Treehouse Celebrates 35 Years of Impact

SEATTLE, WA – Treehouse, Washington state’s leading nonprofit supporting youth in foster care, turns 35 years this month.

From school supplies to transition planning into adulthood, Treehouse has been part of supporting tens of thousands of youths over the years. More than 1,000 students have completed high school with the support of their award-winning Graduation Success program over the past decade. In the 2022-2023 fiscal year, over 6,700 youth throughout Washington state received support for material, financial or educational needs.

Treehouse was founded on the idea that youth in foster care deserve access to the same resources and opportunities as their peers to thrive. Treehouse provides resources to help meet their basic and educational needs, including free quality clothing, a meaningful holiday gift and one-on-one coaching. In 2017, they added staffing to focus on effecting change for youth in foster care at its root causes, beginning with legislative advocacy, policy change and strategic partnerships with state agencies and school districts.

“While we have grown and evolved, meeting the needs of youth in foster care has remained at our core,” said Dawn Rains, CEO at Treehouse. “We have learned a lot about what it takes to be in their corner, and we are more committed than ever to centering their voice, choice and experiences to shape their own journeys and ours.”

Over the years, Treehouse has become recognized as a leader in foster care, partnering and providing consultation to groups nationally to address the educational needs of youth in foster care. And the organization continues to elevate the input and experiences of those who have been in the foster care system, whether through its new Fellowship program or its initiative to disrupt the foster care-to-prison pipeline.

“We know that many of the most insightful and innovative solutions to our child welfare and education systems come from those who have endured the most harm from them,” said Rains. “We know the way forward is in deep collaboration with our youth, partners and community.”

About Treehouse

Treehouse was started in 1988 by a group of social workers at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) who saw first-hand how youth in foster care were not getting the care and investment that every child needs to thrive. We directly support and work alongside thousands of youth in foster care in Washington State, as well as their caregivers, educators, school administrators, and social workers, to ensure each young person has an individualized plan and network. We also advocate for systems-level change, informed by our on-the-ground expertise. Through direct programs and advocacy, Treehouse is uniquely positioned to close the opportunity gap and positively change the outcomes of youth who have experienced foster care.

Learn more about Treehouse and how you can help by visiting www.treehouseforkids.org.

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