OLYMPIA — This week, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Sen. T’wina Nobles’ legislation that requires each public school to designate a contact for students experiencing foster care to coordinate services and resources into law.
For Nobles, a first-year Senator from Tacoma, the signing of this bill is notable in many ways. Not only is it her first bill signed into law, but it also addresses an issue that is very close to her heat. Nobles, who was in foster care herself when she was growing up, believes that when students are connected with a caring adult, are attending school regularly, and have the supports they need, they are more likely to be successful in school and in life.
“This bill is important to me because of my own background and experience in foster care,” says Nobles. “Recognizing that the reason why I went from a young person in foster care to an adult woman who is a state senator had a lot to do with caring adults and points of contact.”
“I was successful because of my points of contact at critical stages of my life. In order to be successful and meet their goals, youth need caring adults who pay attention to their needs,” Nobles continued. “It takes a village.”
Current law requires liaisons at the school district level. SB 5184 adds a layer of support for students experiencing foster care by having a contact at each public school. It also requires district liaisons to train the on-site contacts.
“These students are our responsibility, and the least we can do is guarantee that someone will be looking out for them where they are every day,” said Nobles.