EAGLE POINT, Ore. — An organization in Oregon is working to connect foster kids with more than just a place to stay — the goal is to build an entire support network from local communities. Every Child works closely with Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) to meet that need.
"We know that Oregon's communities want to take action, and just don't know where to begin," Every Child says on its website. "Many of us feel helpless, doing nothing or never considering foster parenting."
While Every Child does work to bring in foster parents, it also cooperates with DHS in order to bring in donations or volunteers so that others can contribute if becoming a foster parent isn't an option.
"By doing so, we’re able to bring love, care, and support to children in foster care and families who previously had nowhere else to turn," Every Child says.
According to the organization, last year saw more than 11.2 thousand children in foster care in the state of Oregon, and the vast majority — 66.1 percent — spent time in more than one foster home. Many kids with siblings are split up from them.
"If a natural disaster hit our state and children were wandering the street without someone to care for them, each of us would open our homes to help in the crisis. With more than 11,00 children in foster care and more entering the system every day, we're in the midst of a disaster in our state," Every Child says.
Every Child has a laser focus on finding a way that just about anyone can help support foster families. The greatest need, of course, is for foster parents. However, the organization is just as open to bringing in volunteers to "meet tangible needs" that will support foster families. Monetary donations are also always welcome. And for those willing to help, but uncertain in what capacity, Every Child works with individuals to figure that out and connect with the right resources.