Our mission is to champion the successful permanency of each child who comes to our door. We understand that each individuals unique history, culture and needs must be considered as they journey to stable, healthy homes.

Resource Links

Here are a few links to sites for information about foster care:

More to come!

Group Of Children Sitting On Edge Of Trampoline Together Smiling To Camera.

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May – Foster Care Awareness Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.

During National Foster Care Month, let’s renew our commitment to ensuring a bright future for the more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care, and we celebrate all those who make a meaningful difference in their lives.

Kinship House serves an average of 500 foster kids each year. We address the missing piece in services provided to most children touched by foster care and adoption. In addition to significant mental health concerns, these children have been traumatized by a necessary but difficult system. They need to explore the circumstances of their past to prepare for a successful future.

Learn more about Foster Care Awareness Month here!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Timothy Travis

Our board members dedicate hours of volunteer time to lead our organization.  Timothy Travis joined us in June 2015.  In his role as a board member, he serves on our board’s Outreach & Visibility committee.

A passionate advocate for children, Timothy Travis represented abused and neglected children in Multnomah and Washington Counties and then spent 11 years as the Program Manager of the Juvenile Court Improvement Project at the Oregon Judicial Department.  He became a consultant to the American Bar Association, supporting courts and child welfare agencies to improve outcomes in 37 states.

Timothy graduated from Medford High School, spent three years in the Marines Corps and then attended the University of Oregon.  He taught public school in the Eugene area before returning to UO for his law degree, where he met his future wife met in juvenile law class.  They have two grown daughters.  In retirement Timothy gardens, writes, is active in his Quaker meeting and continues his advocacy for children by sitting on the of Kinship House.

Thank you, Timothy!


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Welcome, Elizabeth!

We are so excited to welcome Elizabeth Orthmann as our new Child and Family Therapist! Liz has come to us all the way from Phoenix, Arizona where she was practicing as a therapist, raising her small family and dreaming of the day she could walk her dog near rivers and trees. Liz is really excited to be on a new adventure in Portland and is excited to start helping Oregon’s most vulnerable children.

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CASA for Children

Kinship House is honored to be a community partner with CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington, & Columbia Counties. The organization generously included several of our foster children in a recent outing to hang out with the Winterhawks!

It was a fun day for foster kids from the Portland metro area to meet some of the players, get on the ice and learn how to play hockey, and then watch a game.

CASA arrived in Multnomah County in 1986 and has grown to one of the largest and longest serving CASA organizations in the nation. Under the leadership of Judge Stephen B. Herrell, the pilot was so successful; the Oregon Legislature passed a law mandating that every abused and neglected child in protective custody is entitled to the help of a CASA volunteer. In 1998, CASA of Multnomah County merged with CASA of Washington County, and with CASA of Columbia County in 2015 to become CASA for Children of Multnomah, Washington, & Columbia Counties. Today we serve Oregon’s largest group of children who are in protective custody of the court. There are over 4,000 children living in the foster care system in Multnomah, Washington, & Columbia Counties alone.


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Work Connections Breakfast

Today was one of celebration as hundreds of local workforce development, education, business, electeds, and non-profit organizations gathered for the Work Connections Breakfast. I had the pleasure of bumping into Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann.

The event was presented by Portland OIC and Rosemary Anderson High School and held at the Multnomah Athletic Center.

Portland OIC is a non-profit education management organization, established for 42 years in North Portland, serving over 560 students and work trainees annually, across three programs: Rosemary Anderson High School, Rosemary Anderson Transitions, and Work Opportunities Training.

POIC reconnects alienated at-risk youth affected by poverty, family instability, and homelessness; with high school education through Rosemary Anderson High School (RAHS), and with career training through POIC Work Opportunity Training programs (WOT).

They continue to mentor and support their graduates in post-secondary education until they reach the age of stable maturity at 25, through our Rosemary Anderson Transitions program (RATR)

Today’s program included the distribution of several awards:

  • Leader Award – New Seasons Market – For providing training and employment for POIC work trainees.
  • Advocate Award – The Oregon Zoo – For making a community-wide impact on youth development.

The C.A.R.E. Awards (Connected. Accountable. Responsible. Educated) went to Ana Felix, Anab Mohammad, and Precious-Jewell Stevens.

Congratulations to all of the awardees!

— Dennise M. Kowalczyk (Development Director)

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2017 Pajama Bowl

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s Pajama Bowl!  We had loads of fun at Big Al’s in Beaverton! A shout out of congratulations to two of our teams for making it to the top four:  Tooth Fairies and Bowling Bankers.


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Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Wackrow

Kinship House is blessed with the incredible volunteer support of community ranging from monthly clean-up of our facility to helping out at our events to providing much-need administrative support.

Karen with her grandson, Issac

Karen Wackrow recently joined our volunteer team and is helping in our development department by doing donor research. 

  • How did you hear about Kinship House?
    I heard about Kinship House through a client of mine from my professional organizing business, OREGONize Your Life, LLC.  My client is on the board at Kinship House and we are friends on Facebook.  I saw the Kinship House auction information on Facebook and it peaked my interest to find out more about the organization.
  • What motivated you to start volunteering with us?
    It is important to me to give back a bit to the community.  I am also a volunteer for Elders in Action, which has been very rewarding.  In addition, for most of my childhood, I was in kinship care, raised by relatives as I was orphaned at an early age.  The effort and success at Kinship House tugs at my heartstrings in a very personal way.
  • What kind of volunteer assignments have you worked on at Kinship House?
    To date, I am working on consolidating information of corporations in order to request donations to the Kinship House auction in October.  I also look forward to helping with events throughout the year.
  • What is a favorite childhood memory?
    I recall building a wonderful snow fort with my brother at the age of 6 in Michigan City, Indiana after a huge snow storm.  It was a long tunnel of snow and we even had a lantern to light our way.  After the snow melted, we still played “snow bound” in our house.
  • What is your favorite thing to do in Oregon?
    My husband and I adore living in Oregon.!  It is hard to pick one thing.  We have been to The Painted Hills, which is awesome and visit the wineries frequently.  Our four grandchildren are here, and we cherish every minute spent with them.

If you are interested in volunteering for Kinship House, contact Bekka at 503-460-2796 and she will give you all the details.  For general information, check out our list of opportunities here.

— Dennise M. Kowalczyk, Development Director

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Benevity and Workplace Giving

Great news!  Kinship House is now part of the Benevity giving community!

Benevity is the global leader in online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and integrated grant management solutions. Some of the world’s most iconic brands rely on Benevity’s award-winning solutions to power their Goodness Programs and corporate philanthropy, helping them attract, retain and engage today’s workers by connecting people personally to causes that matter to them.

Here is a partial list of some of those companies who participate in the program:

  • ADP
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Cargill
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Prudential
  • SAP

If you are an employee with one of these companies, consider making a workplace contribution to Kinship House.  If you are not sure if your company is part of the Benevity system, check with your human resources department to learn more about your company’s workplace giving program. Many companies will match charitable donations!

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Event: Quarter Auction – May 18

Join us on May 18 for a very fun evening!  Kinship House is the designated non-profit partner for the Quarter Auction presented by LiteItForward.com.

Julie Golzarian is a PartyLite representative and hosts these special gatherings to help support various non-profits in her community.  She donates the proceeds of candle sales and the quarter auction to the host non-profit – 100% of those donations are matched as well.

The fun event is taking place at Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub in Tigard and it will be an evening to make new connections and new friends.  You will also have fun with a quarter auction that will allow several chances for attendees to take home candles – so bring that big bucket of spare change and turn it into candles for yourself while supporting Kinship House!

What:  Quarter Auction to benefit Kinship House

When: Thursday, May 187:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Where:  Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub – 12562 SW Main Street – Tigard

We hope you can join us!

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