Holding Hands, Diving In: The Amara Blog

More than Just Fun: Achieving Better Outcomes For Kids Through Positive Activities

John Moore, The Children’s Fund Executive Director Amara is proud to be partnering with the Children’s Fund to expand opportunities for children who stay at our Emergency Sanctuary in Tacoma. In the interest of raising awareness about resources for our community’s kids, we’re pleased to highlight the Children’s Fund. It's not easy to recover from childhood trauma. Yet research has shown that through positive experiences,

Reaching for the STARs: Launching the Amara Adoptee Mentorship Program

By Angela Tucker, Amara Post-Adoption Program Manager On my first day at Amara, I was greeted by an Excel spreadsheet: A program outline created by 12-year-old adoptee Davon Carroll. The document was entitled TSSP, which stood for “The Stay Strong Project,” and it was a proposal for a new mentorship program for Amara adoptees, many of whom were in foster care. Davon’s detailed outline included

February 7th, 2017|Categories: Latest News|Tags: , , |

The Magic Is in the Method: How Data Will Help Our Kids

Aaron Edwards, foster/adoptive parent and data professional Last November, when Governor Inslee's Blue Ribbon Commission recommended sweeping changes to their human services branches, I was all ears. Their proposal to combine related but disparate departments into a unified, cabinet-level Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) resonated with me for several reasons. As a foster-adoptive parent and longtime advocate and caregiver for children, it makes

Love Letters: My Work On Amara’s Adoptee Correspondence Project

By Claudia Marchen, Work-Study Program Intern As the Post-Adoption program intern, I often act as a mailroom for the heart: I forward correspondence between Amara birth and adoptive families, acting as a hub for these connections. The correspondence we receive and forward all year, and the stream of Christmas letters and packages we handled during the holidays, is a testament to families’ desires to know

January 25th, 2017|Categories: Big Kids Little Kids|Tags: , , |

No Stork Needed: There are Alternative Pathways to Parenting

By Suzi Mohn, MA No matter how we get there, becoming a parent is life-changing. But when traditional ways of starting or expanding our family are simply not viable, and we have to look at alternative paths to parenting, it becomes even more important to not go it alone. Having a safe space to talk about the process and challenges is crucial to our

January 20th, 2017|Categories: How Do I…|Tags: , , , , |

[VIDEO] Why Birth Family Connections Matter: The Story of Three Sisters

By Angela Tucker, Post-Adoption Program Manager Just three months into Amara’s Post-Adoption Program, I received a phone call: “Hi, my name is Mariya. I think my biological sisters were placed for adoption through your agency about a decade ago. I’d like to know what I need to do in order locate them, and possibly meet them? And, by the way, my mom – their

January 18th, 2017|Categories: Voices from Families|Tags: , , , , |

Happy Kids = Happy Volunteers

By Britt, Amara Emergency Sanctuary Volunteer I discovered Amara while researching volunteer opportunities, specifically ones where I could have a positive impact on vulnerable children in my community. I was a little nervous on my first day as an Emergency Sanctuary volunteer, as it had been several years since I had last worked with children professionally. My concerns were immediately put to rest when I

January 12th, 2017|Categories: Big Kids Little Kids|Tags: , , |

A much-needed new approach for state’s foster-care system

By John Morse, Executive Director There is no shortage of reports and stories in the print and social media about the dire state of foster care in our state and throughout the country. Statistics reinforce the message: Half the roughly 9,000 children in care in Washington are 5 years old or younger, one-quarter of these children have lived in five or more homes, and annual state

Being the Foster Parent You Want to Be: A Simple Writing Tool for Weathering the Storms

By Tricia Lambie, Amara caseworker As parents, we aspire to be our best at every moment, but it’s not always easy – sometimes it can feel downright impossible. I’ve been a social worker for 16 years working with foster families, and when you’re a foster parent, it’s safe to say that you may get thrown an extra curve ball or two. Imagine this: You’re fostering

December 5th, 2016|Categories: How Do I…|Tags: , , , |

Trusting Ourselves: How We Learned to Advocate for Our Kids in School

By Vickie, Amara Alumni parent This is Part Three of a three-part series on educational advocacy for children in foster care. Read Part One here. Read Part Two here. According to the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, kids in foster care, on average, transit through 2.8 living arrangements in their first foster care stay, and are twice as likely as other kids to

December 1st, 2016|Categories: How Do I…, Voices from Families|Tags: , , |
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