TeamChild’s Yakima office opened in 1998, serving all of Yakima County, including communities in the lower valley. Yakima is a rural county known for agricultural production. Many of our clients are Latino and have family members who speak only Spanish. All of our Yakima County staff are bilingual. Education barriers continue to be an issue for a majority of our clients. Compared to other TeamChild offices, we historically have the second highest rate of cases involving school discipline issues. In recent years, we also expanded our child welfare practice by representing a small number of “legally free” children under a special contract with the state Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA).
In addition to providing direct legal representation to TeamChild clients, our Yakima staff are involved in local efforts to confront and redress youth homelessness and to support immigrant and LGBTQ rights. Recently, our community has experienced an increase in homelessness, and there are few local resources to address this problem. Youth suffer most acutely as there is no local youth shelter, a need we believe should be addressed.
As we advocate for the multi-dimensional needs of our clients, we are fortunate to have strong relationships with local partners. This is not an exhaustive list, but they include:
Our Yakima County office served a total of 83 youth in 2016. Here are snapshots of our client demographics.
Asian or Asian American
Hispanic or Latino
Naive American or Alaskan Native
White or Caucasian
10 to 12
13 to 14
15 to 17
18 and up