Last year, over 11,600 children spent at least one night in foster care in the state of Oregon, and about 494 kids in Central Oregon experienced at least one night in foster care; currently, we have approximately 273 youth experiencing foster care in the tri-county area. There are a mere 199 certified foster families in the tri-county area, with the majority being certified only to take children they are related to; leaving children in our area experiencing compounded trauma related to delayed placement and more frequent disruption in placements. ECCO is determined to improve upon the trauma and mental health effects that these placement issues can create for youth in care; doing so through recruitment of new foster families to bridge the gap via community events and providing radical hospitality to established foster homes to help increase retention rates. We dream of a day where there are more providers than children in care, ensuring that every child has a safe and loving home to be in during their time in care.
Every Child provides tangible needs to foster families when they have youth in their care including items such as: diapers, wipes, formula, clothes, beds, bedding, bikes, educational materials, and more. Our focus and mission is to equip every home so that the placement can be one that is healthy, strategic for that particular youth, successful and sustainable for all involved parties. During the COVID-19 crisis we have also been supplying emergent food requests, cleaning supplies to keep families healthy, and tablets with video capabilities so that youth in care may continue to have “virtual visits” with their biological family members and case workers. ECCO also works alongside ODHS by providing support and encouragement to certifiers and case workers; sharing resources with them needed to improve the health and wellbeing of youth in care.
We believe that everyone has something to the table to better the outcome of children and families in Central Oregon!