Care & Closure Recommendations & January 2024 Newsletter

Care and Closure

Recommendations & January 2024 Newsletter

A Message from our Care & Closure Project Team

Care & Closure: a plan for youth healing, accountability, and community safety. This is King County’s effort to expand community-based alternatives to secure youth detention and close the youth detention center. We share project updates and upcoming opportunities to be involved in the effort each month.

Care & Closure Recommendations 

Earlier today, Executive Constantine transmitted a report on the Care & Closure recommendations from the Advisory Committee and the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) to the King County Council.

The report highlights the process of developing the recommendations, the findings from the community engagement, and the next actions of the project. 

The Advisory Committee’s recommendations identify the essential components of an alternative system needed to support youth and their healing, accountability, and community safety and close the youth detention center.  

Care and Closure Two Page Summary
  1. Create, operate, and maintain a 24/7 respite and receiving center where law enforcement will take all youth under 18 years old upon arrest unless they can be released upon entering the center.
  2. Provide very short-term respite housing at the respite and receiving center for youth who cannot go home due to safety concerns.   
  3. Provide enhanced immediate supports when youth return home to their families or are placed in kinship care with extended family members.   
  4. Create, contract, and provide oversight to a network of diverse community care homes where youth would stay while their court case proceeds if they are unable to go home because of safety concerns.   
  5. Strengthen community infrastructure and capacity to ensure all youth have access to and can benefit from culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate, and youth- and family-centered supports that address their identified needs, regardless of whether they are at home, with a relative, or at a community care home.   
  6. Ensure the next steps for these recommendations are informed by and centered on input, expertise, and ideas of the community members most directly impacted by the youth legal system.  

The Advisory Committee reached broad consensus across a majority of the six recommendations showing a commitment to create alternatives that support all youth under 18 years old and uphold community safety. Further deliberation is needed on how the recommended respite and receiving center with short-term housing can maintain the safety of youth and safety for the community.   

The full report with recommendations and next actions is available on the project website here, and a two-page summary of the report is available here

What Comes Next 

In the report, Executive Constantine announced six next actions toward implementing the Advisory Committee’s recommendations to expand community-based alternatives for youth involved in the legal system and ultimately end youth detention at the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center (CCFJC). The six actions create the next phase of strategy planning and implementation.  

Next actions Care and Closure

Thank You: Our 2023 Year in Review 

We are grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to engage and involve communities most impacted by the youth legal system in identifying needed resources to support youth healing, accountability, and community safety. In 2023, we connected with and learned from over 1,800 community members, including impacted youth, families, and harmed community members. Check out the graphic below to see highlights from our community engagement. 

Together, we have achieved the following over the past year:  

  • Co-developed recommendations guided by 11 Advisory Committee meetings and 30+ subcommittee meetings (learn more) 
  • Partnered with and funded 11 community partners to design and lead 50+ events in-person and virtually across King County (learn more) 
  • Elevated impacted youth voice by hosting 28 listening sessions with youth in detention (learn more) 
  • Increased awareness and connected with community members at 11 resource fairs  
  • Provided an interim progress update to the King County Council in August 2023 (learn more)

End of the year collage with engagement
DCHS Care and Closure Content Public Support

Follow Us on Instagram

Do you follow the King County Department of Community & Human Services (DCHS) Instagram accountCheck out our latest posts about the work we do in our department. This includes Care and Closure Highlights with quotes from youth in detention, information about King county’s Commitment, and more! Follow DCHS to stay informed. 

Help Others Get Connected 

Please share this monthly newsletter to anyone you think might be interested in learning about this effort! To stay up to date: 

Do you have any questions or want to get involved in this project? Reach out to us via email! 

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