A Reflection on Our State’s Budget Challenge

All children deserve a permanent healthy family. Yet in Oregon for the over 10,000 children in foster care annually this is not a predictable reality.

During these uncertain political times, we expect more children in foster care in need of healthy permanent homes. We are deeply concerned about our state’s resources both in funding and complex understanding of how underemployment, housing, addiction and workforce to name but a few of the many issues that impact the number of children in foster care. These concerns impact the ability of biological parents to become healthy and stable to bring their children home. It also impacts the ability of caring adults to feel capable of adopting children in great need. It is concerning as our state economy improves that our most vulnerable children are failing and unsupported.

As an Oregonian, I know we can create dramatic change when we put our efforts to a problem. As a child, I saw our state suffer significant environmental issues including the decimation of our birds of prey. But as citizens, we recognized this problem and worked to together to change a problem many felt was out of their individual control. Today through all of our efforts we have eagles, hawks, and falcons nesting throughout our state even under the bridges of our most urban city, Portland.

At Kinship House we support all parents both biological and adoptive in creating a lasting healthy home for all children in need. Children who without a circle of support unnecessarily flounder in state foster care or even more tragically return to care after their parents both biological and adoptive are unable to support them due to a lack of support, success or understanding. This is a tragic outcome particularly as it can frequently be avoided if the right supports are accessible at the right time.

We see success every day at Kinship House we understand the caring adults we call parents are the heroes of the family the hero for their child. Children need us and we can succeed together.

As our state lingers in the bottom ten for outcomes we at Kinship House know we must reach out and educate more caring adults more heroes to support our local children. You do not have to be a parent to help, but we all need to know there is a problem before we can come together to create solutions. This struggle is not out of our combined efforts to change.

Our heroes help change the lives of 500 children a year. Our heroes include all caring adults who become amazing parents, all caring adults who are amazing donors and volunteers, all caring adults who work every day to support children and families at Kinship House. Our heroes make an impact for children not only today but change their lives in perpetuity.

I am confident together with your help Kinship House in partnership can be part of a new wave, where Oregon, you and I are one of the top ten states in the nation for families doing our best for our future for our children.

Join us and our many local partners supporting foster children and become a hero today.

Thank you.

— Heather Jefferis, MA
Executive Director

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