This week, in partnership with the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Amara launches a new program to strengthen families in the Aberdeen and Spokane areas and help prevent the need for foster care. Our Parent FOCUS (Family Outreach, Connections, and Unconditional Support) program supports families who have been referred by the state for services designed to keep children safe at home and increase family resiliency. This program provides peer mentorship with parent leaders who have lived experience, who offer personalized support, encouragement, and connections to resources to help stabilize families. Participating in Parent FOCUS is completely voluntary.
At Amara we know that when parents are supported and empowered, they become better equipped to provide safety and stability for their kids. Parent FOCUS provides peer mentorship and resource connections based on each parent’s individual goals and needs. Each parent is assigned an Amara Peer Navigator, a parent mentor with lived experience who has successfully navigated the child welfare system. The navigator helps educate parents on what to expect during the CPS (Children Protection Services) process and coaches parents on how to constructively advocate for themselves and their children
“We are looking forward to supporting kids and families before there is a need for foster care. When families can stay safe together, they don’t have to experience the trauma that often results from having to enter the foster care system. We are grateful that the Department of Children, Youth, and Families is supporting us in this important work,” said Deborah Collins, Associate Director of Programs at Amara.