STAR Youth Program - Amara

STAR Youth Program

Our STAR Youth program is here to support children and teens who have experienced family separation (adoption, foster care, formal and informal kinship care) by providing an opportunity for friendship and community in a safe, supportive space. Our STAR (Supported, Thriving, Authentic & Resilient) Youth Program is grounded in the belief that youth who have experienced family separation deserve a safe, inclusive, affirming, and friendly place where they can build healthy relationships and be supported in positive identity development. Research shows that youth who forge friendships and other supportive relationships are more involved in school and have higher self-perceived social acceptance. There is no cost to families to participate. 

Interested in learning about upcoming STAR Youth programs? Sign up for our newsletter!

Our programming is geared to supporting youth and their families where they are.

We have a lot of fun and free summer programming ahead! From our expanded free drop-in centers hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12:30 – 5:30 pm, to creative activities with artists and the Tacoma Public Library, to summer reading, the Amara STAR Youth program is a fun place to be this summer. Keep updated by signing up for our newsletter and following us on Instagram and Facebook @theamarafamily. We hope to see you there!

Check out our upcoming art & design program happening this August in partnership with the Seattle Art Museum. The program is designed for middle schoolers who have experience in foster and/or kinship care or who are adopted, and participants will receive a stipend! Learn more here!

Consulte nuestro próximo programa de arte y diseño que se llevará a cabo en agosto en asociación con el Museo de Arte de Seattle. El programa está diseñado para estudiantes de secundaria que tienen experiencia en crianza temporal y/o cuidado por familiares o que son adoptados, ¡y los participantes recibirán un estipendio! ¡Aprende más aquí!

STAR Youth Advisory Council

Amara’s STAR Youth Advisory Council is designed for middle school students who have experience in foster care or adoption, or who have lived with other family members other than their parents (i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.). Council members will have opportunities to learn leadership skills, build community, participate in a service project, inform Amara’s youth programming, express themselves through art, and more. Students will earn $25 for each meeting they attend. No previous leadership experience is needed. Download our flier for more information. To apply for fall 2024, please fill out this form

STAR Youth After-School Program for Middle Schoolers in King and Pierce Counties

Middle-schoolers who have experienced family separation often have a tough time navigating the changes they face in the middle school years. Recognizing this, Amara’s Youth Development program is launching a new after-school program to help middle schoolers build community and confidence.

The once-a-week program at Ford Middle School in Tacoma and Cascade Middle School in Seattle is designed for middle-schoolers who have experienced family separation. It features small group time led by Amara Youth Development staff and volunteers working together to support youth in a variety of enrichment and youth-led activities. This program is generously funded by King County’s Best Starts For Kids Act.

Amara is currently looking for volunteers. If you have a few hours to give each week during the school year, please fill out this form. All volunteers must attend orientation, training, and must pass a background check. We will connect with you soon.

STAR Youth Family Reunions

Families who are connected with Amara and are caring for youth of all ages are invited to join us for quarterly get-togethers with fun, youth-focused events! Join us for holiday parties, Mariner’s games, museum visits, and more! Event dates and times to be announced.

Volunteer With STAR Youth

Amara is currently looking for volunteers. If you have a few hours to give, please fill out this form. All volunteers must attend orientation, training, and must pass a background check. We will connect with you soon.


For questions about any of our programs or to find out how to get involved, please email us at

Amara’s STAR Youth Program works to bring youth currently or formerly in foster care together for fun and friendship with a focus on social emotional learning and affirming activities that help youth know their own stories and create a positive sense of self.

Download & share our flier!

STAR Youth Program FAQs

Learn more about our free STAR Youth Program.

Who can participate in Amara’s STAR Youth program?

Amara’s STAR Youth program is designed for youth of all ages in King and Pierce counties. The majority of our programs are geared toward youth ages 9-14 who have experienced family separation (foster care, kinship care or adoption).

Where does STAR Youth Programming take place?

STAR Youth Programming takes place at our Seattle campus at 5907 Martin Luther King Jr Way S and at our Tacoma campus at 3501 104th St. E., as well as in schools and in the community.

What will youth do in the STAR groups?

STAR Youth Programming is designed to be youth-led, which means that the youth create the agenda, decide on their goals, and determine the direction of each program. Youth Development Specialists create a scaffolded structure for youth to have increasingly more decision-making power in each program session. Examples of just a few of the activities that may be included: social-emotional learning, small- and large-group activities and discussions, long-term projects, leadership development, team-building activities, service-learning projects, self-expression through art, enrichment activities with community partners, leadership and advisement on Amara programming, homework help and college/career assistance, basketball and outdoor activities, video games and board games.

Is transportation provided?

In some cases we can help cover the cost of bus tickets or other forms of transportation. Please reach out to us at if you need assistance.

Where does the funding for the STAR Youth program come from?

Amara’s STAR Youth Development program is generously funded by the King County Best Starts for Kids initiative, Pierce County Youth Violence Prevention funding, and the Washington State Department of Commerce. Donor and community support for the program is always welcome; you can support the STAR Youth Program by giving online or through any of Amara’s other Ways to Give.

For more information, please email us at or give us a call at 206-260-1700.


Amara’s STAR Youth program receives funding from the King County Best Starts for Kids levy. 


Pierce County LogoThese services are supported by funding from Pierce County through its Human Services Department.


Amara occasionally texts clients to best coordinate our services. By agreeing to receive services from Amara, you agree to receive individualized communications from us via text. Clients can always opt out of receiving texts by contacting us at