Tribal Engagement Program

Supporting Tribal Youth

We strive to work collaboratively with tribal communities to support youth in care on their academic journey. Barriers to school success can be removed with student-centered planning and the development of self-advocacy skills. By coordinating needed supports, Treehouse partners with youth to pave the way to high school graduation, providing coaching and opportunities to support their future. The Tribal Engagement Program is available in high schools throughout the state. A referral is required to begin services.

How Do We Provide Culturally Competent Educational Services?

We partner with youth, tribal social workers, caregivers and school staff to ensure that our engagement is purposeful and respectful with tribal communications. Tribal Education Specialists (TEdS) invest and engage in community events to ensure strong relations within the community that each TEdS serves. We aim to be as collaborative as possible with our partnering tribes, including asking for a tribal community partner to sit on our hiring panel when hiring a TEdS to serve their community and taking part in monthly consultations with their social workers.

In addition, we have weekly individualized meetings for participants with TEdS. Skills and topics can include education planning, coaching and support to build each youth’s engagement and investment in their education and future.

Our focus is on the youth participant. We always put them first and help them plan toward their own self-determined goals. We help youth navigate supportive resources within Treehouse and with community partners.

Who Is Eligible?

We do our best to support all youth that require services. Each youth must meet all listed requirements to be eligible:

  • Youth in tribal jurisdiction or Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) care and identify as tribally affiliated. Including youth at any stage of the dependency process, from initial removal to case closure.
  • Ages 13-21 working towards high school completion.
  • Residing in our current service areas (Greater Marysville, Greater Auburn, Greater Bellingham/Ferndale and Greater Yakima).

Who Can Make Referrals?

Youth can be referred to Treehouse programs by:

  • Department of Children, Youth and Family (DCYF) or Tribal Case Workers
  • Washington State OSPI, school district and school staff members (foster care liaisons, school counselors, building points of contact or other school staff)
  • Attorneys representing youth
  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
  • Guardian ad litem
  • Local Indian Tribal Welfare Advisory Committee (LICWAC)

For more information on the referral process, click here.

Meet Our Tribal Engagement Teams

All education staff work one-on-one with high school students experiencing foster care to create academic goals, build problem-solving and self-advocacy skills and so much more.

Through Treehouse’s Graduation Success program, we work to center those youth furthest from educational justice through the creation of our Special Populations team. Tribal Education Specialists (TEdS) support our youth in tribal jurisdiction and our Dual-Systems Involved (DIY) Navigators support youth in the juvenile justice system and foster care.

Meet the Teams

Partner With Us

Treehouse is currently working on expanding services to youth experiencing tribal foster care. Over the next year, we are asking to collaborate with more tribes to determine best how to serve your communities. We are moving slowly to ensure we are respectfully doing the work and preventing unintended harm. If your tribal community is interested in working with us, please reach out to Kateri Joe, Director of Special Populations. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 206.751.6970.

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