The foster care system in Washington State is in crisis. There is a growing number of children entering foster care and huge gaps in how children are received and assessed once in state care. Hand in Hand was created to address those service gaps by providing support to children, families and those who serve them. We believe local communities must support these four groups to have a positive impact on the foster care system: foster children, biological families, social workers and foster parents.
Since 2010, we have served hundreds of children a year entering the foster system through our Safe Place emergency first response shelter, provided a stable environment for children in transition through our Selah Homes short term foster program, and empowered the community through our Village Impact Project which supports over 1,500 people a year through education, engaging activities & support services to help preserve family stability and vitality.
Imagine being taken from your home in the middle of the night - alone and afraid - placed in to the care of a social worker, eager to find you a suitable placement with little time to ensure your long-term well-being. Hand in Hand’s Safe Place was created to be a first response receiving home, where children find stabilization through warm, compassionate care and basic needs fulfilled. Children remain in Safe Place for up to 72 hours while a more permanent placement can be found.
The trauma a child experiences after being removed from their home may have lifelong consequences, including PTSD and learning disabilities. Often, kids bounce from home to home, creating a cycle of placement failures that only compounds their suffering. When more time is needed to find suitable placement, Selah Homes minimizes the impact of these traumatic experiences by providing a stable, short term foster home for up to 28 days while a case manager can assess needs and ultimately reunite the child with a family member or long-term foster home.
Village Impact Project
The Village Impact Project seeks to create community relationships that provide outreach and prevention services designed to avoid family crisis situations before they occur. Through education and engagement, we empower our community partners to help care for each other in an inclusive way that builds strong relationships, uniting and caring for one another in powerful ways. Relationship building is done through sports, family friendly activities, field trips and events.