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Southwest Youth and Family Services 

Description

SWYFS makes a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families, individually and communitywide. Youth and families increase their self efficacy and self-sufficiency, and improve healthy relationships among their family members, their peers and friends, and among communities. As a result, community violence is reduced, more children are ready for school, immigrants and refugees get the practical help they need, and youth and families improve their mental health and general well-being.

Mission Statement
Southwest Youth and Family Services works to create communities in SW Seattle and King County in which culturally and economically diverse families, youth and children thrive and prosper. We promote healthy family functioning, early childhood learning, student academic success; and youth development.
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Southwest Youth and Family Services
4555 Delridge Way SW 
Seattle 
WA
98106-1379 
(206) 937-7680 

Steve Daschle 
Executive Director 

Programs

Southwest Youth and Family Services Programs

SWYFS provides services to a diversity of low income youth and families in West Seattle, Delridge, South Park, White Center, Burien, SeaTac and unincorporated SW King County. Services include:
  • Mental Health: individual, family and group counseling for children, youth and their families; case management for youth at risk of academic failure, or of committing or being a victim of violence; Aggression Replacement Training to help youth learn to resolve conflict without violence. Services are provided at the main office, in homes, at schools and at community sites, including Burien, SeaTac and White Center. Counseling is available in English and Spanish.
  • Education: high school re-entry program for students who have dropped out or been expelled from public schools and need credit to return; Teen Parent GED program; after school academic support and youth development for students K-12 in 3 SW King County apartment communities; and the Parent-Child Home Program, a pre-literacy skills development program for 2 and 3 year olds.
  • Family Support: parenting education and support; Play and Learn early childhood support groups; advocacy for immigrant and refugee families; young parent advocacy; assistance meeting basic needs and accessing community services and social, recreation and community building activities for families. Services are available in several languages, including Arabic, Cambodian, English, Samoan, Somali and Spanish, and are provided throughout SW Seattle and King County.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Case managers at SWYFS connect with and foster change in youth at risk of involvement in violence. After regular meetings with a case manager, one youth said, "If I hadn't run into him, I’d probably be a gangbanger or hurting people, threatening their lives. That's where I was headed. Basically, I'd be a menace and a bad influence." Case managers can see another side of youth. "He's a compassionate, caring young man," said his case manager, who helped him plan ways to cope with anger and alternatives to the behavior that got him repeatedly in trouble. His family's financial situation contributed to his struggles, leaving him open to taunts and teasing. A volunteer job at a food bank helped him gain a new view on how hard life could be. Now, the young man continues to face frustrations and feel anger like all 10th-graders, but thanks to SWYFS, he knows how to deal with those feelings, and wants to succeed in school and beyond.

Providing case management and counseling for youth is clearly one way to help reduce community violence. However, a growing issue is the number of youth who “age out” of support services once they turn 18 or 19. Available funding does not provide continued or new case management for youth 18 to 24, ages at which youth continue to be at risk. Community services are desperately needed to help older youth at high risk of criminal involvement move fully into stable and self sufficient adulthood. Not only would the youth themselves benefit – we all would.

Evaluation


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.

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 lowincome 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.

Collaboration
SWYFS has strong partnerships with other community organizations serving SW Seattle. They have entered into a partnership with the Highline School District and the White Center Community Development Association to serve as the lead agency for a place-based initiative aimed at developing a “cradle to career” continuum for the White Center neighborhood.

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 is a well-respected key provider of essential services in West Seattle, Delridge and White Center. Programs through their Counseling Center, Education Center, and Family Center provide services that address the broad array of needs within the community. SWYFS has cultivated strong partnerships and demonstrated their success in addressing the needs of their community. The organization has strong leadership through its Executive Director and the staff is actively involved in the community.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
12/10/2013 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2013 $5,000.00support merger costs with NewFutures.
12/10/2011 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2010 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2010 $50,000.00support the Promise Neighborhood planning project.
9/10/2009 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/18/2007 $45,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/16/2005 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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