Children and Families in Common
King County, Washington
October and November, 1998
The mission of Children & Families in Common grant was two-fold. The first was to reform the system of services for youth and families in King County by ensuring that families are partners at every level, services are integrated and coordinated such that there is one case plan for multi-system involved youth, and services and practices are culturally competent. Secondly, the mission was to provide collaborative, wraparound services for youth with serious emotional disturbance whose families were seeking additional support from the juvenile court through an At-Risk Youth (ARY), Child in Need of Services (CHINS) or Truancy petition.
Children & Families in Common serves children who reside in King County, a geographical area comprised of 2,128 square miles. It is the eleventh largest geographical area among Washington’s 39 counties and home to approximately one-third of the State’s population. The projected population for King County in 2003 was 1,779,300. Approximately 433,621 (24 percent of the population) are children ages 0 to 19 years. The county is culturally and ethnically diverse. According to the 2000 Census, of the total population of children in King County, 11 percent are Asian, 8 percent are of Hispanic ethnicity, 7 percent are African-American, 1 percent is American Indian, and 1 percent is Hawaiian. Currently an average of 6,794 children are served per month in the public mental health system. They are served in the following ethnic distribution: 58.3 percent Caucasian, 16.9 percent African-American, 6.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.3 percent American Indian, and 15.9 percent Mixed/Other. For all races combined, 20.9 percent of the children are of Hispanic ethnicity. Respondents also reported an increasing number of Arabic and Somalia/refugee families.