annie blackledge

Dear Friends and Allies,

Our young people’s advocacy and boldness to share their stories, the leadership and determination of legislative champions, and the collaborative efforts of our partners had a huge impact during the 2016 legislative session. This past year, the young people involved in Mockingbird programs across the state worked hard to develop a thoughtful and well-researched advocacy agenda to address the needs of children and youth in foster care and those experiencing homelessness.Our young people’s advocacy and boldness to share their stories, the leadership and determination of legislative champions, and the collaborative efforts of our partners had a huge impact during the 2016 legislative session. This past year, the young people involved in Mockingbird programs across the state worked hard to develop a thoughtful and well-researched advocacy agenda to address the needs of children and youth in foster care and those experiencing homelessness.

We are pleased to share that we successfully advocated for ALL THREE of our budget priorities. You can read more about these victories in Deonate’s article, but here’s an overview of our achievements:

 

 

“We are also proud to share the Washington
Low Income Housing Alliance 
recognized The Mockingbird 
Society and the Youth Advocates 
Ending Homelessness (YAEH) program 
as the 2016 Ally in Advocacy.”

  • Increased Availability of Youth Shelter Beds. This year we moved closer to fulfilling the promise of the 1999 HOPE Act, which was authored and advocated for by Mockingbird’s founder.
  • Expansion of Street Youth Services. More dollars allocated to these programs will help connect young people to services to keep them safe and get them closer to moving off the streets.
  • Evaluation of the Mockingbird Family Model. Finally, the Legislature took another step forward toward supporting innovation in child welfare service delivery. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy will conduct an impact evaluation of the Mockingbird Family Model. This evaluation, coupled with an independent third party evaluation of the Model’s efficacy, will begin to build the evidence base for a viable alternative to delivering traditional foster care in Washington state.We are also proud to share the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance recognized The Mockingbird Society and the Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness (YAEH) program as the 2016 Ally in Advocacy. This award acknowledged our role in motivating state lawmakers to prioritize youth and young adult homelessness this session. We know we can’t be effective without great partners like the Housing Alliance!

Even though the session just adjourned, Mockingbird youth have already begun to identify issues that will eventually inform our agency’s 2017 advocacy agenda. It has been my privilege to spend time with many of the chapter members as they begin to shape the path forward. Their energy, commitment to civic engagement, and belief that change is possible is an inspiration. I’m looking forward to seeing what they accomplish next to ensure the children and youth who come behind us experience better outcomes. Onward we go!

Sincerely,

annie blackledge sig

Annie Blackledge
Executive Director

<< go to May 2016 Mockingbird Times


 

 

2020 Archives

We Welcome
Your Work

We welcome submissions of articles, poetry, artwork, and photography from our young readers who have experience in the foster care system and/ or homelessness. If you want to be, or have been, published in the Mockingbird Times visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ mockingbirdsociety.org. Note: Incoming letters to the editor and correspondence to youth under 18 years should be addressed to the Mockingbird Times and will be opened first by adult editorial staff.