08.25.2016

Putting Kids in Foster Care First

By Emily Rose, Foster Parent & First Tech Employee

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I felt called to become a foster parent about 5 years ago.  Portland, like Seattle and most areas in the country, had (and continues to have) an ongoing crisis shortage of foster parents. A lot of my friends stepped up to become foster parents during this time, so I was inspired by their courage and decided that I could try to become one also.  As a single woman, I wasn’t sure if it would be possible. However, Oregon’s Department of Human Services was more than happy to have me!

As a new foster parent, I’ve learned firsthand that the stipend foster parents receive from the state does not go very far. I’m incredibly thankful for nonprofits who have stepped up to provide the resources foster parents like me need; organizations like With Love, and Foster Parents Night Out in Oregon, and Treehouse in Washington.

A second group of First Tech employees back in the Wearhouse for more volunteering!

First Tech employees volunteering in the Wearhouse!

In my day job, I work in Community Relations at First Tech Federal Credit Union. I get the opportunity to build relationships with nonprofits who serve the communities where our branches and members are located, and to find ways for First Tech to partner with them to support their work. It’s through First Tech that I learned about Treehouse.

As a company, First Tech is committed to supporting three main causes: K-12 education, child health, and basic needs. Treehouse helps to provide all of those things for kids in foster care, so it made perfect sense for First Tech to get behind their work. In 2015, we donated $5,000 to support Treehouse’s Graduation Success program, which makes sure that youth in foster care have what the need to graduate from high school and become contributing members in the community. During the holidays, local First Tech staff volunteered in Treehouse’s Wearhouse and as a company, we donated an additional $5,000 to keep their store stocked with holiday gifts. And in 2016, First Tech proudly supported Treehouse programs with an additional $10,000 grant to continue their work.

 

Kids in foster care can often get lost in the shuffle.  Sometimes, they bounce from house to house and often have a traumatic history of suffering from abuse or neglect which means they are not always able to live and learn like the other kids.  It is so important that we take care of these children so that they can grow, learn, feel loved, and become great citizens in the community. Treehouse encourages individuals in foster care to focus on their education and in turn provide a better life for themselves and their community—work that is very important to me, to First Tech, and the communities that we serve.

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About the Author

Emily Rose is a single foster mom living in Tigard, Oregon. She has been a foster parent for almost 2 years and has cared for 4 different kids during that time. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, volunteering, and spending time with her family and kids.  She is very passionate about foster care and giving kids the best life possible!


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