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New: Read the final Youth Action Plan (10MB, PDF)

Today’s kids deserve our best efforts to ensure that they have every opportunity to grow up healthy, safe, and succeed in life.

King County has long been a leader in supporting programs for children, youth and young adults – from developing sports field in local neighborhoods to providing public health visits for low-income infants and children to establishing a Youth & Family Services Network to help at-risk teens and families to assisting youth who have become involved with the criminal justice system to take a fresh path. The Great Recession, however, has reduced or eliminated support for many programs, and programs still receiving County funding are operated through many different agencies, often with little coordination between them.

In January of 2014, the County Council agreed a new approach is needed if we are to reach our countywide strategic plan goal of every youth being able to realize their full potential.  Legislation calling for the creation of a Youth Action Plan by a task force of experts received unanimous support. The broad spectrum of participants from throughout the region will not only help the County develop a plan for an accountable, integrated delivery of social safety net services for children, youth, and young adults, but will also help us honor our obligations as adults to the next generation.

Read Executive Constantine's welcome message from the Task Force's kick-off meeting.
Below you will find more information regarding the efforts of the Youth Action Plan. We welcome public engagement in this process and encourage your input on how the County can better serve the needs of children through the county. You can also stay updated on the progress of the Plan by signing up to our listserv below.

Thank you for your interest in our next generation,
Council Chair Larry Phillips and Councilmember Rod Dembowski

The What, Why, Who, and How of the Youth Action Plan

What:
Boy on playgroundOn January 21, 2014, the Metropolitan King County Council approved legislation calling for the development of a Youth Action Plan that will set King County’s priorities for serving infants through young adults. The Youth Action Plan will guide and inform the County’s annual investment of more than $75 million in services and programs serving infants through young adults. The Youth Action Plan is to be developed by an appointed Task Force comprised of representatives from a broad range of organizations and entities with substantial expertise and knowledge relevant to children and youth, but that is also diverse in its views and experiences, including but not limited to geographic, racial, and ethnic diversity. 

Why:

  1. Because kids matter: King County is committed to social justice and equity for all who live here. A key component of that work is helping kids grow into adulthood with opportunities that allow them to achieve their full potential. ‘Many “downstream” conditions such as homelessness, incarceration and substance abuse could be addressed and likely prevented early on if all kids were provided with safe, healthy childhoods, access to quality education and other opportunities.  

  2. Because we have a rich history of supporting kids: Since the 1960s, King County has participated in and funded programs aimed at assisting children, youth, and young adults. Today, King County spends over seventy-five million dollars annually on a wide range of programs that influence children and youth at all stages of development from birth to young adult. The services and programs for youth and children are provided across King County government by several departments and agencies.

  3. Because we are one partner of many working for kids: County agencies and departments contract with a number of community-based organizations and local nonprofit organizations that work in collaboration with each other, the county, and other governments to serve children, youth and their families, and young adults. These community-based organizations serve a variety of youth populations, including but not limited to:
    • geographically focused populations
    • specific cultural and ethnic populations
    • gay, lesbian and transgender youth and young adults
    • justice-involved or at-risk youth

We need to work together to leverage our strengths and focus on measurable outcomes for kids.

  1. Because its time: With the onset of the Great Recession and the fiscal challenges that counties across the state are facing with limited financial resources and growing demands, King County must collaboratively and transparently examine its practices, investments, and outcomes so that we can best serve children, youth, and young adults in the most effective and efficient ways possible.

Who: Members of the Youth Action Plan Task Force were appointed by King County Executive Dow Constantine and the County Council through Motions 14097 and 14112. Task Force Member List with biographies

When: The Council’s legislation calls for a proposed Youth Action Plan to be submitted to the Council and the Executive on April 15, 2015. A progress report is due to the Council in September, 2014.

How: This work is unanimously supported across King County government and is endorsed by many community organizations. To ensure that King County continues to be a strong partner with the state, cities, private sector, non-profit and philanthropic organizations input will be welcomed from these entities and other community members. Please see below for information on meetings of the task force and other opportunities to engage.

Additionally, the Forum for Youth Investment, a non-profit organization that helps adults get youth ready for life, is facilitating the work of the Task Force. The Forum for Youth Investment has conducted youth planning efforts across the nation, including New Orleans, Nashville, the State of Massachusetts, and other areas.


Youth Action Plan Task Force Meetings

Meetings of the Youth Action Plan Task Force are open to the public. 

Past Meetings

May 21, 2014
1:30 – 4:30 pm

Mercer Island Community Center
8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA
Meeting notes
Meeting presentation

July 23, 2014 
2:00 - 4:30 pm

New Holly Gathering Hall
7054 32 Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118 
Agenda
Meeting notes

August 22, 2014
9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
(updated)
Green River Community College – Kent Campus
417 Ramsay Way Suite 112, Kent, WA 98032
Meeting notes
Agenda 

October 1, 2014
4:00-6:00 p.m.
- Task Force Meeting
6:00-8:30 p.m. - Community Conversation
Kamiakin Middle School
14111 132nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98034
Interpretation available for Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese speakers
Meeting Notes
Agenda

October 4, 2014
Snoqualmie/Rural East King County Community Conversation

10:30-12:30 p.m.
Fall City Library
33415 SE 42nd Place
Fall City, WA 98024
Interpretation available for Spanish speakers

October 4, 2014
Kent/South County Community Conversation
3:00-5:00 p.m.
Mill Creek Middle School (cafeteria or multi-purpose room)
620 North Central Avenue
Kent, WA 98030
Interpretation available for Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese speakers

December 3, 2014 
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Puget Sound Educational Service District Cedar Room
800 Oakesdale Ave SW, Renton, WA 98057
Meeting Notes
Agenda

January 29, 2015
2:00 - 4:00 pm
 
Wilburton Instructional Service Center
Rainier Room
12241 Main Street
Bellevue, WA 98005
Meeting Notes
Agenda

February 26, 2015
2:00-5:00 pm
Thrive by Five Washington
23rd floor conference room
1111 3rd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Meeting Notes
Agenda

March 20
9:00-12:00 p.m.

Chinook Building, Room 121
401 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Agenda

 

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Fax:
206-296-0198