Jessica Strawn was born and raised in Glenwood, Washington and has lived in Ellensburg, Washington for the last fifteen years. She began her career with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration in Ellensburg, Washington as a counseling intern in 1999. After graduating from Central Washington University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and minors in ethnic studies and art history, she attended graduate school at Washington State University. She received her Master of Arts degree in sociology in 2003 with an emphasis on criminology, juvenile delinquency and communities.
From 2003 to 2007, Jessica worked for the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) in a variety of capacities as residential counselor, community parole counselor, functional family (FFT) therapist and Program Manager for the Region 2 JRA mentoring program. While working for JRA, Jessica served families from Cle Elum to Walla Walla. In 2007, Jessica joined Children’s Administration as social worker III in Ellensburg. She served Kittitas County in a variety of capacities from CPS investigation to completion of permanent plans for children for ten years.
She also served on the Board of Directors for youth services and early learning programs. She is passionate about helping foster youth not just survive but thrive. She enjoys engaging challenging families, implementing evidence-based practices and finding ways to ensure timely permanency planning for all youth in care. Jessica‘s interests include ACE(s) research, resiliency, practical policy making and professional development for child welfare workers. In addition to her work with children and families, Jessica has worked as a Professor in the Sociology/Social Services Department at Central Washington University since 2007. She teaches courses ranging from introductory theory to specific courses on child maltreatment, crime and delinquency, social services and case management. Jessica will be located in the Yakima DCYF Field Office and will primarily serve Region 2.