The state House of Representatives today approved Inslee’s bill to create a new state Department of Children, Youth and Families with a bi-partisan 77-19 vote.
The proposal is built off the unanimous recommendations of experts and leaders convened by the governor last year in a bi-partisan Blue Ribbon Commission. In December, the governor outlined his plans to create the new department.
“We need to shift from a reactive approach to serving our children to an approach that is proactive and preventive. Restructuring how we serve at-risk youth and families into one department will help us do that. I’m pleased the House took a big step forward for the health and safety of the children of Washington, and I’m looking forward to the Senate passing this bill soon as well.”
Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle, is the prime sponsor of the legislation in the House, HB 1661.
“Ten years ago, I helped to create the Department of Early Learning to focus on high quality early learning opportunities for young children so they can start kindergarten ready to succeed,” said Kagi, chair of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee. “We need to restructure our services to build upon this solid foundation. The Department of Children, Youth and Families will be a single, visible, accountable agency that will be responsible for improving outcomes for children and families.”