Southwest Youth and Family Services (SWYFS) strengthens communities in Southwest Seattle and King County so that culturally and economically diverse families, youth and children thrive and prosper. In partnership with families, schools and community organizations, we promote healthy individual and family functioning; early childhood learning; student success; and youth development. Because of SWYFS, children and youth improve mental health; children enter school ready to learn; students reach grade level in reading and math; youth stay out of trouble and jail, and graduate from high school; and families have the resources to better care for one another. SWYFS’s strength is its ability to quickly and effectively serve diverse, hard-to-reach, low income communities.
About This Cause
Southwest Youth and Family Services fulfills its mission by providing services that fall into a least one of four service areas: mental health; education; family support; and youth development. Programs include:
Counseling Center: individual, family and group counseling for children, youth and their families; case management for youth at risk of academic failure, or of committing 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. Counseling is available in English and Spanish.
Education Center: high school re-entry program for students who have dropped out of or been expelled from public schools and need credit to return; Teen Parent GED program.
Family Center: parenting education and support; advocacy for immigrant and refugee families; young parent advocacy; Play and Learn groups; Parent-Child Home Program, a pre-literacy skills development program for 2 and 3 year olds. Services are available in several languages, including Arabic, Cambodian, English, Samoan, Somali and Spanish.
New Futures: based in three very low income apartment communities in SW King County, this program offers family advocacy, after school programs, youth development and community building for residents.
Southwest Youth and Family Services works in some of Washington State’s and King County’s lowest income, most diverse areas: White Center, South Park, the Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle, Burien and SeaTac. Agency wide, more than 3,500 children, youth and family members are served annually. Of those, approximately 50% were younger than 18; and 90% were low or very low income. Languages spoken by those served include Arabic, Cambodian, English, Samoan, Somali and Spanish. Races and ethnicities served include Somali, Latino, SE Asian, Pacific Islander, Iraqi, and others. Over 50% of participants report being immigrants or refugees. Importantly, staff members represent the communities served and many were participants or members of the communities served prior to being hired. About 60% are people of color and nearly half are bi-lingual, which supports meaningful grassroots community engagement and a high level of cultural competence agency wide.