CFJC Resource Center connects youth and families to service providers

By Alex Hurtado

The brick and mortar of the Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) is nearing completion, but it’s the services that will be provided to youth, their families and the community that will make this building shine.

Each courthouse level’s interior design has a King County theme; the main level of the courthouse side – The City – includes a café, community conference rooms, and a resource center. This floor will be vibrant, dynamic and community-centric.

Robert Gant, who is the Superior Court Community Partnership Manager, is enthusiastic about the opportunity to connect young people to community-based services on-site in a space that offers privacy to parents and youth. “One of the challenges at the Youth Services Center is the lack of privacy,” Gant said. “The CFJC Resource Center addresses that challenge with dedicated space and privacy, rather than meeting with families in the lobby.”

Many young people are in crisis and experiencing a variety of challenges in their life, such as lack of positive community connection, homelessness, minimal pro-social youth development, behavioral health/substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, family unit disruption, or limited employment options to name a few.

The CFJC Resource Center staff will connect families with a warm hand-off – whether they’re court-involved or not – to supportive social services, non-profits and community organizations. “This space will hopefully decrease the barriers for families seeking immediate assistance,” Gant said. Providers will be scheduled on-site on a rolling calendar. While representatives for some services may be on-site, Resource Center staff can bridge the gap for families with off-site service providers that are as close as possible to the family’s neighborhood.

Some of the providers include, YouthCare, Consejo, Community Passageways, Goodwill Job Training & Education, Nexus, and many more.

King County Information Technology is innovating how families connect to the Resource Center with the development and launch of the King County Youth Resources application/web-page for IOS and Android devices. This application provides information about youth and family resources in King County.  Resources may be filtered on this application by type of service, age, and desired travel distance. The application will be available in early 2020.

The Resource Center will provide in-house interpreter services, a Youth Clothing Shop, legal resources, and it will provide youth with snack and hygiene packs.