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.
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 Program Manager Steve Noble at 206-205-9490 or Steve.Noble@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.
Help at the Youth Services Center’s juvenile detention facility
- King County’s juvenile detention staff seeks volunteers who can help facilitate educational and adolescent-focused programming for youth in detention. Volunteers must pass a criminal background check and attend an initial volunteer orientation. For more information, please call 206-477-9910.
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.