CISC helps Chinese and other Asian immigrants throughout King County achieve success in their new community by providing information, referral, advocacy, social, and support services.
CISC was started in 1972 by a group of energetic college and high school students. They worked as part time volunteers in a tiny donated space in Chinatown to fulfill a community need. The early focus was on helping non-English speaking elderly in the community. Later, CISC broadened its scope and added adult and youth employment programs, ESL and naturalization classes, family and youth services, domestic violence and crime victim services, and a community technology center.
Over the years, CISC has continued to respond to community needs by bringing services for seniors to the Eastside. In 2007, CISC partnered with other community based organizations and began providing immigrant transition services on the Eastside and at its International Family Center-Kent in Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, and the languages of India.
Our agency’s service philosophy is to use an holistic approach with bilingual/bicultural staff to provide developmentally appropriate services to individuals, families, and groups within our community. The focus is first on stabilizing, then strengthening our community members through strength-based skill building. The ultimate goal is for each client to reach their maximum potential as quickly as possible, and become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.
Each year, CISC serves over 20,000 immigrants and their families, throughout King County, Washington, (including Seattle). These services help overcome barriers, facilitate transition to, and integration in the mainstream community.
The population CISC serves comes from many different countries in Asia including Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and others. Individuals receiving services range in age from birth to 106, and include both low, and moderate-income individuals and families. CISC also serves clients of other Asian ethnicities, including Vietnamese, Laotian, Filipino, Hmong, and Cambodian, as well as Russian and Spanish speaking immigrants. No one is denied service based on his or her racial, ethnic, or linguistic background, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical ability.
There are currently over 50 staff, assisted by work-study students and hundreds of community volunteers. The agency has language capacity in Cantonese, Mandarin, Toisanese, Taiwanese, Hakka, Chiuchow, Shanghainese, Fukienese, Malay, Vietnamese, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Spanish, Russian, and English.
For 40 years, CISC has enjoyed an excellent reputation in the community as the leading provider of linguistically and culturally appropriate social services to the Chinese immigrant community.