Legislative Achievements

2018 Policy Wins

Education Equity (included in the final budget bill, and originally SB 6223 and HB 2877): A group of six state agencies and several nonprofit organizations will work to align programs, accountability, policy and resources culminating in a report due to legislatures in December of this year. The report will include a plan for children and youth experiencing foster care and homelessness to achieve educational equity with peers while closing the gap between racial and ethnic groups.

*Extended Foster Care (SB 6222): The age eligibility to enroll in the program will change from 19 to 21, and youth will be able to enroll and exit out of the program as many times as they need. Extended Foster Care provides critical stability to youth transitioning from foster care into adulthood.

*Passport to Careers (SB 6274): The Passport to College Promise program, provided by College Success Foundation, was originally created to help students from foster care attend and succeed in College. The program will now include financial assistance for apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships prompting a name change to “Passport to Careers.” Under this new legislation, eligibility will incorporate youth placed in Washington from another state, youth in federal and tribal foster care systems and unaccompanied homeless youth.

*Issue identified by youth who have experienced foster care

Past Achievements

Since 2001, Treehouse has led or collaborated on landmark legislation to support the educational attainment and well-being of youth in foster care. With the support of our legislative champions, we’ve worked to:

  • Minimalize enrollment times when students transfer schools
  • Improve communication and data-sharing between school systems and the Department of Children, Youth and Families.
  • Encourage foster home recruitment
  • Simplify credit transfer for students entering new high schools
  • Make all youth in foster care eligible for College Bound
  • Improve school discipline policies for youth in foster care
  • Improve education planning requirements for students when discipline takes them out of school
  • Coordinate academic support services for youth in foster care

But with less than half of Washington State’s high school youth in foster care graduating on time, we still have work to do.

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