The Mockingbird Society
The Mockingbird Society is an advocacy organization founded in 2000 by Jim Theofelis to provide meaningful opportunities for youth across Washington state to participate in the social justice effort to improve the foster care system. Its first project was The Mockingbird Times, then a monthly newspaper written by young people who have experienced foster care that aims to have a positive impact on the public perception of the children and adolescents who are foster kids. Since then, our work has expanded to include working with foster families and child-placing agencies to improve outcomes for both foster kids and foster parents. Recognizing a clear link between experience in the child welfare system and homelessness, Mockingbird also began addressing issues around youth homelessness in 2013.
Olympics Angels offers Olympic Peninsula residents a framework that enables anyone to help improve the foster experience by matching them with service opportunities based on their interests, lifestyle, and availability. Their main activities revolve around recruiting, vetting, training, matching, and supporting community volunteers to provide consistent, healthy, supportive relationships to children in care and the families that support them.
Dare to Dream Program – Walking alongside youth as they navigate through life’s challenges. Mentors meet bi-weekly with youth and help meet both practical and emotional needs.
Love Box Program – Provides wrap-around support for the whole foster care family. Volunteers meet with their matched families at least monthly to help provide support, consistency, friendship and encouragement.
Embrace Oregon stands in the gap for vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. Embrace Oregon connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. They are dedicated to the flourishing of every child.
Bridge Meadows promotes health and well-being across three generations by providing permanent, adoptive homes for youth in foster care, supporting adoptive parents with resources and guidance, and helping elders retain meaning and purpose in their daily lives through positive social connection. The CFO Selections Foundation has been awarding funds to Bridge Meadows since 2017.
Their mission is pretty unique and clearly explains how they work:
“Bridge Meadows develops and sustains intentional, intergenerational communities for youth formerly in foster care, adoptive families, and elders, building place, permanence, and shared social purpose one community at a time.”
It’s an honor to share that Bridge Meadows opened its 3rd community in October 2021 in Redmond Oregon, in Eastern Oregon. The community includes 10 family homes and 34 elder apartments for a total of 80 residents.
Oregon Social Leadership Center program called KEEP.
The mission of OSLC Developments is to use the knowledge generated from research to improve outcomes for children, teens and families in real world settings and public service systems such as child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice.
KEEP is a research-based program to assist kinship families outside of the child welfare system, about 36,000 families in Oregon (2019 census).
- Research shows kinship families are often at-risk for child welfare involvement and report feeling isolated and stressed.
- The risk is even higher for BIPOC families and those caring for LGBTQIA+ youth.
- Grandparents and other relatives may be unprepared to become full-time parents.
- Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, and neglect often have behavioral and emotional problems that make parenting challenging.
Child First Oregon
Child First for Oregon was founded in 1991 to improve the lives of Oregon children by galvanizing community support and informing decision-makers about the solutions kids need. They recognize that children have distinct rights, and are devoted to ensuring kids are prioritized in all decisions impacting their lives. By focusing on child abuse prevention, foster youth advocacy, legislative solutions, and research and data, they seek to make Oregon a place where all children can thrive.
The Kinship House provides outpatient mental health services to foster and adopted children and their families. They specialize in championing children and families with target interventions during all stages of foster care, reunification, and adoption. Founded in 1996, they are a locally accessible facility based in the Lloyd District on the eastside of Portland, Oregon.
TreeHouse’s programs help students in foster care experience success in school and in life.
HopeSparks comprises six core programs that serve children and families in Pierce County who face trauma, adversity, and overwhelming life stress. Services are designed with accessibility and equity in mind and are provided in-clinic, in-home, and via telehealth. We will focus on one of the six programs – Relatives Raising Children.
Relatives Raising Children (RRC): Keeping families together by providing resources and support to caregivers in Pierce County who are raising children not theirs by birth.
The primary goal of RRC is to keep kids with their families and to keep families together. When this happens for children, the result is that they have better health outcomes, stability in their living environments, a greater sense of belonging, better relationships with extended family, a greater sense of safety, and a connection to cultural identity.
HopeSparks intends to primarily use the grant from the CFO Selections Foundation to provide emergency assistance funds for families caring for a relative. Costs such as childcare, food, transportation, clothing, beds, school supplies, or other basic needs are important to help fund, so relatives of the children are willing to take in and support the child. Children who are placed with a relative who feels financially overwhelmed are more likely to enter the formal child welfare system.
TeamChild's mission is to provide legal services and advocacy to court-involved youth.
A maximum of $100,000 in funding and in-kind services to Kindering. This grant will help fund the growth of Kindering’s CHERISH program, which provides support to infants and toddlers in foster care and their foster families, in order to strengthen attachment and train foster parents to recognize and respond to the special needs of traumatized children. This grant will be given over a three year period, with the first year being a challenge grant to encourage other entities to join us in funding Kindering.
The CFOS Foundation has joined with other local foundations to open attendance by foster kids to the Global Visionaries youth leadership program. Our partners in this project were Treehouse, The Seattle Foundation, and Seattle International Foundation.
Prior to late 2012, the CFOS Foundation was focused on at-risk children’s issues, both in and out of the foster care system. Past grants shown below are not necessarily representative of current grant-making guidelines.
Art With Heart
Art with Heart is a nonprofit helping children and teens facing trauma or mental health issues through the power of creativity and self expression. Art with Heart’s books and programs are based on therapies that are effective in helping improve emotional wellness and reducing the potentially damaging impact of stress.
Amara (formerly Medina Children’s Services) is an independent, nonprofit organization that has been providing services to families and children since 1921. In just the last three years , Amara found loving, permanent homes for 145 children from foster care. More than half of these children were siblings who found adoptive homes in which they could heal and grow up together.
Mary’s Place, the only day center in Seattle welcoming both women and their children. Mary’s Place is unique in that it empowers women to take control of their lives by first providing for basic needs such as hygiene, shelter, food, and clothing; and then by giving them access to tools, information, support groups, and resources to find employment, housing, medical and/or financial services.
Project Lemonade's mission statement:
"Our three programs, the Project Lemonade Store, L+EARN Internship, and WISH (What Inspires Student's Hearts), provide foster youth a chance to Shop. Learn. Dream. With the odds against our foster children, let's do what we can to turn lemons into lemonade."
A brief synopsis of their programs:
- Retail Store – year-round free clothing, shoes, accessories, and books for foster youth. Merchandise is new or nearly new. Served 1,600 youth in 2020, including 68% in Multnomah County.
- L+EARN Internship – Paid internships at the retail store for foster youth ages 16-24. Includes skill-building, career exploration, and ongoing support network.
- WISH: What Inspires Students' Hearts – Provides funding for foster youth to enhance education and enrich their lives—technology, tutoring, sports fees, musical opportunities, camps, etc.