 requires:

  • Vehicle occupants of any age must be restrained properly. The driver is held responsible for properly securing all passengers under the age of 16.

  • Children under age 13 must ride in the back seat, whenever practical to do so.

  • Children must ride in an appropriate car safety seat until they reach age 8 or 4’9” tall, whichever comes first. Car safety seats (i.e. car seats or booster seats) must be used according the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Children who have reached age 8 or 4’9” tall may ride in an adult seat belt IF it fits properly (see “Seat Belt Readiness Test - Step 4" below). If the seat belt cannot be adjusted properly on the child’s body, continue to use a car safety seat until it does.

Choosing the Right Seat

Washington law does not offer specific suggestions for when it is safe to move a child from one type of car seat to another.  Click here for 5 steps that reflect current “best practice” recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.



There are many different resources in Washington State for childcare. Find Childcare near you offered through the following resources, programs, and organizations:


Find childcare near you with this generic on-line resource finder: http://www.care.com/


City of Tacoma – Child Care Resources




DSHS - Child Care Subsidy Program & Seasonal Care

The Working Connections Child Care program pays for child care subsidies to eligible households with parents who are working or are participating in a DSHS approved work activity and whose children meet citizenship requirements.

The Seasonal Child Care program pays for child care subsidies to eligible seasonally employed agricultural families who live in designated counties and are not receiving TANF benefits.  http://www.dshs.wa.gov/onlinecso/wccc.shtml

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Child Care Resources (CCR) helps families in challenging situations find answers to child care questions. Parents who work evenings or weekends, children with special needs, families struggling to manage the cost of care and homeless families can all find personalized and in-depth information, referrals and help. Parents can access our internet database 24 hours a day — allowing them to look for care when it is convenient. http://www.childcare.org/

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Step By Step offers a variety of Life Skills and Parenting classes to our clients. Contact your case manager about finding a mentor and/or signing up for a class. Here are some additional resources for parents and families:

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Love and Logic Institute

This parenting philosophy empowers parents to give their children choices and let them experience the consequences of those choices, ultimately teaching children to take responsibility for their own actions. Find articles and more on how to raise your kids with Love and Logic at www.loveandlogic.com

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The Family Help Line is a toll-free phone line for parents and caregivers in Washington State. Family Help Line parenting coaches are available Monday - Friday, from 9am to 5pm. Press "2" to speak with a parenting coach or to leave a message. Our statewide resource database is available 24/7 by visiting www.parenttrust.org

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Zero to Three offers practical information to parents seeking to make good choices. Find online resources on sleep, play, brain development and much more on their website: http://www.zerotothree.org/


Wonder Moms is a project by three moms to share real talk, helpful information, and practical advice with parents of kids who have intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, autism, language and speech delays, deafness, chronic illness, and traumatic brain injury.



Cribs & Safe Sleep

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS for short), is the leading cause of death among infants under the age of one in the United States, claiming the lives of over 2,500 babies every year. SIDS is not an illness or disease, rather it is the diagnosis given when an infant dies suddenly without an apparent cause. The rate of SIDS has decreased by 50% in the last decade, however, thanks to parents who have learned a few simple steps to helping their child sleep safely.

Don’t have a crib? Contact your case manager to see if we have donated certified cribs on hand. When you receive your crib, your case manager will give you a brief safety course on how to set it up and use it safely.



The Northwest Infant Survivle and SIDS Alliance NISSA has good information on safe sleep for infants:

Click here for Safe Sleep Tips, FAQs, and Recommendations


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Financial Assistance

Step By Step has limited funds for special assistance in the event that you need help in a small way such as diapers, food, a bus pass, a car repair, etc. Contact your case manager if you are dealing with a minor emergency to see if you are eligible. You can also contact the following organizations for financial assistance in various areas.

Tacoma Power Aid

Single individuals and families who are customers of Tacoma Public Utilities may be eligible to receive energy assistance through Associated Ministries.

Eligibility guidelines are as follows:

You must be a customer of Tacoma Public Utilities; Must meet household income requirements.

See their website for more information. Assistance will pay for electrical charges, deposits, reconnect charges, and late charges; fund does not cover meter tampering charges. Individuals who have already received utility assistance from Family Needs or LIHEAP funds in the last twelve months do not qualify for the Tacoma Power Aid grant. Individuals will also learn ways to conserve energy and will be given additional resource referrals. 






Many community organizations offer resources for food. This page lists several resources within the counties we serve. You can also contact your case manager. She may have grocery vouchers or food bags available or can direct you to another community resource near you.


Food Lifeline features a comprehensive website that lists organizations throughout the Northwest that offer food banks or have food distribution centers. You can search by city and county.



Use the Resource Finder on the website of Parent Help 123 to find a food bank in your area. https://resources.parenthelp123.org/service/food-banks


F.I.S.H is located in Puyallup Valley. To request food, call (253) 848-5240 for an appointment. They serve the following zip codes: 98352, 98371, 98372, 98373, 98374, 98375, or 98360 http://www.puyallupfoodbank.org/


Clothing, Furniture, & Toys

Step by Step receives hundreds of donation each year, including baby and maternity clothes, toys, and home furnishings. We store these donations in several areas across Pierce and King counties. Contact your case manager for information on locations and times. If you are not connected with our programs and don’t have a case manager, call our office for a referral: 1-888-996-0903

Here are a few other local resources that offer clothing and furniture:


NW Furniture Bank provides home furnishings through Pierce County agencies. NWFB can furnish your entire home for only $50. NWFB only provides furniture to the clients of caseworkers, or to the victims of disasters. Your case manager can help you connect with this resource! http://nwfurniturebank.org/


St. Francis House in Puyallup offers a number of services including a clothing and furniture bank.  www.saintfrancishouse.net/programs.html


Care Net also offers resources for baby and maternity clothes, blankets, cribs and other home furnishings. For more information, contact the Care Net nearest you. https://www.care-net.org/

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Toy Rescue Mission in Tacoma understands that toys are the TOOLS children need to carry out their all-important “task” of playing. The act of playing is as important to a child’s emotional and mental development and well-being as food and shelter are to their physical well-being. To this end, TRM provides toys and gifts to children in difficult circumstances. All toys are clean and useable.

Families with Medical Coupons are eligible to receive Birthday and Christmas gifts from TRM for each child on the Coupon. You must bring your coupon(s) with you to TRM when obtaining gifts as proof of eligibility. Birthdays: Each child receives 3 gifts PLUS 1 stuffed animal, 3 books, gift wrap, and party decorations. Christmas: Each child receives 3 gifts PLUS 1 stuffed animal, 3 books, stocking stuffers, hand-made stockings, gift wrap, bows, and decorations. For more information, call (253) 460-6711 or visit their website: http://toyrescuemission.org


The Sharehouse helps turn housing into homes by providing the most basic necessities such as beds, linens, and dishes. Fees are based on income, with a sliding scale up to $75. 

The Sharehouse receives and picks up still-useful furniture, beds, bed linens, dishes, small appliances, pots and pans, personal hygiene products — nearly anything a person or family needs to set up a new home. We then distribute those donated items to families and individuals who are re-establishing a household after a period of homelessness.


Contact your case manager about receiving items from The Sharehouse.



If you need help finding transportation to work or medical appointments, see the resources below that can help you through their programs.



Paratransit for Medical Appointments - Do you have a medical coupon, lack a bus pass, and need a ride? Paratransit provides shuttle rides to and from doctor, dental, and other medical appointments. Call 1-800-925-5438 for Pierce County to request a ride 48 hours before your appointment. Paratransit also provides rides to the emergency room in an emergency situation. Two parents may accompany a child.



Hope Link, in partnership with DSHS, coordinates transportation to and from medical appointments for low income residents on Medicaid assistance. Hopelink arranges the most appropriate, least costly method of transportation. http://www.hope-link.org/get_help/transportation


Recovery Programs:

These Recovery Programs offer services for people with any addictive behavior that causes their life to become unmanageable as well as for those who are affected by the destructive behavior of others. You are not alone. Over 1,000,000 individuals seek help in a recovery program every year.


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Celebrate Recovery is not just for people with alcohol or drug problems. Celebrate Recovery is for people with any addictive behavior that causes their life to become unmanageable. Celebrate Recovery is also for those who are affected by the destructive behavior of others. Small support groups meet weekly, led by volunteers who provide guidance on the journey of recovery.

 To find a Celebrate Recovery group in your area, http://www.celebraterecovery.com/

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Crystal Judson Family Justice Center

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior used by an individual to establish and maintain power and control over another individual. The Family Justice Center is here to help you. A variety of social service and government agencies have joined together to offer help and assistance as you determine your next steps. Call the Helpline (253) 798-4166 or visit the Center to get the help and support you need for you and your children. Learn more by visiting the website:www.aPlaceofHelp.org

Getting Help to Quit Smoking

Secondhand Smoke Can Make Children Suffer Serious Health Risks

Washington State Department of Health
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance plans offer programs to help you quit tobacco. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). You will receive one call with a quit counselor to set up a plan to help you quit or stay quit. If you are over age 18 you can also request self-help materials by mail. Callers with an Apple Health plan qualify for up to five calls to the quitline and free nicotine patches or gum.

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Most group plans must now cover tobacco counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and related medications with no out-of-pocket costs. Some plans use an in-network approved health provider and pharmacy. Other plans use a quitline such as the Quit for Life® program or an internal wellness program.


DSHS: Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery  

Washington Recovery Help Line: 24-hour emotional support, referrals and information for adults and teens.  Toll-free: 1-866-789-1511 or visit http://www.dshs.wa.gov/DBHR/


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Northwest Family Life Learning & Counseling Center helps individuals and families in King County heal from the pain of domestic violence and related issues. Their services include counseling, advocacy, intervention and education. Their offices are located in Federal Way and Seattle. For more information, visit their website. In the event of a crisis, they offer a 24-hour crisis hotline: 1-866-4CRISIS or 1-866-427-4747 Visit them on-line:  http://northwestfamilylife.org/

Oxford Houses of Washington State is a group of self-run, self-supported recovery houses that provide an opportunity for every recovering individual to learn a clean and sober way of life–forever. http://wa.oxfordhouse.us


Housing & Homeless Prevention:

We offer homeless prevention and transitional housing assistance through our housing program. Contact your case manager to find out if you are eligible for help and if we have openings in our housing programs. 

Don't have a case manager? Call our office at 253-896-0903 for a referral.

Here are other housing programs available in the local area:


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New Phoebe House provides housing, services, and support to Pierce County mothers and children impacted by substance abuse, primarily methamphetamine. Women may live with their children for up to 2 years in this 9-bedroom home in Tacoma. Each resident benefits from weekly case management, classroom education, mentoring, group process, self-assessment and individual learning modules. New Phoebe helps women achieve and maintain reunification through healing, self-sufficiency, and clean and sober living. Learn more by visiting the website: http://www.newphoebehouse.org


For over twenty-five years, New Beginnings Home has been available to help young mothers who have chosen life for their babies. Do you know someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy who perhaps is alone, rejected or just needs a place to live? New Beginnings is a safe haven where unconditional love and friendship are the norm and woman can plan what is best for themselves and their babies while having their physical and emotional needs cared for. http://www.newbeginningshome.org/

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The Tacoma Rescue Mission offers a number of shelters, facilities, and housing options. To see a list of their facilities click here https://www.trm.org/our-work/someone-i-know-needs-help/

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Associated Ministries offers emergency shelters and homeless prevention programs. Click here to learn more: http://associatedministries.org/ap4h/

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Safe Families offers housing options for children whose families are in crisis and/or facing homelessness for an average of 6 weeks through host families. The goal of the Safe Families project is to reunite children with their biological parent in a home that is more stable and healthy. Ages of children accepted is 0-18 with a concentration on ages 0-6. http://www.safe-families.org/

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Pediatric Dental Care:

These dental offices in Puyallup, Tukwila, and Tacoma provide free services or accept state medical and coupons. You do not need a pediatrician referral to be seen! 


Puyallup Valley Dental has teamed up with Step By Step and Medical Teams International to host free dental service days at our main office location, for our client moms and their families. If you are a Step By Step client, check with your case manager to see when the next free clinic is scheduled.



Kid's Choice Dental
9317 113th St East, Suite A
Puyallup, WA 98373


North Tacoma Pediatric Dentistry
3402 S. 18th St. Suite B
Tacoma, WA 98405


Southcenter Pediatric Dentistry
505 Strander Blvd.
Tukwila, WA 98188


Donation Opportunities

The following organizations offer resources, education, and donation opportunities to new parents.

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The Cord Blood Center

Want to help save the lives of those battling cancer and other life threatening illnesses? Donating cord blood can help families and researchers. If a mother qualifies, the umbilical cord processing and storage is free and can protect a child from over 80 different diseases. In the next several years, researchers will find new ways to treat even more conditions. Learn more at www.cordbloodguide.com

Consumer Products & Recalls:

Is your crib, car seat, and baby stroller safe? Learn more about these and many other products. The following resources can help you stay informed and keep you and your family safe.


Consumer Dangers strives to provide a comprehensive free resource for the public to learn more about defective children's devices such as baby strollers, high chairs, and drop side cribs that can potentially cause harm and even death. Click here for more information about these and other products and recalls www.consumerdangers.com/products/

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Fun Things To Do With Your Kids:

Here are a few fun things to enjoy with your kids, without breaking the bank!

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Reading with your kids is great, and professionals suggest taking 15-20 minutes every day to sit down and read a book with your child. Reading helps your kids learn and develop more quickly and will dramatically help them prepare for school in their later years.

Connect with your local library! They can supply you with books for every age and reading level. They also have lots of free fun activities to do with your kids on-line, at the library, and in your community!

Pierce County Library

King County Library

Snohomish County Library

Just for Fun:

Check out these educational, fun and wacky websites through the Pierce County Library! Check back often to see what's new.


You can also get free passes to Tacoma's Museums through your local library! Visit them on-line for more details!

The Glass Pass - Tacoma Glass Museum is your ticket to contemporary glass art. Watch artists in action in the hot shop amphitheater, and see changing and permanent exhibitions in the galleries. Create your own glass art or participate in a family-friendly art activity in the education studio

The Art Access Pass - Tacoma Art Museum and the world of art. Discover paintings, prints, sculptures, art-making activities and so much more.

The History Pass - Washington History Museum is your ticket to an environment where characters from Washington's past speak about their lives. Through interactive exhibits, theatrical storytelling, high-tech displays and dramatic artifacts, learn about our state's unique people and places, as well as their impact on the country and the world.


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Day Out with the Kids

Special Outings - Not all Free But Fun Things to do - just enter your zip code!

Family Days Out is here to make finding a great day out for the family easy and fun! Whether you are looking to ride the fastest roller coaster, splash around at the best water parks, visit a great museum or enjoy the great outdoors, its all here. A fun and simple search will get all the information you need in seconds.