King County Council passes legislation to develop Youth Action Plan | King County

The King County Council gave its unanimous approval to legislation on Jan. 21 that calls for the development of a Youth Action Plan to create a holistic approach to delivering the needed resources to young people throughout King County.

“As a kid growing up in Renton, King County played an important role in my life. I played in our county parks, and received health care at our Public Health clinics," said Councilman Rod Dembowski, the prime sponsor of the ordinance. "Today’s kids deserve our best efforts to ensure that they have every opportunity to grow up healthy, safe, and succeed in life. This legislation brings together the broad spectrum of participants from throughout the region who help King County’s children and youth to recommit our collective efforts and honor our obligations as adults to the next generation.”

The Great Recession reduced or eliminated county support for many programs, and the programs still receiving county funding are operated through many different agencies.

As part of an initiative adopted by the council in 2012, a countywide task force has worked to develop a plan for a collaborative, accountable, and integrated delivery of social safety net services in King County.

The Youth Action Plan builds on that work. The goal of the Youth Action Plan is to ensure that King County’s Strategic Plan objective to “promote opportunities for all communities and individuals to realize their full potential,” is applied to the county’s young people and reflected across all county departments, programs and initiatives. The plan also seeks to ensure that King County is a strong partner with the state, cities, private sector, non-profit and philanthropic organizations.

“The Youth Action Plan recognizes that youth really are our human potential, our future, as described in the King County Strategic Plan,” said Mike Heinisch, executive director of Kent Youth and Family Services. “We all should be supportive of the King County Council’s recognizing that potential can become reality by moving this Youth Action Plan forward.”

The proposal calls on the county executive to appoint members to a Youth Action Plan Task Force. The members of the task force would include elected officials, leaders from Seattle and suburban cities, and nonprofit community partners that serve infants, children, youth and young adults. It would be charged with conducting information meetings with community members, stakeholders and consumers to keep interested parties informed on the development of the Plan.

The Youth Action Task Force is charged with preparing a Youth Action Plan for the King County Council by the spring of 2015.


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