Portland (OR) Nonprofit's Foster Care Project: Over $1 Million Donated Supplies For 1,100 Foster Kids, As Many As 1,400 Volunteers, Businesses Donated 80 New Mattresses & 43,000 Diapers

"Children don't choose to go into foster care."   https://www.koin.com/news/local/washington-county/community-helps-foster-care-nonprofit-with-love-expand/2066100646   But according to With Love founder and president Allie Roth, anyone can choose to help.  And while Oregon's struggling foster care system has been hit with a tidal wave of negative headlines recently, Roth's local nonprofit has been buoyed by so much community support that they're expanding — again.  The organization will now operate out of a 6,000-square-foot warehouse at 14555 S.W. 74th Ave. in Tigard, with hopes of doubling down on the 1,100 foster children and more than $1 million in supplies they distributed last year.  "The community has wrapped around us really fiercely," Roth said. "They want to volunteer, and they want their companies to come volunteer."  It's been just six years since Roth, a former educator in the Beaverton School District, started With Love as a hub for distributing quality clothing and supplies for free to foster care children aged 0 to 6.  Originally operating out of Roth's Lake Oswego home, the volunteer-led group quickly realized they needed more space to store donations, which include toys, infant formula, shoes, diapers, clothing and even mattresses or swing sets.  "It had to start somewhere," Roth explained. "If we waited for everything to be perfect, it never would have."  With Love began renting 1,500 square feet of warehouse space in Tigard, and later added another similarly-sized depot next door. But the buildings weren't interconnected, and the storerooms lacked adequate air conditioning or heating.  Volunteers had to scramble for just six dedicated parking spots. In their new space, they have 50. That's important, because With Love has only five part-time employees, so they rely on dozens of committed volunteers. As many as 1,400 have volunteered at some point.  Roth, a foster parent herself who primarily takes in drug-affected infants, says the expansion comes at a time of "skyrocketing" need. In Oregon, more than 11,000 youth spent one day in foster care last year, and about 60% enter the system due to neglect.  "There's just hours between getting a phone call as a foster parent, and the kids showing up on your front door," Roth said. In her experience, foster kids arrive with just the clothes on their back, or sometimes only a hospital gown.  Roth credits EasyKicks for donating hundreds of Converse and Nike shoes, and Koi Fusion for sponsoring With Love's bags of clothing. Tuft & Needle donated 80 brand-new mattresses recently, while Lennar Homes donated 43,000 diapers. There are many other supporters as well.  With Love can deliver hand-picked supplies to foster families within a 30-minute drive of their headquarters every three months, and parents from around Oregon and Southwest Washington can pick up supplies themselves on Wednesdays and Fridays.  "The demand and the need in Portland is so great," Roth said. "We would love to work our way out of a job."  Ready to donate?  Check out these links to With Love's Facebook and Instagram pages to find out what supplies they need today.

"Children don't choose to go into foster care."

https://www.koin.com/news/local/washington-county/community-helps-foster-care-nonprofit-with-love-expand/2066100646

But according to With Love founder and president Allie Roth, anyone can choose to help.

And while Oregon's struggling foster care system has been hit with a tidal wave of negative headlines recently, Roth's local nonprofit has been buoyed by so much community support that they're expanding — again.

The organization will now operate out of a 6,000-square-foot warehouse at 14555 S.W. 74th Ave. in Tigard, with hopes of doubling down on the 1,100 foster children and more than $1 million in supplies they distributed last year.

"The community has wrapped around us really fiercely," Roth said. "They want to volunteer, and they want their companies to come volunteer."

It's been just six years since Roth, a former educator in the Beaverton School District, started With Love as a hub for distributing quality clothing and supplies for free to foster care children aged 0 to 6.

Originally operating out of Roth's Lake Oswego home, the volunteer-led group quickly realized they needed more space to store donations, which include toys, infant formula, shoes, diapers, clothing and even mattresses or swing sets.

"It had to start somewhere," Roth explained. "If we waited for everything to be perfect, it never would have."

With Love began renting 1,500 square feet of warehouse space in Tigard, and later added another similarly-sized depot next door. But the buildings weren't interconnected, and the storerooms lacked adequate air conditioning or heating.

Volunteers had to scramble for just six dedicated parking spots. In their new space, they have 50. That's important, because With Love has only five part-time employees, so they rely on dozens of committed volunteers. As many as 1,400 have volunteered at some point.

Roth, a foster parent herself who primarily takes in drug-affected infants, says the expansion comes at a time of "skyrocketing" need. In Oregon, more than 11,000 youth spent one day in foster care last year, and about 60% enter the system due to neglect.

"There's just hours between getting a phone call as a foster parent, and the kids showing up on your front door," Roth said. In her experience, foster kids arrive with just the clothes on their back, or sometimes only a hospital gown.

Roth credits EasyKicks for donating hundreds of Converse and Nike shoes, and Koi Fusion for sponsoring With Love's bags of clothing. Tuft & Needle donated 80 brand-new mattresses recently, while Lennar Homes donated 43,000 diapers. There are many other supporters as well.

With Love can deliver hand-picked supplies to foster families within a 30-minute drive of their headquarters every three months, and parents from around Oregon and Southwest Washington can pick up supplies themselves on Wednesdays and Fridays.

"The demand and the need in Portland is so great," Roth said. "We would love to work our way out of a job."

Ready to donate?

Check out these links to With Love's Facebook and Instagram pages to find out what supplies they need today.

Ireland's Homeless Youth Legislation Project: Over 90% Of The 4,000 Homeless Children Do Not Have An Experienced Support Worker, Proposal To Amend Housing Laws To Include Rights Of Children

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Over 90% of homeless children do not have access to a support worker, a charity has said.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/over-90-of-homeless-children-have-no-support-worker-says-charity/ar-AACIUqy

Mike Allen, director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, said the experience of being homeless is deeply traumatic for children and their parents and can have lifelong consequences.

Representatives from Focus Ireland, which has been working with homeless people for more than 30 years, appeared before the Children and Youth Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

It emerged that only 9% of children have access to a support worker who is specially trained to work with children.

Niamh Lambe, leader of the charity’s family support team, said these workers help children through the trauma of being homeless.

“They help children express themselves more and understand their difficulty with displacement,” she added.

“If every child had a support worker it would make a huge improvement to the overall family outcomes. It would support the parent and child to move on more successfully.”

Mr Allen said it is important that Ireland addresses the issues homeless children face.

He said homelessness has historically been seen as a problem experienced largely by adults, particularly men.

“The legislation passed by the Oireachtas to guide local authorities in responding to homelessness is blind in relation to children and that follows through in the practice and the way children’s interests are addressed,” he said.

“That gap could be addressed in changes in regulation. But it falls primarily to this House to amend that legislation so that interests of the children can be addressed.

“A key part of what we have come to understand and crucial to how we should be responding, is that families that are coping with homelessness are more likely to move successfully out of homelessness.”

He also criticised parties who use homeless figures as a political instrument.

“We all need to recognise that using statistics that way is not for good outcomes. The reason to collect is for understanding,” he added.

“There is an increasing sense in which the frustration and the problem and the scale of the homelessness crisis is leading to a concentration of policy level to be concerned only with (homeless) numbers.

“We don’t doubt the importance of the numbers but a concentration just on numbers overlooks the reality of life as experienced by families and children.

“We will come to the end of this crisis with a residue of a large number of families who have been homeless for a long period of time and a large number of families whose lives have been destroyed.”

He welcomed a recommendation to amend housing legislation to include the rights of the child.

He said there are 4,000 children living in homeless accommodation which, he said, will have devastating consequences.

Mr Allen also said no local authorities have given staff guidelines or training on how to respond to young children suffering from trauma.

He said the system is designed around adult homelessness.

“It’s not a magic wand, if you don’t write children into legislation, children will be forgotten,” he said.

Kentucky's Historic Foster Care Youth Project: Beginning June 24th, New Digital Platform For Foster Youth To Obtain Vital Records, More Than 80 Employers Signed Up To Hire Foster Youth This Summer

A new digital portal called Kentucky RISE (Resources for Independence, Success and Empowerment) is set to be unveiled Wednesday at the Kentucky Independent Living Youth Empowerment Conference, in Lexington.   https://chfs.ky.gov/News/Documents/nrkyrise.pdf   The new website is part of a rebranding project for the state's independent living program for transition age youth in the foster care system. The web-based portal, kyrise.ky.gov, will be accessible to the public beginning June 24. Kentucky RISE will contain links for resources including education, job training, employment, and housing options.  Both current and former foster youth were instrumental in advocating for the portal. “We are thankful to the Voices of the Commonwealth, a group of youth transitioning out of the foster care system, for informing our practice and their needs,” said Eric Clark, Commissioner for the Department of Community Based Services (DCBS).  “They share an invaluable perspective and have incredible insights,” he added. “They have encountered the very system we are all committed to transforming, and we are glad to be able to deliver on one of their recommendations by creating a one-stop shop website portal dedicated to providing access to key pieces of information and resources to foster youth.”  Kentucky RISE will contain a link for foster youth to complete an application and receive their vital records - for example, their birth certificate. Additionally, the portal will have a link to the “Fostering Success” program, a summer employment initiative. More than 80 employers with various opportunities have signed on for this year’s program.  While the portal is geared toward youth ages 14 and older, the website will be accessible to foster parents, community partners, and the public in general. Vital records will only be available to the youth.

A new digital portal called Kentucky RISE (Resources for Independence, Success and Empowerment) is set to be unveiled Wednesday at the Kentucky Independent Living Youth Empowerment Conference, in Lexington.

https://chfs.ky.gov/News/Documents/nrkyrise.pdf

The new website is part of a rebranding project for the state's independent living program for transition age youth in the foster care system. The web-based portal, kyrise.ky.gov, will be accessible to the public beginning June 24. Kentucky RISE will contain links for resources including education, job training, employment, and housing options.

Both current and former foster youth were instrumental in advocating for the portal. “We are thankful to the Voices of the Commonwealth, a group of youth transitioning out of the foster care system, for informing our practice and their needs,” said Eric Clark, Commissioner for the Department of Community Based Services (DCBS).

“They share an invaluable perspective and have incredible insights,” he added. “They have encountered the very system we are all committed to transforming, and we are glad to be able to deliver on one of their recommendations by creating a one-stop shop website portal dedicated to providing access to key pieces of information and resources to foster youth.”

Kentucky RISE will contain a link for foster youth to complete an application and receive their vital records - for example, their birth certificate. Additionally, the portal will have a link to the “Fostering Success” program, a summer employment initiative. More than 80 employers with various opportunities have signed on for this year’s program.

While the portal is geared toward youth ages 14 and older, the website will be accessible to foster parents, community partners, and the public in general. Vital records will only be available to the youth.

Canada's Youth Exiting Foster Care Project: 6th Province Providing Free Smartphone Service For 2 Years For 2,400 Eligible Youth Between 18-26, Bills In Youth's Name For Financial Management Skills

Young people leaving foster care in Manitoba can stay connected with their vital support networks though a new program offered by TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.   https://finance.yahoo.com/news/manitoba-youth-transitioning-foster-care-143000564.html   The TELUS Mobility for Good™ program provides youth transitioning from care with access to a free smartphone and fully subsidized mobile plan from TELUS for two years. The program has the potential to help 2,400 youth in Manitoba stay connected with friends, potential employers and peers, helping to prevent social isolation during a vulnerable stage of their lives as they transition to independent living. Youth transitioning or who have already transitioned from care aged 18 to 26 can apply for the program through Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada by visiting www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.  “Without the support of permanent families, youth transitioning out of care are on their own and a smartphone is critical to helping them achieve independence,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system. “We are working together with TELUS to meet an urgent need for our most vulnerable young people that will enable them to search for somewhere to live, look for job opportunities and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks.”  Each year approximately 2,300 youth, as young as 18, age out of Canada’s child welfare system, and are no longer eligible for the type of support they have been receiving while in care. They are often underprepared to transition to independent life and do not have the support of permanent families to help them get on their feet. Without the proper resources available, many young people leaving care find the transition to independence difficult to navigate.  “The expansion of our Mobility for Good program into Manitoba reflects TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging our world-leading technology to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our fellow Canadians,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through TELUS Mobility for Good, we are helping vulnerable young Canadians realize their full potential by connecting youth transitioning out of foster care to the people, information, resources, as well as the educational and health opportunities that will enable them to participate – and succeed – in our digital society. In collaboration with Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, we will ensure thousands more young Canadians begin their independent lives feeling safer, more connected and better prepared for a successful transition to independence.”  The TELUS Mobility for Good program, first launched in British Columbia in 2017, followed by Quebec and Ontario and most recently, New Brunswick, provides youth transitioning from care with a smartphone and TELUS mobile plan at $0 per month, including unlimited nationwide talk and text and up to 3GB of monthly data usage. While TELUS is providing the service to youth for free, the bills will appear in the youth’s name to help them build positive credit and gain the skills required to manage their finances in the future. TELUS Mobility for Good in Manitoba is part of a broader national program that will expand to more provinces across Canada later this year, including the province of New Brunswick, which is joining the program today.  For more information on the TELUS Mobility for Good Program in Manitoba or to apply, please visit: www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.

Young people leaving foster care in Manitoba can stay connected with their vital support networks though a new program offered by TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/manitoba-youth-transitioning-foster-care-143000564.html

The TELUS Mobility for Good™ program provides youth transitioning from care with access to a free smartphone and fully subsidized mobile plan from TELUS for two years. The program has the potential to help 2,400 youth in Manitoba stay connected with friends, potential employers and peers, helping to prevent social isolation during a vulnerable stage of their lives as they transition to independent living. Youth transitioning or who have already transitioned from care aged 18 to 26 can apply for the program through Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada by visiting www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.

“Without the support of permanent families, youth transitioning out of care are on their own and a smartphone is critical to helping them achieve independence,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system. “We are working together with TELUS to meet an urgent need for our most vulnerable young people that will enable them to search for somewhere to live, look for job opportunities and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks.”

Each year approximately 2,300 youth, as young as 18, age out of Canada’s child welfare system, and are no longer eligible for the type of support they have been receiving while in care. They are often underprepared to transition to independent life and do not have the support of permanent families to help them get on their feet. Without the proper resources available, many young people leaving care find the transition to independence difficult to navigate.

“The expansion of our Mobility for Good program into Manitoba reflects TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging our world-leading technology to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our fellow Canadians,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through TELUS Mobility for Good, we are helping vulnerable young Canadians realize their full potential by connecting youth transitioning out of foster care to the people, information, resources, as well as the educational and health opportunities that will enable them to participate – and succeed – in our digital society. In collaboration with Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, we will ensure thousands more young Canadians begin their independent lives feeling safer, more connected and better prepared for a successful transition to independence.”

The TELUS Mobility for Good program, first launched in British Columbia in 2017, followed by Quebec and Ontario and most recently, New Brunswick, provides youth transitioning from care with a smartphone and TELUS mobile plan at $0 per month, including unlimited nationwide talk and text and up to 3GB of monthly data usage. While TELUS is providing the service to youth for free, the bills will appear in the youth’s name to help them build positive credit and gain the skills required to manage their finances in the future. TELUS Mobility for Good in Manitoba is part of a broader national program that will expand to more provinces across Canada later this year, including the province of New Brunswick, which is joining the program today.

For more information on the TELUS Mobility for Good Program in Manitoba or to apply, please visit: www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.