03.22.2018

Treehouse to Provide Auto Insurance at No Charge Statewide for Youth in Foster Care

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Contract with DSHS funds Driver’s Assistance program to remove transportation barriers by paying fees for driver’s ed, permits and licenses

SEATTLE, March 22, 2018 – Treehouse, a nonprofit which gives youth in foster care a childhood and a future, announced the statewide launch of its latest program, Driver’s Assistance. The program provides automobile insurance and driver’s education at no charge to youth across Washington, and even covers the cost of permits and driver’s licenses.

Funded by an 18-month contract with DSHS Children’s Administration, Driver’s Assistance removes transportation barriers for youth in foster care, extended foster care and tribal youth in care ages 15 to 21. There are about 9,000 children and youth in foster care throughout the state.

“One out of five youth in foster care end up homeless within a year of aging out of the system in part because of transportation needs,” said Patrick Nickell, Treehouse’s Licensing Coordinator. “Treehouse is committed to launching youth successfully into adulthood. We know that without reliable transportation, opportunities to attend college or trade school and build careers are dramatically limited.”

Nickell, a licensed insurance agent, experienced both foster care and homelessness before he turned 18.

“Those were dark days. I wish I had access to an organization like Treehouse back then,” Nickell said. “I’m proud to be part of the solution. Our youth get the support they need to navigate the challenges I faced alone.”

Driver’s Assistance will remove many transportation-related financial burdens for youth in foster care by paying for:

  • Automobile insurance
  • Driver’s education
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Enhanced driver’s licenses
  • Driver’s permits
  • Washington State IDs

Treehouse provides a suite of programs for youth in foster care. Its flagship Graduation Success program has increased the extended graduation rate for the youth it serves, which includes on-time and fifth-year seniors, from less than 50 percent to 89 percent.

About Treehouse
Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care. More than 7,500 youth each year prosper through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves. Learn more at www.treehouseforkids.org.

Media Contact:
Associate Director Marketing & Communications
Trent Freeman
206.267.5128
trent.freeman@treehouseforkids.org

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