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How can you help Foster Children?

Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent with Trillium Family Services (Donations accepted and mentoring opportunities available, as well.)

Trillium Family Services is a nonprofit organization, and a leader in providing mental and behavioral health treatment for Oregon’s most vulnerable children. We were established in 1998 when three historic agencies – the Children’s Farm Home in Corvallis and the Parry Center for Children and Waverly Children’s Home in Portland – merged to create an integrated treatment system. Last year Trillium served more than 7,000 children and families through programs in the Portland Metro area and in the Mid-Willamette Valley. Through a comprehensive array of services, Trillium offers individualized care that is family centered. Trillium’s programs include residential care, foster care, community-based programs, mentoring and skills training, and innovative complementary treatments such as horticultural, canine, and equine therapies. Out of all of our programs we offer, we are recruiting foster parents for our Therapeutic Treatment Foster Care services.

Our Therapeutic Foster Care program is a community-based, family-centered program for at-risk children receiving support for behavioral and mental health needs. There is a great need for foster parents!

As our largest supporter, Sleep Country, shares:

“Washington and Oregon have over 26,000 children in foster care. Many of the children in foster care have suffered the effects of neglect, poverty, and even abuse. Recent studies show that for many foster children the challenges are just beginning. Nearly half do not return to live with their biological families; foster kids repeat a grade twice as often as other students; they score 15-20 percentile below other kids on statewide tests, more than half of foster kids don’t graduate high school; at age 18, 61% have no job experience and 1/3 end up on welfare; and after leaving foster care, 25% end up on the streets.”

The children we serve at Trillium are among the most vulnerable to these statistics. Many of the children in our care have been referred to us by DHS for treatment after many failed attempts in regular foster care or adoptive placements. They are in need of intensive treatment services to help them acquire social skills and coping skills to manage well in the community. Many come from backgrounds of severe emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Some are drug and alcohol affected children. Many have mental health diagnosis such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Depression, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, just to name a few. Unfortunately we continue to see a rise in the number of children referred to our program, and we are finding that we just don’t have enough homes to provide the care these children need and deserve to receive!

The foster children in our program receive individual and family therapy, medication management by a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner, and skills training. Many of these children come with additional support services from case workers, family care coordinators, mentors, lawyers, etc… However, our foster parents are one of the most critical participants in providing for the overall care of the child, and in implementing the lifesaving treatment goals that our staff develops for each individual child. It can be demanding work; therefore, we are having difficulty finding families who are interested, able, or willing to become therapeutic foster parents. That is why we are reaching out to Portland communities like yours for help.

We are now recruiting heavily for foster parents to provide therapeutic care on a temporary or long-term basis, and/or respite care on weekends and weekdays. Our foster parents receive generous financial compensation, training, 24 hour staff support, and respite services. We find that our foster parents are among the most dedicated members of our community; therefore, we are committed to the development and retention of such individuals through on going training and comprehensive support.

Life presents us with one chance to be a child!!! Children need a safe, caring, and supportive home to build successful social and coping skills, excel in school, and just be a kid. Trillium's Therapeutic Foster Parents give kids that chance! Of course, as our greatest supporter Sleep Country says, “Not everyone can be a foster parent, but anyone can help a foster child.” There are other ways in which you can help if foster parenting is not for you.

Please call Mara Beitzel at 503-813-7780 to find out more about how you can help or how to become a foster parent.