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Amara 

Description

Since 1921, Amara has helped create stability and security for vulnerable children and women in our community. Amara finds loving, adoptive families for children, focusing particularly on finding permanent homes for children in foster care. Children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned begin to heal and to thrive when they know they are part of a “forever” family. Amara also provides impartial, professional, and confidential counseling and support to pregnant women in crisis.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to partner with birth, foster, and adoptive parents to create and support stable, loving homes for vulnerable children.
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Amara
3300 E Union St 
Seattle 
WA
98122-3372 
(206) 260-1700 

Mr. John Morse 
Executive Director 

Programs

Amara Programs

Foster-Adoption
Amara finds loving adoptive homes for children in foster care and for infants who have been relinquished to Amara's care. We educate, guide, and support adoptive parents so that they may sustain healthy and well-bonded families, capable of meeting the needs of vulnerable children. In recent years we have sharpened our focus to address the reality that many children wait too long to be adopted, and are at a high risk of aging out of foster care at 18 without a lifelong family. We work diligently to find families for these “harder to place” children, including children of color, children age 6 and older, and groups of siblings.     

Temporary Foster Care
Oftentimes, children in foster care need a safe, temporary home until they can return to their birth parents or until they are found an adoptive home. Amara partners with foster parents who can provide the compassion that these children need during a particularly vulnerable time in their lives.     

Pregnancy and Parenting Counseling
Amara also offers free, non-judgmental pregnancy counseling to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Amara's caring and experienced counselors help women explore all their options and connect them with helpful community resources. We work with a client’s partner and her extended family whenever possible. Our counselors offer emotional support, accurate information, referrals and encouragement toward stability and healing, no matter what path our clients decide to take.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Rachel is a vivacious six-year-old who was placed with her adoptive mom Julie in December 2011.* Rachel and Julie’s first six months together were rocky: Rachel had already been in four foster homes. And she missed her birth mom, struggling to remember why they couldn’t be together. Julie questioned whether she had the skills to parent Rachel through this difficult time.  

But they persevered, and in June 2012, Rachel announced to their Amara social worker, “My mom and I have decided that we are ready to be adopted.” The adoption was finalized in October, marked by a big celebration. 

Julie talks about Rachel’s transformation with a mother’s joy. “Since the adoption, life has calmed down for Rachel. We’ve become family. We’ve built a relationship. Now, she asks, ‘When I get a license, will I get a car?’ And, ‘When I go to high school, where will I go?She has started talking about the future. She didn’t talk about those things before.”

Rachel and Julie now have a lifetime of plans to look forward to together, as a forever family.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our families

Currently Amara’s greatest need is to prepare more families who can embrace older children and siblings, who are at higher risk of languishing in the foster care system because they are more difficult to place. Philanthropic support allows us to keep our adoption fees low so that we can attract a larger, more diverse pool of foster-adoptive families who can meet the needs of these children.

Evaluation


Amara finds adoptive families for children, focusing particularly on finding permanent homes for children in foster care.

Proven Success
Amara has a very high adoption placement success rate. Amara believes its selection and training processes reduce the risks of placement disruption (an adoptive placement that does not succeed). Amara’s disruption rate average for the past three years is 4.4%, far lower than the national range of 10%-25%.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Amara strives to ensure cost is not a barrier to adoption and foster parenthood. However, the need for more earned income revenue forced Amara to increase its foster-adoption fees. In January the fees jumped from $3,300 to $5,000. Amara will offer a sliding scale fee schedule on a case-by-case basis to ensure the fee increase does not disqualify certain clients.

Amara is inclusive to everyone regardless of marital status, religious background, sexual orientation, home ownership, income or education.

Sustainability
The State is transitioning to a new model of service delivery that partners the Children’s Administration with large private sector foster care and adoption service providers. The position of Child Placement Coordinator was created to coordinate its services with the State. The creation of this position helped Amara increase its placement of children from foster care by 52%.

Financial Health
Amara is working diligently to diversify its revenue streams. It now employs a part-time grant writer. Amara also added two new fundraising events. The board has been increased to raise the organization’s fundraising capacity. Finally, Amara increased the size of its annual luncheon fundraiser resulting in a 26% increase in the amount of money donated. Overall, Amara’s philanthropic contributions increased by 13% last year.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
12/10/2013 $10,000.00provide general operating support.
12/10/2011 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2010 $23,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2009 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/14/2006 $30,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/16/2004 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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