Family Involvement with Youth
Partnerships with families and youth are vital to the success of the child-serving mental health system. Professionals are most effective when supporting families in finding solutions. Families are seen as the experts on their child/youth. Their constant presence in the lives of their children is recognized.
Families and youth are viewed as partners and advisors, not just as clients. Through these partnerships, the family voice is heard, and families have a say in individual services, policy and program development, and service design.
King County’s Family Inclusion Model describes the value of family inclusion and encourages families to organize and network with each other to:
- Provide support
- Share knowledge and resources
- Advocate for change
- Assist each other in the day to day challenges of caring for their children
Parent Networks of Support
These organizations were originally funded as part of a federal grant called Children & Families in Common as a way to help promote and organize the family movement in King County. The goal of the Networks of Support is to provide ongoing support, resources, and mentoring/peer counseling to parents and caregivers raising children with complex emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders. The Networks of Support hold regular, monthly support group meetings, and provide:
- Time-limited “Parent Partner” Peer Counseling to parents
- Help for parents and caregivers in learning to navigate the complicated children’s systems
- Advocacy for families of youth with serious emotional disturbances.
- Training in Wraparound/Parent/Professional Partnership and Peer Counseling in partnership with local family organizations.
For more information on the Networks of Support, including meeting dates and times, please contact the Parent Coordinator at:
Sound Mental Health – Eastside
14216 NE 21st Street
Sound Mental Health – Metro
2719 East Madison, Ste. 200
Seattle, WA 98112
Valley Cities Counseling & Consultation
2704 I Street NE
Auburn, WA 98002
Youth ‘N Action (formerly Health ‘N Action) is a diverse youth advocacy group that brings youth voice to systems and policy. Youth ‘N Action members are between the ages of 14 and 21 who have been involved with one or more child serving system. The group meets bi-monthly. Members support each other in positive choice and lifestyle. Members mentor other youth in the community and are role models for all youth, but particularly for young people who have been involved in the service systems. Youth ‘N Action also provides youth voice to policy and decision making and has been nationally recognized for its advocacy efforts.
Other Family Resources and Organizations:
- A Village Project
- Statewide Action for Family Empowerment (SAFE-WA)
- National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health