Reimagining Child Welfare in Pierce County - Amara

Reimagining Child Welfare in Pierce County

Strengthening Community Support for Kids and Families

In 2018, Amara purchased 29 acres in Pierce County seeing it as a key moment to build something for – and with – children and families who are at risk of experiencing foster care, not just once they’re a part of the child welfare system but to support their wellbeing and prevent separation. We see the potential to ease burdens on families by making critical services available in one location.

It takes a community for children and families to thrive – and the community has come together, through an extensive community engagement effort, to help envision and build this opportunity for Pierce County. While we have welcomed everyone’s ideas, we have invited people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by foster care and adoption, to lead the conversation. The recommendation for developing the property was created by a Community Leadership Team, a group of individuals – the majority of whom are people of color – with lived experience of foster care and/or adoption and who lead with equity.

Land of the Puyallup and Coast Salish People

We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the Puyallup and Coast Salish People, who have stewarded this land for generations and we pay our respect to elders both past and present. We further acknowledge the great harm and injustice done by white people to the native people on their sacred land and provide our deepest appreciation for graciously hosting us on their lands today. Acknowledgement is only a first step – there must also be relationships, support, and action. 

When We Invest in Youth and Families

  • High school and postsecondary completion rates increase
  • Children have a stronger sense of identity
  • Youth become advocates for change and are leaders in the community
  • Support systems are in place to help families through crises and challenges
  • The entire community thrives

Community Leadership

Our Community Leadership Team (CLT) is the heart and soul of the vision and final recommendation for this property. Twenty people, the majority of whom are people of color who have lived experience with foster care and/or adoption, gathered regularly for months spending countless hours in meetings and dialogue, to contribute their voices and deep expertise to this project. Without them, none of this would be possible.

The CLT’s recommendation to the Amara Board of Directors includes a prioritization framework, holistic vision for the property, and top priorities to advance the holistic vision. The framework emphasizes a strengths-based approach which focuses on the inherent strength of youth, adults, families and communities to take charge of their own healing, growth and empowerment. 

This vision includes tangible elements, like buildings and programs, and intangible elements, like the spirit of the place, cultural empowerment, and leadership grounded in racial equity. The end goal for the vision is self-reliance and resilience for youth and families of color.



Next Steps

We are working on implementing the vision we’ve received from the community. Our next steps include master planning, permitting, pre-construction, building partnerships, and raising funds. What can YOU do?

  • Email us with any questions, comments, or more info on how you can support this work
  • Donate online to help make this transformational work possible
  • Sign up for our newsletter (below) to keep up to date on our progress