Treehouse plans statewide expansion of graduation program for youth in foster care

Nonprofit works with students across Washington, including Kent

  • Thursday, January 25, 2018 2:57pm
  • News
Courtesy Photo, Treehouse

Courtesy Photo, Treehouse

Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit which has dramatically increased graduation rates for youth in foster care, announced it will expand statewide over the next five years and has set a lofty new goal.

Treehouse plans by 2022 that youth in foster care across Washington state will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood, according to a news release.

The nonprofit set a similar goal for King County five years ago, at a time when less than 40 percent of youth in foster care were earning diplomas. The goal was reached at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year.

Treehouse works with 38 students and has two education specialists in the Kent School District, according to a Treehouse spokesman.

The extended graduation rate for youth in Treehouse’s program, Graduation Success, is 89 percent – 7 percent higher than the rate for all students in Washington. The rate includes on-time and fifth-year graduates throughout King County and a growing number of school districts in Pierce and Spokane counties.

In stark contrast, the extended graduation rate for youth in foster care statewide is just 49 percent, according to Treehouse.

“We’re very proud of the progress our youth have made so far, but there is much more work to do throughout Washington,” said Janis Avery, CEO of Treehouse. “It took a major commitment from the community to meet the goal for King County, and we’ll need even more partners as we expand throughout the state. The most vulnerable youth are depending on us – all of us.”

The Graduation Success program has saturated the school districts in King County. In 2016, the program expanded outside the county for the first time into Tacoma and Spokane. Treehouse has doubled in size the past five years and currently has 120 employees. The organization plans to double again during the expansion.

Treehouse’s education specialists are typically based at schools and meet with students on a weekly basis. Part coach, part parent and frequently part best friend, they help students take charge of their own futures as they set goals, make plans and advocate for themselves.

Without a high school diploma and a plan for their future, youth in foster care experience disproportionately high rates of poverty, homelessness, incarceration, early parenting and substance abuse.

Founded in 1988, Treehouse considers itself Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care. Treehouse helps more than 7,500 youth each year through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves. Learn more at treehouseforkids.org.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent Police seek man who reportedly tried to kidnap girl from apartment

Man allegedly reached into bathroom window to grab girl in attempted kidnapping

t
Kent Police arrest man, 18, in fatal shooting of 13-year-old boy

Judge finds probable cause to hold the Kent man for murder, attempted murder and robbery

The Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle that handles juvenile detention. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
High-profile juvenile crimes continue to rock Kent this summer

Six incidents in five weeks include fatal shooting, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
Kent man charged with attempted kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man allegedly try to take girl from apartment complex parking lot

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Kent man receives 8-year sentence in 2021 fatal shooting

Pleaded guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter in shooting at apartment complex over parking dispute

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill

t
Kent Police seek male teen driver in fatal hit-and-run on East Hill | Update

Teen reportedly driving stolen vehicle and fleeing police during Saturday, July 13 incident; victim identified

t
13-year-old boy fatally shot in Kent on East Hill near Turnkey Park | Update

Boy found shot near apartment complex Tuesday night, July 16 identified by medical examiner

t
Kent School Board votes 3-1 to send levy to voters in November

Capital projects and technology levy reduced from $192 million to $97 million after previous failures