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