Ensuring Safety, Health, & Well-Being
Our top priorities are the health and well-being of our entire Amara community: you, your children, our staff, and volunteers. We work with a wide variety of children, youth, adults, and families across Western Washington. It’s our goal to ensure we continue to provide our essential services, in safe, flexible, and creative ways, through this uncertain time.
We will update this webpage with information as our programs and operations shift due to COVID-19. For additional information on:
- Becoming a Foster Parent: Contact Kari Hanson, 206.489.2139
- Making a Donation: Visit our Giving Page or email us
- Media Inquiries: Contact Amie Newman, 206.260.1718
For monthly updates and important announcements, sign up for our e-newsletter at the bottom of our webpage.
Amara Office Operations
Our office locations remain closed except for limited services that must take place on our campuses. Amara is requiring all staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021. Staff are required to work from home unless working directly with clients accessing essential services at our offices or on an as-needed basis. Further, all staff and volunteers are required to wear face coverings that adhere to CDC guidelines indoors when at an Amara facility and in any other indoor setting when interacting with Amara families or children during the course of their work for Amara; this includes while transporting children to and from visits in a vehicle.
Amara is immensely grateful for our volunteers who provide critical support to our Adoption Files Initiative, our Family Visitation Program, and who help beautify our spaces in Seattle and Tacoma. Currently, we are not accepting new volunteers. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate next steps.
Out of safety and concern for children, volunteers, and staff, the Emergency Sanctuaries have been closed through 2021. We continue to look at the most impactful ways to utilize the Sanctuaries themselves.
Family Time Visitation
Visits between kids and infants in foster care and their parents continue to happen in-person at our Seattle and Tacoma campuses in our beautiful, kid-friendly and welcoming rooms.
Foster Care Services
Foster Families can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine! Find a vaccine location near you.
Like many of you, we are working to be creative and flexible in how we accomplish our work, and we are focused on ensuring that we are keeping health and safety at the center of our work. It is imperative that we see children in person, in their homes, speak with them, and see their home conditions with our own eyes. It is also imperative that we continue to practice physical distancing and limit in-person interactions whenever possible. Your Foster Care Specialist will inform you of what interviews and home visits can take place in person and what can be virtual.
For families interested in fostering with Amara, we have moved our informational meetings permanently to virtual and our Family Outreach Coordinator, Kari Hanson, is offering virtual meet-ups called “Coffee with Kari” that all interested families are welcome to attend.
Safety Precautions utilized at Amara for in-person work:
Amara follows these safety precautions (unless guidance changes) and asks that all those participating in a visit/interview or who visit our offices do as well to ensure mutual health and safety:
- If anyone in the home has a pre-existing condition a symptom of COVID or a known exposure to COVID, we will work with you to create a tailored approach to your interview/visit to ensure health and safety.
- If there is an illness within the home, we ask you follow the guidance from the Department of Health and that you inform us directly.
- Limit in-person contact:
- We will complete the majority of interviews virtually and limit in-person visits to the most vital questions or things that need to be seen in-person. If you’re interested in a pre-home visit question form to fill out to make this even shorter, just ask your Foster Care Specialist.
- For discussion portions of in-person meetings with you and with children, we can meet outside in a yard, on a porch, or go for a walk around the block.
- In-person viewing of the child’s room will be kept short. Licensing visits will be kept as short as possible focusing on what needs to be seen and verified in person.
- Wear a mask during in-person interactions
- Avoid physical greetings (e.g. hugs, handshakes, fist bumps, etc.)
- Limit what we all touch
- Your Foster Care Specialist will likely ask you to open doors and other items that we need to see for inspections
- Limit the exchange of paperwork
- Wash hands frequently and utilize cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer as needed
Amara will be making decisions about transitioning back to the offices collaboratively at the leadership level and we recognize that these decisions may look different depending on the program. Our decision making will be informed by local health authorities, the Governor’s office, DCYF, and other partner organizations. We will be thoughtful about our return strategy and intend to incorporate tools and lessons learned during this time into our work in the future. As we establish these decisions, we will share those with our staff, volunteers, partners, and families.