How Kids First Works
While the Department of Children and Families does all they can to meet a child’s basic needs, Kids First knows that a child’s healthy development requires more than just meeting those basic needs. They need to experience joy and laughter, love and support, friendship and growth. They need to experience all that childhood has to offer them and to explore the person they are. These experiences can all come in many forms, from joining a sports team to learning a musical instrument to attending a summer camp. These are examples of childhood experiences that are not typically covered by Department funds or the small stipend that foster parents receive.
HOW DO FOSTER PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS FILL THE GAPS LEFT BY STATE ASSISTANCE AND OTHER RESOURCES? KIDS FIRST IS HERE TO HELP!
When a child has a need or a hope to participate in an educational, vocational, or recreational opportunity, and child welfare funds run short, the child’s parents (birth, foster or relative), social worker or Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem (VGAL) submits a request for Kids First support.
The Kids First team collaborates with community partners (individuals, parents & extended families, social workers, schools, merchants, public and private organizations, civic groups, faith communities) to pool resources. Partnerships are built and children are linked with opportunity!
HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS THAT WE HAVE PARTNERED WITH TO FILL NEEDS:
Concordia Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor Methodist Church, Whidbey Island Roller Girls, OHHS Skills U.S.A. – Holiday stockings for foster children.
First Book Marketplace – Story and activity books each holiday season for all foster children.
Treehouse for Kids – Tutoring for school age children
Whidbey DIYers – Cloth masks for children