Foster Parents - Amara

Foster Parents

Fostering is a journey. We’re here for you every step of the way.

We believe foster care should be about building resiliency and relationships. Our communities support one another in a shared goal of keeping families connected and ultimately reuniting them after being separated.

Being a foster parent may look like making chocolate chip pancakes on a Sunday morning, helping with homework, remaining calm during a tantrum, reading bedtime stories, wiping away tears…and it means building relationships that support connection between kids and their parents. It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s important. Through every joy and challenge along the journey, Amara is here to support you so you can support kids and their families.

More is More When it Comes to Family

That is the philosophy of Grayson’s birth and adoptive family, and the philosophy we share with our Amara foster families. Katie and Jonathan Biron became foster parents knowing the importance of maintaining relationships between kids and their parents. While fostering Grayson, they formed a close relationship with his biological family who became one large extended family through adoption. “There’s room to start small…It’s ok to start somewhere. You can grow into this.”

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Become a Foster Parent

As a foster parent, you can make an impact in a family’s life. Amara is here to help every step of the way, offering training, licensing, services, and ongoing support. We work with individuals and couples inclusive of marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and race, who are willing and able to provide an inclusive and affirming home while children are separated from their families.  

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Family Connections

When parents and caregivers build relationships with each other, they can more effectively work together to make the foster care experience as stable and supportive as possible for everyone involved. Through this program, parents and caregivers have the chance to meet, talk about how to best care for the parent’s child, and build a relationship to increase contact between everyone. Together, parents and caregivers can make sure that the child they both care about is best supported while in foster care.

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Family Time Visitation

Keeping kids connected to their families is important for their well-being. Family visits help maintain and strengthen the parent-child relationship, which increases the likelihood that kids will safely return home. Our Family Time Visit Supervisors strive to ensure that children, parents, and foster parents have a positive experience.

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Developmental Screening and Family Support

Amara provides initial developmental screens (for example, screening for delayed speech or language, mental health concerns, etc.) for children 1 month to 5.5 years old whose dependency case is in King County thanks to funding from Best Starts for Kids. If services are needed, you will receive support from our Child Screener and Family Support Specialist in finding the right service provider for the child in your care (e.g. birth to three services, occupational therapy). Although your designated Foster Care Specialist is available to offer support to you and your family, our Child Screener and Family Support Specialist will support you and your family as our dedicated expert at Amara who is knowledgeable about all services and resources for young children to best assist families who are struggling to find an appropriate service provider.

Our Child Screener and Family Support Specialist also conducts progress check-ins for all youth ages 1 month to 6 years old placed in Amara homes that focus solely on social and emotional development. These bi-annual check-ins are helpful for caregivers to see how a child is developing and helps identify if additional resources are needed.

Support Groups

Amara offers various support group options to meet the needs of your family.

  1. All Amara Caregivers: A monthly support group meeting for Amara caregivers who are at any stage of the process. We also have a closed Facebook group for our foster families to connect with each other and share resources.
  2. LGBTQIA+ Amara and non-Amara Families: This parent support group is for LGBTQIA+ caregivers/families as well as parents/families who have adopted from foster care. It’s open to both Amara and non-Amara families and is a time to create community and connect with other LGBTQIA+ families. Each session is facilitated by two local community members who are part of the community.
  3. Amara BIPOC Caregivers: We offer a closed Facebook group for BIPOC Amara caregivers who have at least one partner who identifies as BIPOC (Black Indigenous Person of Color) to share thoughts and experiences they have while going through the foster care process with Amara, and to meet other Amara families, share resources and build community. This space is intended to be a place where caregivers can build community with each other and form a support network.

Supporting LGBTQIA+ Families

As an open and affirming foster care organization, we are proud to work with all families inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status. We are honored to have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children – All Families program every year since 2013. Since 2020, we have received their highest tier of recognition: Innovative Inclusion. All Children – All Families promotes LGBTQ-inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies.

We are also a proud Founding Member of Gays With Kids, sharing our expertise through webinars, videos, articles, stories and more for gay, bi, and trans men regarding becoming and being a parent through foster care.

Amara offers programming specifically for LGBTQIA+ youth and families, including:

  • Individualized Support for LGBTQIA+ Caregivers and Caregivers Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth – We provide tailored, one-on-one support for LGBTQIA+ caregivers across the state when facing unique challenges or barriers related to their SOGIE (Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity and Expression) or for any caregivers having challenges related to caring for a LGBTQIA+ youth in their home. Contact LGBTQCaRES@amarafamily.org for assistance.
  • Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth in Foster Care workshop – This workshop is designed for caregivers to learn more about creating a safe and affirming environment for LGBTQIA+ youth in their homes. Since being the first organization in our region to provide this workshop, we have shifted our role to provide trainings for other professionals across the state on how to facilitate this workshop for their communities, increasing the availability of this workshop for caregivers across Washington.
  • LGBTQIA+ Parent Support Group – This parent support group is for LGBTQIA+ foster parents/families who have adopted from foster care. It’s open to both Amara and non-Amara families and is a time to create community and connect with other LGBTQIA+ families. Each session is facilitated by two local community members who are part of the community.
  • LGBTQIA+ Community Foster Care Information Meetings – We work with LGBTQIA+ partner organizations including Gay City in Seattle and Rainbow Center in Tacoma to encourage the LGBTQIA+ community to learn about and consider becoming foster parents in a safe and comfortable environment.

Resources for Foster Families

At Amara, we are committed to providing articles, tools, tips and other resources to support your family’s journey.

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Trainings & Events

Find information meetings, support groups, and trainings to help you on your fostering journey.

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Stories & News

Every family’s experience is unique, and there is nothing more powerful than the stories shared by the kids and families we work with—in their own words.

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