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.

The Herd: Mammoth HR

Last week, Kinship House was honored to receive a generous donation of art supplies from Mammoth HR, a Portland-based human resources company that helps organizations comply with their regulatory responsibilities and implement best practices.

Our budding friendship started a couple of months ago when one of the employees, Theo Ward, visited Kinship House for a tour.  He shared his experience with his co-workers, some of which sit on a newly formed committee to come up with community engagement opportunities.  We were thrilled that they selected us for their Art Drive Happy Hour!

The staff and the company donated over 160 items ranging from glitter to coloring books to googly eyes (who doesn’t love googly eyes?).  The gathering also included treats like otter pops, popcorn, and gummy bears. All in all, it was a delightful time.

Executive Director, Heather Jefferis, Development & Communications Director, Dennise M. Kowalczyk, and board members Cassie Diamond and Jamie Kilberg attended the gathering.

Mammoth HR offers a unique approach to human resources — each plan is tailored to the organization and includes a dedicated HR Pro who will aid in tackling HR matters. And instead of charging by the billable hour, Mammoth delivers its services under a flat, monthly membership fee.  Learn more here.

Thanks to The Herd at Mammoth HR for sharing the love for Kinship House and foster kids in our community! To see all the photos in our gallery, click here.

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Oregon Senate Passes Bill to Boost Services to Children

The Oregon State Legislature announced this week that the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 123 that will allow communities to form children’s special districts. The special districts will have the ability to accept grants and loans and to ask taxpayers to help pay for children’s services within the geographic boundaries of the district. There are almost 30 special districts in the state but none are dedicated to supporting children and youth in this way.

The bill will head to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

Download the complete press release here.

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Community Hotline – May 2017

Kinship House had the another opportunity to appear on Community Hotline, a program that spotlights local non-profits and is produced by MetroEast Community Media.

Executive director Heather Jefferis, and board member Timothy Travis spoke with host Monica Weitzel about the importance of Foster Care Awareness Month and Kinship House’s work with foster and adopted children.


Watch the conversation here or by clicking on the image below. Thanks to Monica and the entire production team for the opportunity!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Shannon Carey

Our board members dedicate hours of volunteer time to lead our organization.  Shannon Carey joined the Kinship House board in May 2015.  In her role as a board member, she serves on our board’s Program committee.
Shannon, is Co-President and Senior Research Associate at NPC Research, a private firm that delivers human services research, evaluation, training, and technical assistance. She has worked in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, criminal justice and substance abuse treatment for over 18 years. In addition to managing the firm, her experience includes designing and implementing evaluations of programs related to substance abuse prevention and treatment, and adult criminal justice and juvenile justice policy. Shannon has been involved in performing process, outcome and/or cost evaluations in over 250 programs across the U.S. as well as providing technical assistance and training in New Zealand, Chile, Australia and England.

Shannon earned her Ph.D. from Portland State University in Systems Science and Applied Psychology. She is a Portland native and is married to an Oregonian with two children, also born in Portland. She deeply appreciates the beauty and opportunities that exist in Stump Town and in the outdoors of the great Northwest.

One of her memories of a heartwarming childhood experience is of her mother telling her that she could be anything she wanted to be when she grew up. She told everyone she wanted to be either a mommy or a lion. She managed the mommy part but have not yet succeeded in becoming a lion though depending on her mood, my children may disagree.

Thank you, Shannon!

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Boys & Girls Aid

Boys & Girls Aid works to secure lifelong connections for every child in Oregon. Regardless of age or background, they believe children belong in families that are permanent and stable. While every child deserves a family, not every child has a family. Between the ages of 0 to 23, they have a focus on making sure every child has a lifelong adult connected to their future.

The organization was founded in 1885 and it is the state’s oldest child welfare agency. It was created to solve the problem of abandoned children living on the streets of Portland. Today, Boys & Girls Aid supports hundreds of foster kids in connecting with their forever families.

Vera Stoulil (L) and Marilyn Anderson (R)

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting two staff members of the agency:  Vera Stoulil (Chief Operating Officer) and Marilyn Anderson (Development Director).  I toured their facility and learned about their programs.

Learn more about Boys & Girls Aid here.


— Dennise M. Kowalczyk (Development Director – Kinship House)

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Thank you, Foster Parents!

In recognition of Foster Care Awareness month, Timothy Travis (a Kinship House board member) shares these thoughts about Kinship House’s work in supporting foster families and our unending appreciation for their dedication in caring for foster kids.

Kinship House was founded in the mid-nineties to provide therapy and services to children in foster care and their caretakers.  It has since grown into a full-service mental health agency for children and their biological and adoptive parents, as well as those in foster care. 

Being a foster parent is a challenge, especially for those who take in the many whose abilities to function has been compromised by child abuse and neglect, by trauma, developmental delay or mental illness.  A large heart, even a heart that is in the right place, requires support and encouragement to succeed with such children and Kinship House contributes to the success of hundreds of these children, and those who care for them, every year. 
At Kinship House the emphasis is on engaging with the family as a whole rather than on “fixing broken children.”  The therapy of choice engages everyone involved in family, sibling and individual therapy, strengthening their relationships and connections while developing the capacity of all to function together as a family, at this particular time in their lives, as well as going forward.  

In addition, Kinship House provides such services as medication management, transition planning, along with pre and post-adoption consultation and education.

These are children who are under the care and protection of all Oregonians.   We delegate our duties for these kids to elected officials, social workers, and to foster parents. 

We at Kinship House want, especially in these in harsh financial times, to recognize those who volunteer — volunteer — to foster these children.  Like everyone else involved in the child welfare system, foster parents deserve recognition and gratitude for the difficult and important work they do with and for these children who are among the least, the weakest, most vulnerable, among us.

Thank you.

— Timothy Travis
Consulting Attorney – Travis Consulting Co., and Board Member

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Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate to Kinship House. Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Mother’s Day including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and more.  Help Mom smile with a gift and help Kinship House, too!

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Metroscope – May 2017

Kinship House had the opportunity to be interviewed on Metroscope.  The show is produced by Entercom Radio and is a local, public affairs program.  It has been on the air for 25 years and includes interviews with newsmakers and experts on topics ranging from business, education, and the environment to land use planning, politics, and healthcare.  It also features authors and artists with lively discussions about arts and popular culture.


Executive director, Heather Jefferis and board member, Josh Keeling visited with Gary Bloxom, host of the program in early May to talk about the need for the right care at the right time for foster children.  The interview aired on May 7 and you can listen to it here.
by clicking on the image below. Please note that playback doesn’t work while using Chrome. Please try another browser like Explorer or Firefox.

In addition, Kinship House is the featured non-profit for CharlieFM’s Random Act of Kindness in honor of Foster Care Awareness Month. Check out the web page here! You can listen to the PSA below.



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2016 Annual Report

Kinship House is pleased to offer our 2017 Annual Report available for download.

This year’s report includes a letter from our executive director and board chair, information about our dedicated board members, an opportunity to meet one of Kinship House’s families, and a list of the foundations, businesses, and major donors who were very generous in supporting our work.

If you would like a hard copy of the report, please call 503-460-2796, ext. 205.

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Embrace Oregon

Embrace Oregon connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. They are dedicated to the flourishing of every child.

The organization focuses on four areas of interest:

  • Foster Care
  • Adoption
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Prevention Information

Recently, Heather Jefferis (our executive director) and Dennise M. Kowalczyk (our development director) visited with Brooke Grey (director of Embrace Oregon) to learn more about the organization’s work with the community.

To learn more about Embrace Oregon, click here.

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