At Amara we strive to ensure that everyone we work with receives quality professional service delivered with compassion and respect. We believe the hallmarks of quality service are integrity, confidentiality, and cultural sensitivity. We are committed to positive long-term outcomes for children, youth, and families. We promote healing, racial and LGBTQIA+ equity, and re-envisioning our child welfare system into a family well-being system by offering programs and services to families engaged with foster care and adoption, offering programs and services to adoptees and families post-adoption, and by driving systemic change.
To keep these commitments, we have reviewed our foster care service area through a lens that prioritizes and centers youth and families involved in the child welfare system to ensure we can support families in the areas where there is the greatest need for our services. Our review and evaluation have led us to clearly define our service area by zip code, instead of “anywhere within two hours of our offices.” This change will allow us to best allocate our program capacity, while ensuring that we can continue to provide the level of service our community has come to expect from us.
In determining our service area, we considered the following:
- Office and staff location
- Where children and youth are currently coming into care – giving additional weight to areas where kids are coming from disproportionately
- Where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families live, specifically in King and Pierce counties
- Where our current families live
- Our values and beliefs that always center the needs of children, youth, and their families
As of January 1, 2022, our new service area includes: the most populous parts of King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties with the highest Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations within each county, and where youth are disproportionately coming into care. This means we are no longer serving the Islands, Thurston County, or the Kitsap Peninsula, not because there aren’t incredible families there, but because we recognize the limitations of our organizational capacity and that these are not areas where the need is greatest.
We are committed to social justice and the building of a family well-being system. Clearly defining our service area is another step in this work, as it centers the needs of children and youth in care who are disproportionately children of color and LGBTQIA+ youth.
Ultimately, this change will impact very few of our current families and will make it easier for our community to understand who we work with and why. Our entire team thanks you for understanding this change.