New Progress Report Reflects on Washington’s Promise to Ensure that Youth Exit from Systems of Care into Safe and Stable Housing

Washington State nonprofit organizations Center for Children and Youth Justice (CCYJ), Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), and TeamChild released a report outlining progress made toward fulfilling the promise of Substitute Senate Bill 6560. This bill, passed in 2018, declared that “beginning January 1, 2021, any unaccompanied youth discharged from a publicly funded system of care in [Washington State] will be discharged into safe and stable housing.”

The progress report provides analysis of advancements and investments made on recommendations put forth in the 2020 report Improving Stability for Youth Exiting Systems of Care, released by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The report’s findings were informed by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth, and the Washington State Health Care Authority. The progress report also outlines opportunities and recommendations for actions to help fulfill the promise of 6560 moving forward.

The full progress report can be found here: [LINK].

CCYJ, LCYC, and TeamChild hope that the report will illustrate to state agencies, advocates, and policymakers what remains to be done to ensure that young people do not exit from Washington’s public systems of care into homelessness. As more support and resources become available for youth exiting from systems of care, state agencies must ensure the equitable delivery of resources and disaggregate data by population, as youth and young adults of color, LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults, and pregnant/parenting youth and young adults have been historically marginalized and face higher rates of homelessness.

According to data released in March 2023 by the Department of Social and Human Services, Research and Data Analysis in collaboration with the Department of Commerce, 1,148 youth and young adults who exited from systems of care experienced homelessness within 12 months after exit in calendar year 2020. BIPOC young people are overrepresented in this population.

### Center for Children and Youth Justice (CCYJ) creates better lives for generations of children and youth by reforming the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. By convening and partnering with parents, advocates, service providers and policymakers, CCYJ develops and advances innovative approaches to systemic change to support kids, stabilize families, and strengthen communities.

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC) protects the interests and safety of youth in Washington by advancing their legal rights. LCYC’s mission is accomplished through direct legal representation, strong community partnerships, and systemic advocacy.

TeamChild upholds the rights of youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the juvenile justice system to help them secure the education, healthcare, housing and other supports they need to achieve positive outcomes in their lives.

Contact: Emily Meltzer, Director of Development & Communications, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, 206-406-3069