Southeast Youth and Family Services 


Southeast Youth and Family Services (SEYFS) is a nonprofit youth and family services agency located in the Columbia City area of Seattle, the most ethnically and economically diverse community in the country. Founded in 1974, we are a licensed mental health center, and provide skilled, comprehensive, evidence-based best practice mental health treatment and prevention services. Our current client base is 84.5% people of color, and 95% low income. We have the capacity within our staff to provide services in six languages.
Mission Statement
Our mission is to assist children, youth and families in achieving safe, self-sufficient, and stable lives. We achieve this by providing counseling, educational, social and life skills programs for children, youth and their families. Current program: Youth Mental Health/Individual and Family Counseling, Managed Care/Mental Health Services, African Immigrant and Refugee Outreach Program.
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Southeast Youth and Family Services
3722 S Hudson St 
(206) 721-5542 

Jeri R. White, LICSW, CMHS, EMMHS 
Executive Director 


Southeast Youth and Family Services Programs

Youth Mental Health Counseling assists youth and families in Southeast Seattle by providing culturally appropriate counseling and case management services for youth, ages 2-19. Youth served are of culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Problems include: family conflict, offense behavior, low self esteem, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts/threats, school problems, teen pregnancy, drug/alcohol abuse and related problems, unemployment,and peer difficulties.

Managed Care Mental Health Services assists King County youth aged 2-20 by providing therapeutic and case management services that are culturally and age appropriate, affordable and accessible. Youth must meet medical necessity criteria and receive or be eligible for Medicaid. Issues include emotional problems, school problems, all forms of abuse, family conflict, suicidal thoughts/threats, substance abuse, peer difficulties, offense/antisocial behavior, and sexually aggressive behaviors.

Family/parent support services focus on providing education, information, support and resources for children and families. Staff and families work together in relationships based on equality and respect that enhance the family's capacity to support the growth and development of its members. Our parenting curriculum meets DSHS requirements.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

  • 88% of children and youth participating in our services strengthen their social skills.

  • 91% of children and youth participating in our services improve their academic skills.

  • 80% of children and parents participating in our services strengthen their parent/child interaction skills.

  • 88% of children and youth participating in our mental health counseling strengthen their coping skills.

  • 8 parents completed our DSHS approved parenting class.

The average SEYFS client is aged between 2 and 20 years old; is living below the poverty line; is a person of color; lives in a home with a female head of household or is living with other family members; is struggling with serious to severe mental health issues; has significant issues with family, school, peers and/or the legal system; lacks natural support systems; resides in high crime areas; lacks age appropriate social connections and recreational activities; has experienced some form of abuse and/or neglect, including sexual exploitation; is struggling in school (50% are at risk of dropping out); has experience substance abuse (self or others in the home); is involved with multiple systems (CPS, foster care, juvenile justice); is experiencing or have experienced suicidal thoughts/ideation.

Current needs include Board members, funds to actively collaborate, and additional training in emerging best practices in areas such as early childhood development, including school readiness and educational support services.  


Southwest Youth and Family Services (SWYFS) works to create a community where youth and families are active, engaged, self-sufficient citizens able to support themselves, their families and the community. They offer counseling, education and family support.

Proven Success
The Education Center has been helping youth who have dropped out of school, been expelled, or have just fallen behind. The program has been very successful but funding has been challenging the past few years. The rate of reimbursement from the school district is dropping and they will not be able to sustain the program without additional funding. They hope that House Bill 1418 will make it possible for nonprofit community-based educational organizations to access state general fund education dollars to operate high school reentry and GED programs.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
SWYFS has a diverse staff that provides high quality, culturally competent services to a multicultural community. Staff members represent, live in and speak the languages of the communities served, including Latino, Iraqi, Somali and SE Asia.

Mental Health services are provided through the Counseling Center, where 72% of participants are very low-income and 69% are people of color. Youth and families who are not eligible for Medicaid or are uninsured can access services through a sliding scale.

SWYFS has strong partnerships with other community organizations serving SW Seattle. They are partnering with the Highline School District and the White Center Community Development Association on a place-based initiative aimed at developing a “cradle to career” continuum for the White Center neighborhood. They were not selected in the first round of federal funding opportunities but have participated in the technical assistance program and are preparing to submit a request for round two of funding. They did secure private funding to define and plan a continuum of services in the White Center area to make improvements in high school graduation rates and other academic and health outcomes.

SWYFS is the lead organization for the coordination and implementation of youth violence prevention in Southwest Seattle. They partnered with SafeFutures and received funding from the Washington State Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration to jointly provide youth violence prevention services in White Center, and for youth not eligible fore services under the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.

SWYFS also partners with both the Highline and Seattle School District to provide counseling and support for students and families on site in the schools.

Use of Best Practices
SWYFS’s Family Center supports health and wellness through its parent education, immigrant and refugee family advocacy and youth development work. The Family Center involves community members in planning programs they use and takes services to community members when that is the best way to reach them. The Family Center offers support and advocacy for Cambodian, Latino, Somali, Native American and other families.

SWYFS has responded to the recession by reducing staff hours especially when funding sources were eliminated or reduced. They did experience a deficit ($90,000) in 2010. They plan to apply for Promise Neighborhood funding and will also be researching other federal funding opportunities. They will continue their local grant writing and special event activities.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

There are no recent grants awarded to this organization.


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