We know that change starts at home. We have an average of 6,000 kids in foster care in our state. Those kids need a safe and secure place to stay with a family who is trained, supported, and equipped to provide a true home of healing. We are excited that Oregon now offers KEEP to foster families statewide. We advocate that Oregon continue to fund and expand the KEEP program, helping to make every home a healing home.
Some kids need a team in addition to a supportive family. Foster Homes of Healing endorses Oregon’s investment in therapeutic foster placement expansion through the Treatment Foster Care Oregon program. Like all kids, those in need of extra care and attention thrive in a family environment, and TFCO supports the families of higher need kiddos to become true homes of healing.
In addition to stabilizing foster homes, we must reduce the number of kids being removed into care. This means we need to support families and children prior to an experience with child welfare, throughout involvement, and beyond. Bio and kinship families should have access to the same level of training and support as foster families. Transition age youth, families of color, immigrant and Native American families all deserve to have state-of the art support services so that every family and child in Oregon can thrive.
Foster Homes of Healing supports continuing to expand the Independent Living Program, culturally specific cohorts of KEEP and TFCO for BIPOC and non-native speakers, LGBTQ affinity groups, and preventative parent-training and supports. Continuing to decrease the caseloads of casework staff is also crucial so that families get the support and services they need and none that they don’t. This is why FHOH also supports creating 124 more casework staff positions in 2021-2023.