T H E M O C K I N G B I R D S O C I E T Y W I N T E R 2 0 1 2 N E WS L E T T E R
Lead advocacy priorities The legislative session is quickly approaching and our 2013 priorities have been established. Lead priorities, developed in collaboration with Mockingbird Youth Network participants and child welfare providers, represent issues where Mockingbird will lead reform efforts (see graphic). Supporting priorities are matters where Mockingbird will support partner advocacy
Extended Foster Care: Expand the program to allow ALL youth aging out of care to have access to safe housing until age 21.
efforts. Supporting priorities include sealing juvenile records, guaranteeing the right to legal counsel for youth in care, and improving educational outcomes. Budget priorities represent issues where Mockingbird will work to protect the resources dedicated to the safety net for children, youth and families. For a complete review of our legislative priorities, visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org.
Sibling Visits: Prevent the inappropriate restriction of sibling visits for youth in care, including holding back visits as a punishment for behavioral matters.
72-hour Notification: Reinstate the 72-hour notification rule for homeless youth shelters working to serve vulnerable youth and safely reunite youth and families.
Results of the Mockingbird Youth Network
youth have engaged in Youth Network activities, a 26% increase year-to-date over 2011.
youth/alumni attended the Transitions training, a new leadership training designed to provide youth with a framework to navigate life transitions, specifically the transition from foster care.
youth-led trainings have been held across Washington, including the Culture of Foster Care, Legislative The MockingbirdAdvocacy, Society Your Rights -Your 2100 24th Ave S,Life, Suite Educational 240 Advocacy, Seattle, WA 98144 Transitions, and Voice 206.323.5437 (KIDS) www.mockingbirdsociety.org Development.
through September 2012
of youth participants at Youth Advocacy Day reported feeling that their participation made a difference. And it did . . . all of Mockingbirdâ€™s legislative priorities were achieved.
youth have engaged in public speaking activities to educate the community and their peers on foster care issues.
youth attended a leadership training to learn or improve advocacy skills.
youth leaders from across the state presented their own reform ideas to the Washington State Supreme Court Commission on Children in Foster Care as part of the Foster Youth and Alumni Leadership Summit.
of Summit participants reported having a stronger sense of connection to the foster youth community as a result of the event.
youth, alumni, and community members advocated for the rights of youth in care and homeless youth at Youth Advocacy Day.
Dear Friends, As the holidays approach, we have much to be thankful for at The Mockingbird Society. Your support has enabled our organization to achieve remarkable outcomes for children, youth and families. Our programs remain vibrant and successful. On the policy front, Jim Theofelis, Network Representatives Amanda Bevington during the 2012 and Deonate Cruz, and Board President Jana Heyd at legislative session we Mockingbirdâ€™s 6th Annual Benefit Luncheon. saw the expansion of Extended Foster Care, as well as the passage of our other priorities aimed at preserving and protecting key child welfare programs. Our advocacy work had a cumulative effect of saving or retaining more than $8 million in critical program funding. We are on track to see record participation in our innovative Mockingbird Youth Network. More than 390 youth have participated in the program through the 3rd quarter. These advocate/leaders are leaving their mark by offering invaluable insight into how our foster care system can be changed for the better. We are also excited that efforts to replicate our Mockingbird Family Model are beginning to take shape. We recently received a grant to support replication efforts in King and Snohomish Counties. This is a significant step and will help demonstrate the positive outcomes and cost-savings offered by the MFM concept.
The Mockingbird Societyâ€™s 2012 Board of Directors Officers Jana Heyd, President Society of Counsel
Jillian Gross, Secretary University of Michigan
Larry Crim, Vice President Windermere Real Estate
Erin Welch, Treasurer Jacobson Jarvis, LLC
Members Stephanie M. Allen US Environmental Protection Agency
Kenneth J. Kirsch The Boeing Company (Retired)
Yossi Banai Microsoft Corporation
Jennifer M. Krigbaum 2020 Development Company LLC
Jenna Boitano Community Volunteer Elise B. Chayet Harborview Medical Center
Linda Lillevik Carey and Lillevik, PLLC Lisa Matchette Community Volunteer
Shanon Doolittle Group Health Foundation
Amy Poley Healthcare Realty
J. Camille Fisher Perkins Coie LLP
Alan Rothblatt, MD Virginia Mason Medical Center
Hickory M. Gateless Pacifica Law Group Kim A. Justice Washington State Budget & Policy Center
Carol Wood United Way of King County Robert D. Wyman Jr. The Defender Association
Finally, our Board of Directors launched an ambitious recruitment campaign to grow its membership. In June, the board expanded from seven to 21 members! We thank our President, Jana Heyd, and our legacy members for their commitment to the campaign. The talented, compassionate and enthusiastic new members will strengthen our organization as we look ahead to 2013 and beyond. We hope you enjoy reading our Winter Newsletter and thank you for making our work possible. With tremendous gratitude, Over 240 youth and supporters witnessed the passage of Extended Foster Care in Olympia at Youth Advocacy Day.
Jim Theofelis Executive Director and Founder
CONNECT Mockingbird Youth Network wins Colleen Willoughby Youth Civic Education Award As part of a new priority to expand civic leadership and increase access to civic leadership opportunities, Seattle CityClub has created a new award to honor organizations committed to teaching civic skills to youth — the inaugural Colleen Willoughby Youth Civic Education Award. The Mockingbird Society and its Mockingbird Youth Network (MYN) program were honored as recipients of the inaugural award, joining five other organizations selected among more than 30 applications. Last year, the MYN held eight trainings that taught more than 75 youth about the legislative process, convened more than 240 youth and supporters at Youth Advocacy Day in Olympia, and gave dozens of youth the opportunity to participate in Speak Up! activities designed to educate policymakers on issues that impact children and youth. We congratulate our co-winners and thank CityClub and Colleen Willoughby for this tremendous honor.
The Mockingbird Youth Network gives youth opportunities to become stronger citizens through advocacy. Shown above, Jim Theofelis — along with co-winners — accepts the Colleen Willoughby Youth Civic Education Award.
Support from community foundations grows In addition to community foundations, many private foundations have embraced Mockingbird chapters. We are grateful to the following for supporting our mission:
Support for local chapters give youth the opportunity to create an impact in their communities.
Did you know that Mockingbird Youth Network chapters operate in six host agencies throughout our state, including Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, Yakima and Spokane? This year, Mockingbird has received grants from the Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (from the Youth Board and Vibrant Community programs), and the Greater Everett Community Foundation, William C. & Eleanor E. Butler Trust Fund. These foundations join our existing community foundation supporters, including The Seattle Foundation and the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound to support youth in their local communities.
Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation Sequoia Foundation Forest Foundation Medina Foundation Northwest Children’s Fund OneFamily Foundation Aven Foundation Muckleshoot Charity Fund Bruce W. Gilpin Memorial Trust Fuchs Foundation Wells Fargo US Bancorp Foundation
RealNetworks Foundation Windermere Foundation Microsoft Community Affairs Nisqually Charitable Fund Norcliffe Foundation Stuart Foundation Andrus Family Fund Schultz Family Foundation Sessions Family Foundation Raikes Foundation The Thomas V. Giddens Jr. Foundation
Our website gets a makeover
Visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org to check out our fresh redesign. New features include a blog which will be regularly updated throughout the legislative session.
Homeless youth advocacy work formalized in King County Mockingbird has long advocated for programs that serve youth and young adults impacted by homelessness because of the strong correlation between youth homelessness Mockingbird youth participates in and youth exiting foster 2012 Youth Advocacy Day in Olympia. care. Numerous studies show that between 20 and 50 percent of youth will experience homelessness at some point as they age out of care. With a grant from the Raikes Foundation, Mockingbird will develop a new position under the Mockingbird Youth Network (MYN) program to help prepare youth and young adults in King County to advocate for policies and programs that serve homeless and street-involved youth.
Society’s online blog and in the Mockingbird Times. Our heartfelt thanks to the Raikes Foundation for selecting The Mockingbird Society to prepare youth for this important work.
Mockingbird joins National Foster Youth Action Network The Mockingbird Society has become a program partner of the National Foster Youth Action Network. The Action Network envisions that national policymakers and state child welfare systems will involve current and former foster youth in the development of child welfare policy. The partnership was a natural fit. Our thanks to the Stuart Foundation for helping to build this partnership.
Utilizing the strategies and trainings from the MYN program, this new initiative will help youth gain confidence while developing the skills to advocate and become directly engaged in key policy discussions. Look for updates on this new initiative on The Mockingbird
Did you know? According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, youth in foster care are 17 times more likely than the general public to experience homelessness.
Poised for growth...the Mockingbird Family Model Over the past 24 months, The Mockingbird Society has advocated to take the Mockingbird Family Model (MFM) to scale and further demonstrate its efficacy in improving outcomes for children, youth and families in foster care by measuring MFM outcomes against kids and families in the general foster care population. The MFM surrounds six to ten families that live in close proximity to a licensed foster The MFM currently serves about 200 children at 16 sites located in Washington care family — a Hub Home — who provides support, State, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. training, and respite care. The MFM improves on traditional care by creating an extended “family” of support for both caregivers and children.
of the MFM with Washington’s Children’s Administration (CA). When costly placements at therapeutic institutions are not appropriate, we see an opportunity for the MFM to provide stability and support for children, youth and families who can benefit from a family-like setting in the community. With a grant from the Thomas V. Giddens Jr. Foundation, Mockingbird is ready to lead the planning stage for this project and envisions launching new MFM Constellations by June 2013. Meanwhile, CA is exploring whether funding for the proposed Hub Homes can be leveraged through federal dollars. Ultimately, the project would provide a higher level of personal support to families that care for children, with outcomes that show lower costs, retained caregivers, and increased wellbeing of children and youth served by the program.
advocate Although positively evaluated five times by the University of Washington from 2004 to 2007, Mockingbird needed a clear test case to prove better outcomes and reduced costs on a system-wide level. To achieve this test case, Mockingbird is exploring new possibilities for the expansion
Engage. Connect. Advocate. yoYour ur d ay is an gift today isto an investment families. inve n t in children, in stme children, youthyouth andand families.
The Mockingbird Society relies on forward-thinking The Mockingbird Society relies on forward-thinking supporters like you! Your year-end gift will help our supporters like you! Your year-end gift will help our organization remain a respected and independent organization remain a respected and independent voice for foster care reform. voice for foster care reform. While some organizations consider advocacy a While some organizations consider advocacy a program among a larger umbrella of services, The program among a larger umbrella of services, The Mockingbird Society is 100% focused on advocacy. Mockingbird Society is 100% focused on advocacy. We advocate for policies and programs that benefit We advocate for policies and programs that benefit thousands of children, youth, and families impacted thousands of children, youth, and families impacted by our foster care system. An investment in by our foster care system. An investment in Mockingbird shows your commitment to advocating Mockingbird shows your commitment to advocating for upstream, long-term, solutions. for upstream, long-term solutions. Please support our year-round advocacy efforts! Please support our year-round advocacy efforts! Make a contribution in the enclosed envelope today, Make a contribution in the enclosed envelope today, or donate online at www.mockingbirdsociety.org. or donate online at www.mockingbirdsociety.org.
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ENGAGE. CONNECT. ADVOCATE. YOUTH ADVOCACY DAY Show your support for youthDAY and alumni of foster care by YOUTH ADVOCACY joining us for Youth Advocacy in Olympia! Mockingbird Show your support for youth Day and alumni of foster care supporters are invited to join youth in visiting elected by joining us for Youth Advocacy Day in Olympia! leaders toMockingbird encourage support of our Youâ€™ll feel supporters arelegislative invited toagenda. join youth in visiting great exercising civic duty!support of our legislative elected leadersyour to encourage agenda. Youâ€™ll feel great exercising your civic duty! February 22, 2013 9:00 a.m. to22, 2:00 p.m. February 2013 State Olympia 9:00Capitol, a.m. to 2:00 p.m. WA State Capitol, Olympia WA All ages are welcome! All ages are welcome!
THE CULTURE OF FOSTER CARE This THE dynamic CULTURE youth-led OFworkshop FOSTER provides CAREparticipants with a This first-hand dynamic understanding youth-led workshop of what itprovides is like forparticipants a young person towith navigate a first-hand the foster understanding care system.ofOpen what to it is alllike supporters for a as anyoung educational person opportunity. to navigate the foster care system. Open to all supporters as an educational opportunity. Two Trainings Offered! Two Trainings Offered! January 17 or April 9, 2013 January or April 6:00 p.m. 17 to 7:30 p.m.9, 2013 6:00Building, p.m. to 7:30 p.m.24th Ave S 2100 2100 2100 Building, 2100 Seattle, WA 98144 24th Ave S Seattle, WA 98144
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Mockingbird Joins National Foster Youth Action Netowork story is not in layout
2100 210024th 24thAve AveS,S,Suite Suite240 240 Seattle, Seattle,WA WA98144 98144
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An update on our progress and achievements in 2012.