Seattle Foundation Blog

GiveTogether Puts Focus on Child Welfare; Grants $235,000 to King County Nonprofits

Organizations demonstrated a strong focus on preventing vulnerable children and families from entering the child welfare system, or arranging supportive, culturally relevant, placements, both short term and permanent, when staying with parents is not possible.

July 18, 2016

By Christine Stansfield, Officer, Community Programs

No cause calls for the heart and science of philanthropy more than child welfare, where we unite our compassion for safe, healthy children with the discipline of family intervention and support. This past week we announced a total of $235,000 in grants that will be distributed to seven King County-based nonprofit organizations working in child welfare. These grants are a result from our recent GiveTogether, a collective giving approach through which philanthropists work together to learn about and fund strategies that address pressing community needs.

The GiveTogether team, along with our partners in philanthropy, will be awarding grants to the following organizations: Amara, Kindering, Mockingbird, Ryther, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Wellspring and YWCA. Each organization demonstrated a strong focus on preventing vulnerable children and families from entering the child welfare system, or arranging supportive, culturally relevant, placements, both short term and permanent, when staying with parents is not possible. Learn more about their specific programs that address child welfare below.

Tony Mestres, president & CEO at Seattle Foundation (L) speaks with Mimi Siegel, Executive
Director of Kindering, a GiveTogether grant recipient.

Child welfare is critical in addressing the needs of our youngest and most vulnerable residents – and their families. It’s a topic that crosses multiple elements of our Healthy Community Framework and affects an alarming number of children in our community. Currently, in the Greater Seattle area alone, there are nearly 2,000 open investigations of child abuse and neglect, and an additional 1,400 out of home placements. 43% of those children are under the age of five.

Outcomes for children once involved in the child welfare system decline almost immediately, impacting educational attainment, physical and mental health, and puts kids at risk of achieving long-term stability.

The good news is that with intensive support for families, children can often avoid the system entirely. Economic stability, mental health services, parenting education, and meeting basic needs are critical strategies for keeping families together. And when that’s not possible, and intervention is required, safe, stable, and culturally relevant placements in a child’s own community can help to ensure one less loss in a child’s life.

GiveTogether Child Welfare Grant Recipients

Amara is the largest provider of private foster care in Washington State, and the only provider of 24-hour emergency placement for children removed from their homes. GiveTogether funding will help Amara create a new post-adoption support program for families in order to ensure their success long after placement.

Kindering – GiveTogether funding will support Kindering’s CHERISH program. CHERISH ensures the developmental and social/emotional needs of children in out-of-home care are accurately identified, and effectively addressed through proven interventions like home visits focused on attachment.

The Mockingbird Society advocates for the innovative Mockingbird Family Model (MFM), which connects foster homes together in “constellations,” led by homes of experienced foster parents. The MFM provides the community resources necessary to address ongoing weaknesses in the traditional foster care system, helping retain quality caregivers, stabilize kids with greater cultural identity resources, and provide opportunities for family reunification, adoption and other permanency options.

Ryther provides behavioral and mental health treatment for children, teens and families facing complex behavioral, emotional, neurological and/or substance abuse challenges. As of one of the few remaining residential settings for sub-acute care in the state, Ryther serves some of the hardest to place children with complex trauma who have not thrived in foster care, by helping them stabilize and re-enter the community.

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation’s wraparound approach to family support helps keep Native children out of the child welfare system, while supporting children who do end up in the system. Child welfare-specific programs include parenting classes and much-needed ongoing foster-care family support.

Wellspring Family Services  GiveTogether funding will support Wellspring’s Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Division, which provides support to families as they create healthy attachments with their children despite crisises such as homelessness and domestic violence. Eighty percent of the families served are from communities of color, representing the disproportionate effects of homelessness and the child welfare system on traditionally disenfrancished communities. 

YWCA Passage Point is a supportive residential community designed to help parents facing homelessness after incarceration to reunite with their children. This unique program is one of the few of its kind to support this need.



For Philanthropists


philanthropistsGiveTogetherBasic Needscollective givingearly interventionhealthy community frameworkChildren and youth

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