After more than 10 years as a social services counselor, Diane found herself in an almost unimaginable role reversal. With her 3-year-old son and teenage daughter, Diane moved to a family emergency shelter – one of the same shelters to which she referred her clients. How is the recession affecting the lives of economically vulnerable families raising young children in King County? To find out, Communities Count (a partnerhsip of City, County and other community partners) interviewed a diverse group of low- to middle-income parents.1 In this post, Communities Count explores the economic borderland that few middle-class parents ever imagine they will inhabit. From the perspective of this unfamiliar world, the essential role of social service benefits is examined in helping families work their way to self-sufficiency.
The City of Seattle is seeking candidates to fill eight citizen positions on the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee. Approved by Seattle voters on November 8, the $232 million Levy will be effective from 2012 through 2018, providing funding for school readiness and early learning; academic achievement in elementary, middle and high schools; guidance and related support for college and career preparation; and student health services. For details, please see this news release.
If you help care for a family member or friend and need support, contact the Family Caregiver Support Program at 206-448-3110 or 1-888-4ELDERS.
A nearly $1 million boost in state funding will help hundreds of family caregivers who take care of loved ones in their own homes.Family caregiving plays a vital role in helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community remain in their homes and stay independent, but caregiving also takes a heavy toll on the caregivers including stress, depression and increased chances of developing chronic illnesses.
The Family Caregiver Support Program, run by the Seattle Human Services Department’s Aging and Disability Services (ADS), received an increase of $987,000 for one year from July 2011. The added funding brings the total program budget to $2.5 million and will allow the program to serve approximately 430 county residents who are taking care of family members.
The City of Seattle’s Office for Education is sponsoring a series of more than 20 workshops beginning on June 23rd, 2011 for anyone interested in the implementation of the proposed Families & Education Levy renewal strategies. Registration is required. For a schedule of workshops see this Web link.
Beginning on March 1, 2011, the Seattle Human Services Department will realign its operations to better meet the needs of constituents and the community. The work of former divisions including Youth Development & Achievement, Early Learning & Family Support, and Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention will be restructured to become two divisions: the Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division and Youth & Family Empowerment Division. The Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division will encompass all of HSD’s programs that assist individuals and families as they work toward self-sufficiency. The Youth & Family Empowerment Division will take a more holistic approach to providing services from early childhood to young adulthood, including paths to post-secondary training – college, vocational training, apprenticeships into skilled trades, or other employment. For more details about these and other changes please read this special edition of Life Lines newsletter.
The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, recently launched a new Web site, the Giving Center. The site provides information for prospective donors on 675 nonprofits doing a wide range of work. Financial and evaluation information is included for each organization described. Launch of the site was covered in the Seattle Times and New York Times.
A report by Children’s HealthWatch shows that access to benefits such as nutrition, housing and utility support programs makes a significant difference in a child’s lifelong development and learning. Compared to children in low-income families receiving no benefits, children in households receiving benefits were more likely to meet the criteria for being a “well” child, less likely to have been hospitalized since birth and less likely to be at risk for developmental delays. See the full report at: http://www.childrenshealthwatch.org/upload/resource/multiplehardships_report_jun10.pdf
The Seattle Human Services Department has issued a “request for investment” (RFI) to provide naturalization assistance for low-income immigrants and refugees who live in Seattle and King County. Approximately $1.1 million is available to assist refugees and immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship. The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. July 30, 2010. Initial awards will be made for the period of January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011.
Contact Ann-Margaret Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-615-1112 to request paper copies of the RFI.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of the following RFI information meetings:
Thursday, June 24, 2010
10 a.m. – noon
Garfield Community Center
2323 E Cherry St.
Seattle, WA 98122
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
2 – 4 p.m.
Garfield Community Center
2323 E Cherry St.
Seattle, WA 98122
For more information, please visit the department’s RFI Web site.
Beginning on June 28 thousands of Seattle children ages 1 through 18 will enjoy free breakfasts and lunches this summer through the Seattle Human Services Department’s Summer Food Service Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program, also known as “Summer Sack Lunch,” is open to children at qualifying sites. From June 28 through Aug. 27, the meals will be served at approximately 100 sites across the city. These include designated community centers, Seattle park playgrounds, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, and other community sites throughout Seattle and parts of King County. For more information see this news release.
The Seattle Human Services Department has published (online) its 2009 Annual Report. The report provides a snapshot summary of the department’s accomplishments and outcomes in 2009 in data, photographs, and inspiring stories of people who have turned their lives around with the help of City-funded programs.