The Darrington Families Children’s and Youth Task Force
On March 22, 2014, a large landslide occurred between the communities of Arlington and Darrington, in the community of Oso, Washington. 43 people were killed in the landslide, and mud and debris, up to 80 feet deep in places, was left behind in its wake. Travel on one of the major thoroughfares in the area, State Route 530, was impacted, increasing commute times by as much as two and a half hours.
Child care services in the communities and at the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe was also disrupted during the disaster. When services resumed, child care providers had to accommodate the longer hours families needed due to the increased commuting times.
ACF's Region 10 Regional Emergency Management Specialist (REMS) worked with Darrington to establish and lead The Darrington Families Children’s and Youth Task Force following the disaster. The task force focused on the needs of children and vulnerable families after the disaster and helping them attain safe, high-quality, reliable child care. The REMS worked extended hours seven days a week, helping to coordinate community and summer activities for children and supporting other community agencies such as the elementary school, library, Darrington and Sauk-Suiattle child care centers. So far, the task force has assisted more than 50 families through these efforts.
The task force continues to support children in the area after they return to school this fall, and will continue to do so through the anniversary of the event.