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Marcos wears glasses and a smokey blue blazer and smiles into the camera.

Reflections on My 1st Year at TeamChild

As we head into 2023 -- a year of strategic planning for TeamChild -- each one of us on our staff and Board is deeply reflecting on how we can meet the challenges of today while doing the work to prevent harm from happening in the first place.
White text on turquoise background reads: VY VU Pierce County Case Support and Outreach Specialist

Youth Voice – Are We Listening?

Young people should be able to co-design solutions to problems impacting them, and be actively involved at the table for how we implement those changes.
A small photo of Kim appears in the upper right corner of a presentation slide that reads: Safe and Stable Housing.

Holistic Youth Defense

TeamChild attorneys Marshaun Barber, Kimberly Williams and Sara Zier presented tips and resources earlier this month for Washington defenders working with youth.
Illustration by Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times: Blue, white and black drawing of students walking away from a bus and a man with a clipboard in the foreground.

Accountability and Inclusion

TeamChild attorneys tackle 2 major issues for clients: accountability and inclusion. A true failure of accountability and inclusion at a statewide level is highlighted in last month’s reporting from The Seattle Times and ProPublica about the Northwest School of Innovative Learning (NW SOIL).
Photo of the Capitol Building in Olympia by John Callery. The building is surrounded by evergreen trees.

Partnering to Advance Justice

As we approach the 2023 legislative session, we wanted to look back on the partnerships we’ve cultivated with our legislative champions and the efforts these partnerships have made in transforming the statewide landscape of juvenile civil legal advocacy.
Image by youth artist Kasama Smith: Illustrated letters with mountains, ocean, flowers and a tree against an orange background spell the word HOPE.

Looking Ahead

Heading into the new year we offer an image of hope created by youth artist Kasama Smith. Thank you, Kasama, for sharing your inspiring vision and art with us!
TeamChild Managing Attorney, Dan, is wearing a suit and tie and smiles into the camera.

Justice is Joyful when we Elevate Community

As I reflect on these years that make up a large and meaningful chapter of my life, I am full of gratitude for the community that has formed around me. My community is those clients, all of whom are full of potential and who are ready to be a part of this ever slowly bending arc toward justice.
Green Hill School is pictured with a concrete sculpture of a face in front of it. There is a yellow fire hydrant and a tree to the left. Black text in a green text box reads: Law Library Update, Green Hill School. TeamChild logo appears in lower right corner.

TeamChild Partners with Green Hill School to Begin Law Library for Youth

TeamChild set out to build power and knowledge amongst incarcerated youth by working in partnership with young people at Green Hill School, to plan, develop, and begin building a law library at the Juvenile Rehabilitation facility.
White text in a red thought bubble reads: "Court Costs Are Holding Me Back" - Debt Free Youth Justcie WA

Debt Free Youth Justice

TeamChild has been working for over a decade with individual clients, and with systems as a whole, to eliminate the harms the juvenile legal system creates for young people, their families, and communities. Much of this work has focused on post-conviction relief, which means helping a young person who has been through the legal system reconnect to a productive, inclusive, and supportive environment after that contact with court and incarceration.
Artwork, featuring an adult and a youth lying on a hillside in the moonlight, by Molly Costello with quotes by Miriame Kaba: Instead of trying to fix what we have, Abolition invites us to ask, "What can we imagine for ourselves and the world?" If we do this, "Boundless possibilities of a more just world await us."Molly Costello

Gratitude – In Community

At TeamChild, we are working to find new and creative ways to support each other across our statewide offices – and while I say “new,” in fact one of the most meaningful strategies is the most enduring one. It’s about making space for relationships and our own humanity.
3 young people sit in a classroom listening to someone speaking. White text reads: Youth Matters. Logo for Glover Empower Mentoring appears in upper left corner.

Electing Prosecuting Attorneys: Why You(th) Matter(s)

There are two significant prosecuting attorney races happening in Washington state this November 8th, one in King County and one in Spokane County. For many voters, and especially young people, it may be difficult to meaningfully participate in this election because it’s hard to understand what the job of a prosecutor is all about.
An adult and a young person look at a book together at a desk. They are smiling and another student sits behind them in the classroom.

Back To School – Youth Education Law Collaborative

TeamChild has been working very hard on creating a new Youth Education Law Collaborative (YELC). TeamChild, along with Northwest Justice Project, Washington Autism Alliance, Kids in Need of Defense, Disability Rights Washington, and Seattle University School of Law will provide accessible legal information and education advocacy to students impacted by COVID-19.
3 photos show a youth prison with yellow caution tape in front, a school building with yellow sign that says Safe Space, and a young person in silhouette at a desk. The TeamChild logo appears at the bottom next to the word POLICY spelled out on scrabble tiles.

Policy Goals and Priorities

We hope to make an impact for youth in education, stable and safe housing, removing post-conviction burdens and barriers, and reducing the use of incarceration to respond to the needs of young people.
A young person is pictured looking out a window up towards the sky. Text above in blue reads 988. White text reads: 24/7 Crisis & Support. Know Your Rights - New Laws and Resources

Know Your Rights – New Laws

In our July blog, we want to highlight a few of the new laws, that are now in effect, that impact our clients and communities and help everyone prepare for the changes.
Image by young artist and TeamChild supporter R Lesli - a person in profile with their dark hair pulled back in braids and wearing a large gold hoop earring. There are rainbow colors in between the braids.

The Urgency of Inclusive Pride

This June, as Pride Month commemorates the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, advocates again face a critical moment in the development of an equitable, safe, and more-inclusive society.
Infographic from Juvenile Law Center - Text reads: Future Interrupted - How Juvenile Records Disproportionately Affect Youth of Color. A red and orange pie chart shows that Two thirds of incarcerated youth are youth of color. There are icons of a house, a briefcase and a diploma below text reading: Records are often used to screen applications. Having a juvenile record can prevent a young person from 1) Getting Housing 2) Finding a Stable Job 3) Going to College

Protections for Young People Delayed

TeamChild continues to support Washington State Supreme Court’s rule changes that protect youth from a lifetime of exposure to their juvenile legal cases. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court voted to delay implementation to allow for more discussion about how to implement the new rules.
The word POLICY is spelled out on wooden blocks; to the upper right is a drawing of a hand and finger pressing a computer key with the word POST. Against a green background, a photo shows a young man in silhouette studying at a desk. A red car drives into frame behind him. Additional black and white text reads News Update.

Proposed Rule Changes on WA State Juvenile Court Records Delayed

On May 5, the Washington State Supreme Court delayed implementation of these new rules and referred them back to the Supreme Court Rules Committee to recommend next steps. We urge the Rules Committee to reaffirm these rule changes and set a definite implementation date. These rules are important and necessary steps toward dismantling longstanding inequities in the court system and the detrimental impacts on the lives of youth.
Light text on a blackboard reads: Ask Youth! 2 young people read books together. Orange text on blue background reads: A Movement Lawyering Approach to Education Inequities in the Wake of COVID

A Movement Lawyering Approach to Education Inequities in the Wake of COVID

Any parent with school-aged children will tell you that school closures, remote online learning, and return to school with changing mask mandates, strict sick policies, and school staff shortages have dramatically impacted public education. For Black and brown students, students who have disabilities, and low-income students the pandemic included those challenges and exacerbated pre-existing inequities in education.
The word POLICY is spelled out on wooden blocks. Above, a building and lawn are pictured behind a closed gate. The sign on the gate reads: State of Washington - Department of Social and Health Services - Naselle Youth Camp. To the right of the photo there is an illustration of a hand and finger pushing a computer key with the word POST. TeamChild logo appears below.

Closing Naselle Youth Camp – a look at TeamChild’s approach to policy

As TeamChild moves into our second year of supporting a policy team, we have given a lot of thought to how we make policy decisions. We work to center our anti-racism principals in all of our decisions, especially policy decisions that are intended to improve the experiences of youth who are impacted by incarceration, court systems, and other oppressive systems.
A building and lawn are pictured behind a closed gate. The sign on the gate reads: State of Washington - Department of Social and Health Services - Naselle Youth Camp.

TeamChild Statement on the Proposed Closure of Naselle Youth Camp

The decision to close Naselle through a budget proviso during the 2022 legislative session failed to allow for a thoughtful public discussion or careful planning for the needs and placement of those youth who are currently or would otherwise be placed at Naselle.
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