(Photo courtesy of Action Through Advocacy)
The number of children in foster care has drastically increased in Central Oregon over the course of the last five years. Currently, there are over 600 children in care in our district. Action Through Advocacy (ATA) is a local 501c3 organization that provides critical needs services to the foster care community of Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties.
Their mission is to improve the retention and success of foster homes, inform and strengthen families who adopt foster children and improve the outcomes for abused and traumatized children in care.
ATA focuses on supporting the entire family. Assistance begins when a child first comes into care by providing beds, cribs, blankets, car seats and school supplies to the foster families. They provide Parent Relief Nights in partnership with Eastmont Church in Bend to give foster and adoptive parents a much needed break.
Statistically, only 50 percent of foster children graduate high school. Many foster children are two years or more behind in school when they enter care. ATA’s specialized tutoring program has a proven success record for bringing children up as many as two grade levels within one school year.
These programs are offered at no cost, which helps to ease the financial burden for the families and ensures that the children have what they need. Upcoming programs include a respite and relief care program for foster and adoptive parents and foster teen and age out services to help ensure that our foster youth have the best chance for success in life.
Action Through Advocacy is in need of the community’s support. You can help this organization by making a monthly $20 pledge, volunteering or attending their next fundraising event, Spookie’s Haunt on October 28(see ad). Read more about ATA at actionthroughadvocacy.org.