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About Us

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Our Vision

Each and every young person, regardless of race and individual experience, reaches adulthood with an equitable opportunity to thrive.

Our Mission

Mockingbird creates, supports, and advocates for racially equitable, healthy environments that develop young people at risk of or experiencing foster care or homelessness.

Theory of Change

Our Guiding Principles

Our belief that all young people need the same things – love, care, support and resources – drives everything we do at The Mockingbird Society. Seven core principles encompass our work:

• Young people in "the system" are our responsibility.
• Programs do not create nurturing homes – dedicated adults do. 
• Systems do not raise healthy children – families and communities do. 
• Institutions do not change lives – relationships do. 
• The most effective advocacy is innovative and collaborative. 
• Families and young people impacted by the system play essential leadership roles in bringing about change. 
• The only way to prevent future problems is to look for solutions that address root, "upstream" causes. 
• Collaboration, inclusion – honoring all voices – is the heart of building a world‐class foster care system.

Our History

The Mockingbird Society is an advocacy organization founded in 2000 by Jim Theofelis to provide meaningful opportunities for youth across Washington state to participate in the social justice effort to improve the foster care system. Its first project was The Mockingbird Times, then a monthly newspaper written by young people who have experienced foster care that aims to have a positive impact on the public perception of the children and adolescents who are foster kids. Since then, our work has expanded to include working with foster families and child-placing agencies to improve outcomes for both foster kids and foster parents. Recognizing a clear link between experience in the child welfare system and homelessness, Mockingbird also began addressing issues around youth homelessness in 2013.