Transforming Futures for Low-Income Families: Southwest Youth & Family Services

Photo credit: Southwest Youth and Family Services.

Southwest Youth & Family Services (SWYFS) partners with youth and families to transform futures. For nearly 40 years, SWYFS has been a leading resource for low-income families and at-risk youth in southwest King County. The organization offers education, counseling, and youth and family development services within a secure and stable environment. SWYFS fills in the gaps of existing services so youth and families feel supported. Their four main service areas include:

Education

  • High School Credit Retrieval and GED Preparation
  • Parent-Child Home Program

Family Support

  • Family Advocacy
  • Parenting Classes and Childcare
  • Community Building

Behavioral Health

  • Individual, Group and Family Therapy
  • Aggression Replacement Therapy
  • Youth Violence and Gang Prevention

Youth Development

  • After-School Programs and Field Trips
  • Young Writers Workshops
  • Community Engagement for At-Risk Youth

In 2013, SWYFS merged with New Futures, expanding services further south to meet changing community needs. Through the New Futures program, SWYFS annually serves over 170 youth and their families from three King County Housing Authority sites in White Center, Burien, and SeaTac. The place-based Burien sites include Woodridge Park and Arbor Heights Apartments. A majority of youth and families are immigrant or refugee and English language learners and all are living on low to very low incomes.

New Futures provides after-school and summer programs four times each week for children ages 5–19. During the school year, the program runs after school from 4–7 p.m. During the summer, sessions are held four days per week for seven weeks, providing up to five hours of programming per day. This provides time for youth enrolled in the program to develop trusting, healthy relationships with staff and peers. Students also have time dedicated to work on academic success as well as participate in enrichment activities such as college and career readiness, enrichment through field trips, STEM activities, and youth-led projects.

The presence of New Futures at these low-income housing complexes gives youth, family, and residents at-large access to a wide range of services including child, youth, and family counseling; youth case management and behavioral modification classes; high school re-entry and young parent GED programs; family advocates; and parenting classes.

For more information about Southwest Youth & Family Services, visit www.swyfs.org.

This is the first in a new series to feature organizations that receive human services funding from the City of Burien.

Colleen Brandt-Schluter
Human Services Manager at City of Burien | More posts
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