August, 18 2018

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Washington Program get $2 Million to Help Troubled Teens

About 200 teens and young adults involved in the juvenile justice system -- or who are at risk of committing an offense -- will be served in new King County career and education centers financed by a $2 million federal grant.

The New Futures Network will provide an array of educational, vocational and case management services through a partnership of 10 community and government agencies.

How this New Program for Troubled Youth Will Help

The 18-month grant, recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor, will replicate the work of the YouthSource center in Renton, which helps young people complete their high school education, prepare for jobs and gain leadership skills.

The network will consist of YouthSource and two other sites: YouthCare's Orion Center in downtown Seattle, which serves at-risk and homeless youth, and a center at a location yet to be determined, possibly Kent or Auburn.

Giving Troubled Youth Tools to Create a Positive Future

Programs that help struggling youths in a variety of ways are "very successful in stopping the cycle of criminal activity and giving youth the tools to create a positive future," said Kris Stadelman, chief executive of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County, the lead applicant for the federal grant.

The network will serve youths age 14 to 24 who are referred from the county's superior and juvenile courts, Seattle Public Schools and other agencies.

Youths will receive "occupational skill training at the same time they're completing their GED or making credits up," said Dan Fey, director of advancement for the Workforce Development Council. "They're learning math, science and reading through job skills, making learning more relevant."

How many Youth Need Help?

More than 2,000 young people have their cases settled in court each year in King County, with more than 3,600 diverted from prosecution, according to the grant application for the New Futures Network.

In helping youths stay out of trouble and be productive members of society, the network will attempt to bridge the "large gap between the wealthy and those less fortunate," the application said.

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