Keeping as many youth as possible out of the court system and juvenile detention is a collaborative, long-term commitment between King County and community partners. In addition to tracking the County’s progress in keeping more youth out its court system and juvenile detention, please consider supporting struggling youth through some of the options listed below.
Be a Choose 180 Volunteer
- Choose 180 is a diversion program for youth that includes a half day workshop that engages young people in difficult situations and empowers them to commit to positive change in their life. The workshop creates the space for participants to hear from people with shared backgrounds and experiences and participate in small group activities that encourage them to identify the behaviors that have lead them to their current circumstances, what has kept them from making positive change, and the path to Choose 180. Youth are referred to the program through the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and choose to attend as part of a pre-filing diversion program. Upon successful completion of the workshop the participants have not only committed to their 180 but also avoid having a criminal record because of the alleged offense that lead to their referral to Youth 180. Do you believe that everyone deserves a second chance? Do you believe youth and young adults can change with the right support? Do you have a story, a smile, or a passion for people? Let the Choose 180 team know if you want to volunteer for them here.
Federal Way Youth Action Team
- The Federal Way Youth Action Team (FWYAT), a collaboration between King County Juvenile Court and several Federal Way community programs, is growing its capacity for connecting youth to opportunities to grow into healthy adults. To find out more about FWYAT or how to become a mentor, you can contact the programs and coordinators listed below:
- The Federal Way Youth Action Team: theFWYAT@gmail.com
- Helping Youth Perform Excellence – HYPE: Executive Director Charissa Eggleston: 253-740-8198, email@example.com,
- Positive Outcomes Program – POP: Youth Case Manager Will Jimerson Jr.: 253-838-6810, firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Game of Life: Program Lead Winston Bell: 253-653-1099, email@example.com
Volunteer for Juvenile Court Community Programs
- King County Juvenile Court Community Programs partner with schools, non-profits and businesses to connect youth with opportunities for education, community service, employment and victim restitution. Activities have included paid internships, employment training, gardening projects, and other programs that help youth re-engage with their education. Volunteers can help offer opportunities for job-shadowing, career exploration, and community service. For more info, please contact Community Programs Supervisor Diane Korf at 206-205-9490 or Diane.Korf@kingcounty.gov.
Become a 4C Coalition Mentor
- The 4C Coalition is a collaborative effort to increase the number of African-American mentors dedicated to mentoring the disproportionate number of African-Americans and other youth of color involved in King County’s juvenile justice system. The 4C Coalition is dedicated to uplifting at-risk youth and ensuring that they graduate from high school and avoid gangs, violence, addictions and incarceration. To find out more about donating or mentoring for the coalition, visit their website.
Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound provides children facing adversity with strong, professionally supported one-to-one relationships. They are always looking for adults eager to positively impact a child and improve their community at the same time. Big Brothers in are especially in high demand. By spending a few hours a month bonding with a child, “Bigs” dramatically increase the chances that their “Littles” will achieve higher aspirations, avoidance of risky behaviors and obtain educational success. Want to learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister? Please email StartSomething@bbbsps.org or call BBBS at 877.700.BIGS.
Become a Community Accountability Board volunteer
- Volunteers from your local community, with the help of a trained court adviser, make up a Community Accountability Board (CAB). The CAB interviews the offending youth and his or her parents, then determines a constructive accountability plan. A program monitor follows up to make sure the accountability plan is successfully completed. Read more about becoming a CAB volunteer on the King County Superior Court website. Contact the Partnership for Youth Justice for more information at 206-296-1130 or PYJ.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition
- The Youth Chaplaincy Coalition is a non-King County affiliated group of like-minded individuals and churches who seek to provide services in a faith-based context to youth in detention. The group also trains youth advocates to be chaplains, mentors, and counselors for youth who need re-entry help once they’ve left detention. To find out more, check out their website and Facebook page, or contact Rev. Terri Stewart directly at email@example.com or 425-531-1756.
Become a Dependency CASA
- A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained volunteer who represents the best interests of children as they are taken through the legal process. These trained volunteers investigate the case and inform the court, help identify resources to address a child’s special needs and recommend temporary and permanent plans for the child. The Dependency CASA Program serves children up to 11 years old who have allegedly been abused and/or neglected. The process focuses on the best interests of the child. The court will try to reunite a family if conditions at home improve sufficiently.
Become a Foster Parent
- Many — if not most — of the youth involved in the juvenile justice system on any given day have experienced a period of inconsistent housing and care-giving. State social workers often struggle to find appropriate homes for foster youth and runaways to stay at because there is a shortage of foster parents available for adolescents. Increasing the number and diversity of foster care placement options can help to identify placements timely and ensure youth have a safe and desirable place to stay. Find out more about becoming a foster parent on the state’s Department of Social and Health Services website.