Our Enhanced Support for Foster Parents (ESFP) pilot project provides respite, mentorship and community support for foster families, which has resulted in breakthrough outcomes of 100% foster parent retention and 0 disrupted placements.
With the Anchor Home/Enhanced Support Model, foster parents receive expanded services and training while foster children gain a robust support system designed to replicate a natural family support network resulting in: 1) foster children transitioning out of foster care into a safe, nurturing, permanent family life; and 2) increased retention of participating foster parents.
Both Boys and Girls Aid (BGA) in Portland and CCS have already made significant contributions towards the cost of research and initial implementation of the Anchor Home/Enhanced Support Model.
Since July 2017, CCS has developed and implemented two Anchor Homes for Enhanced Support in Marion County at a cost of more than $400,000 with support from Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), Collins Foundation and many individual donors. Both OCF and Collins Foundation recently made very generous second investments in the Anchor Home/Enhanced Support for Foster Parents Model of $35,000 and $25,000 respectively.
Together, the two CCS Anchor Homes serve 16 foster families and 33 children. BGA began development and implementation of its first Anchor Home in Washington County with $250,000 provided by DHS and $50,000 of agency resources. The BGA Anchor Home is now supporting 6 homes serving 7 youth.
BGA and CCS are developing and testing the Anchor Home/Enhanced Support Model at a time when DHS is recognizing the many issues with the foster care system and seeking ways to address them. BGA and CCS have the administrative, management and operational infrastructure in place to successfully establish a model for transforming the system to one that retains qualified, committed foster parents for Oregon’s children.
The model was originally proposed by CCS’s Forever Home Youth Council, an advisory board of current and former foster youth. The Youth Council researched ways to improve foster care and presented their research to the Family Preservation Action Team (FPAT), part of Marion County’s Children and Families Commission.
FPAT enthusiastically received the Council’s proposal and helped refine the model, subsequently incorporating it as a key component of their 2017 Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention Strategic Plan. CCS then launched the pilot for Marion County Foster Parents. Since March 2018 when the first Network or “Array” Home was referred to CCS from DHS, the Anchor Homes have provided 174 nights of respite care.
(Pictured are foster parents Tony and Janet Weaver)