Two members of Executive Constantine’s Senior Leadership Team recently met with a group of employees from the Juvenile Detention Division to hear about the work they are doing to help the young people entrusted to their care.
Chief People Officer Whitney Abrams and Chief Performance Officer Gary Kurihara sat in on the daily briefing of about 20 employees at the Youth Services Center to hear about their work, the challenges they are facing, and what they can do to remove any barriers.
“Employees know more than anyone about the work they are doing, so it’s imperative that senior leaders go out and meet with them and learn from their experiences,” Kurihara said. “What really struck me was the genuine care that these employees have for the youth at the juvenile facility, and their commitment to making sure that their experience is one of learning, growth and healing.”
The King County Juvenile Division is responsible for the care and custody of youth in detention. The employees work hard to provide a therapeutic environment of rehabilitation and learning to help youth involved in Juvenile Court develop into healthy, productive adults.
“This group of employees had some really good suggestions and ideas for what we can do at the leadership level to help them better serve young people in detention,” Abrams said. “It was really gratifying to hear directly from them, and there is a lot that I was able to take away, to learn from, and to see how I can help them be more effective in their work.”
In his 2018 State of the County address, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that all of the programming work within the Juvenile Division will be placed in the care of Public Health, building on the highly successful juvenile programs that are already generating tremendous results – work that Juvenile Division employees have been at the forefront of.
“It’s something that I am really passionate about – how do we as an organization put our employees in the best position to succeed in their work,” Kurihara said. “By listening to the people who are doing the work, we can find out what they need and try to make the changes so they can provide even better service to our customers.”