Imprint Author

Elizabeth Amon

Elizabeth Amon is a freelance reporter based in Seattle, Washington and can be reached at [email protected].

California Foster Youth Must Make UBI Payments Work Along With Other Public Assistance


California Foster Youth Must Make UBI Payments Work Along With Other Public Assistance

In July, California created the first statewide UBI, with monthly payments to former foster youth. Lawmakers and advocates are working to ensure the payments don't hinder other forms of public assistance.

Vulnerable Youth in Nevada Offered Healing Through Yoga


Nevada’s Vulnerable Youth Offered Healing through Yoga

The yoga teachers with Reno nonprofit Urban Lotus guide youth toward healing through trauma-informed movement classes.


California Weighs Protections for Parenting Foster Youth

A California bill on Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk would put protections into place for parenting foster youth, to help address intergenerational involvement in the child welfare system.

Two new Washington laws aim to disrupt the foster care-to-prison pipeline through community transition programs and educational opportunities.


New Washington Laws Aim to Interrupt Foster Care-to-Prison Pipeline

Two new Washington laws aim to disrupt the foster care-to-prison pipeline through community transition programs and educational opportunities.


A Village Apart: Lummi Nation Creates a Unique Community to Support Families

Sche'lang’en Village, which opened in 2017, is a housing development that preserves Native American families by providing support and opportunities for transformational life changes.

Veronica Vieyra benefited from the UBI program Santa Clara County has in place for former foster youth.


California Approves First State-Guaranteed Income For Foster Youth

In a historic move to support young adults raised by the government, a monthly check of up to $1,000 — with no restrictions and no strings attached — will be sent to thousands of California foster youth once they leave the state’s custody, guaranteeing them the first statewide universal basic income.

One of California's foster youth who received a free phone through iFoster's pilot program.


‘New Government Benefit’ Providing Cell Phones to California Foster Youth Made Permanent

Thousands more California foster youth between 13 and 26 will have the opportunity to receive free cell phones with online access following a Thursday vote by California’s public utility commission.

Lynsey Romero struggled with her mental health due to trauma and the pandemic.


Washington Youth Struggle with Mental Health as State is Stretched to Serve Them

Poor mental health is a crisis in Washington, especially among young people. In February, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation to address the issue.

Washington lawsuit settled


Washington Will End Foster Youth Placement in Hotels, Offices and Cars

Washington youth will no longer sleep in cars, offices and hotel rooms while in foster care, under a proposed agreement between children’s lawyers and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

The ICWA Law Center staff.


Minneapolis Lawyers Rely on ‘Gold Standard’ Law to Keep Native American Families Together

To examine the Indian Child Welfare Act and its impact, The Imprint reviewed summaries of 40 cases handled last fall by a leading nonprofit law firm in Minnesota, where Native American children are removed from their parents at a rate unseen elsewhere in the country. The review revealed that the federal law has a clear benefit for the children it is designed to protect — and without it, those rights would be greatly diminished.


Keyon’s Case Heads to Washington Supreme Court

After the child was placed with strangers, his family fought the system on two fronts


Program Helping Homeless Students on Washington College Campuses Seeks to Expand During Pandemic

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
For three years, Jaysa Cooper focused only on the 24 hours ahead, unsure where she would sleep and whether she’d be able to eat. The 21-year-old couch-surfed with friends and family or slept in her car in and around Yakima, where she was born and raised.


Washington State Aims to Better Serve Diverse Homeless Youth in Prevention Programs

Milo Edwards, 19, was among the advisers who helped inform the report published by the Office of Homeless Youth. Photo courtesy of Edwards
In January, when a preliminary report identifying gaps in state-led programs to prevent youth homelessness was released in Washington state, it was clear who was being left out or ill-served: youth of color and those with disabilities.


Behavioral Health Funding for Washington Homeless Youth in Jeopardy

When Spokane’s Crosswalk teen shelter hired behavioral health counselor Kaitlyn Lee last year with money from a new state grant, part of her job was to shoot pool in the common room with the teenagers.


New Washington State Senator’s Bill for Foster Kids Advances with Unanimous Support

T’wina Nobles’ first bill, requiring campus assistance for students in foster care, passed the state Senate this week. Photo courtesy of Nobles
Early legislation by a new Washington state senator — a trailblazing former foster youth who rose up from homelessness to lead her Tacoma area district in the capital — has passed out of the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support, a bill to help the most vulnerable children get through school.


Washington Youth Flex Lobbying Might on Rights of Native Americans, Homelessness and Foster Youth

When teens and young adults who’ve lived through homelessness and foster care gather this year to tell Washington state policymakers what their peers need most, the youth advocates will have three priorities: they want lawyers for every foster child, a task force to focus on the experience of Native Americans and better support for the newly independent.

Washington lawsuit settled


Washington State Sued for ‘Warehousing’ Foster Youth with Disabilities in Hotels, Offices

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
In a lawsuit filed this week in federal court, advocates say Washington state’s practice of placing foster youth in hotels and government offices overnight, housing them in group homes, and sending them out of state has left hundreds of children with behavioral health and developmental disabilities essentially homeless.


Tacoma Youth, Young Adults Find Shelter During Pandemic

In one of the nation's hottest real estate markets, an innovative housing projects keeps youth and young adults out of homelessness


Rocky Start for Washington Law Forbidding Discharges to Homelessness

A state law passed in 2018 was supposed to end the practice of youth exiting foster care into homelessness, and better protect homeless youth who are at risk of physical and sexual assault, human trafficking and emotional trauma.


Seattle-Area New Homelessness Authority Centers Lived Experience

A homeless camps with tents and tarp shelter under a bridge. Photo:
For more than 20 years, Seattle and King County have struggled to respond to the city’s homelessness crisis, which has grown to include more than 11,700 unsheltered people.

Washington lawsuit settled


A New Call for Humane Treatment of Washington Foster Youth Sleeping in Hotels and Offices

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
The number of nights that hundreds of Washington’s foster youth are left essentially homeless has skyrocketed in the last year to 1,863.  For yet another year, the Ombuds office, which oversees the Department of Children, Youth and Families has released an annual report condemning the state agency for the continuing rise of “placement exceptions” that leave children sleeping in hotels, on cots in government buildings, and at times even in social workers’ cars. 


Washington State Program Aims to End Youth Homelessness in Four Counties By End of Next Year

She had been homeless and struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts over three difficult years, when Elsa St Clair was released in January from an Idaho psychiatric hospital. Today, the 24-year-old enjoys a reliable internet connection in a Spokane apartment that she’s decorated with the flag of Eastern Washington University, where she hopes to study nursing.


Second Black Senator in Washington History Rose From Youth Homelessness

T’wina Nobles will soon be sworn in as the second Black senator in the history of the Washington legislature. Photo courtesy of Nobles
Washington’s newest state senator-elect from the 28th District defies one troubling statistic after another: T’wina Nobles will become the only Black member of the Senate and the first to be elected to the Legislature in a decade.

Decades-old Lawsuit to Reform Washington’s Foster Care System Is Resolved


Homeless in the Washington Foster Care System: Kids Left Behind After the Last Recession

This West Seattle office building housed youth overnight when the Department of Children, Youth, and Families could not find a placement for them. Photo courtesy of Espen James
The prosperity in Seattle that followed the 2008 Great Recession led to record home sales along Lake Washington and new Teslas on the roads, but the dwindling investments in housing the state’s most vulnerable foster youth are now leaving hundreds essentially homeless in the state’s care.

Washington lawsuit settled


Homeless and in Foster Care: Hundreds of Washington Youth Sleeping in Offices, Hotel Rooms and Even Cars

Illustration by Christine Ongjoco
Since early April, 16-year-old Espen James has spent most nights in Washington’s foster care system being shuttled from a government office by day to hotels by night.


Student Homelessness Prevented on Washington College Campuses As New School Year Commences

Brianna Franco, a communications major at Seattle Pacific University, has received assistance from a state-funded program to prevent homelessness, Passport to College. Photo courtesy of Franco.
In March, as college campuses nationwide began shutting down to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus and students fled home to their childhood bedrooms, foster youth and the homeless had potentially everything to lose if they were forced to turn in their dorm keys.


Legal Victory for Native Communities in Washington State Child Welfare Case

Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis is the first Native American justice to serve on the Washington Supreme Court. Photo courtesy of the Office of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Citing the devastating history of the government-sponsored destruction of Native families, the Washington Supreme Court ruled Thursday that courts must use “a broad interpretation” in determining whether children facing removal from their parents have American Indian heritage.