Happy New Year! 2020 rings in a new year, a new decade, and exciting changes at Amara. As a private, nonprofit organization committed to supporting and fostering the wellbeing of children in foster care, adoptees, and the families who love them, we know how important it is to consistently examine our organizational policies to be sure they are helping us achieve these goals.
We also recognize the importance of a strong commitment to equity and justice, as we continue to assess our organization’s policies. We believe that preparing a varied pool of foster families, from a diverse range of racial backgrounds, ethnicities, belief systems, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and economic circumstances is in the best interest of the diverse community of children we serve.
We hope these 3 new policies will help us to expand the pool of loving families:
- No more client fees to foster. This year, we eliminated Amara’s client fees entirely. This means there will be no fees to foster a child, through Amara. This change reflects our ongoing commitment to equity and inclusivity and supports our mission to ensure that every child in foster care has the love and support of a committed family – as quickly as possible, and for as long as each child needs. Amara’s fees have always reflected only a small portion of the investment we make in preparing and supporting families to welcome children into their homes. Our fees are kept low thanks to the support of generous, committed donors. As a private, non-profit organization, more than 85% of Amara’s revenue comes from philanthropy. This new change means we will be even more dependent upon the contributions of our community. Which leads us to our second exciting policy change!
- Contribute to Amara. All clients, including current foster families, are now welcome to donate to Amara. We are excited that our clients and families will have more choice in how they participate and partner with Amara. We are committed to creating a more expansive and welcoming community of donors. We have heard from potential foster families and families who are making their way through the application and home study process that they would love the opportunity to contribute financially to Amara and historically they were prohibited from donating while they were active families. This is no longer the case.
- Multiple pathways to parenting. We’ve also eliminated our policy that prevented families from pursuing multiple paths to parenting (surrogacy, private adoption, pregnancy, etc.) if you wanted to foster with us. We continue to have the expectation that all families who foster through Amara will be fully committed to the children they welcome into their hearts and home. This means that you can foster a child with Amara, while also welcoming a child through surrogacy (or private adoption, or pregnancy, etc.) if, as part of our home study process, we assess you as prepared to parent multiple children. This policy change is reflected in our new client rights and responsibilities which is shared with all new clients.
Want more information? Attend an Amara Information Meeting and learn more! [Or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page first!]