Safe at Home helps children exit foster care and reunify with their families by expanding support for in-home safety.
Oregon requires an in-home safety plan for children exiting foster care in order for them to return home and remain there. Typically, parents are asked to identify friends and family who can help monitor the in-home child safety plan. Unfortunately, many of these families are experiencing broken relationships or social isolation, or have concerns related to a potential volunteer’s personal background check, etc.
Safe at Home’s Volunteer Family Partners fill this need by monitoring in-home child safety plans for children who are transitioning from foster care back to living with their families.
Become a Volunteer Family Partner:
Contact the Safe at Home program manager at Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub to express your interest.
- The program manager will assist you in submitting a background check (will take up to four weeks).
- Complete the online Volunteer Family Partner training once your background is cleared (two weeks).
- Understanding your Volunteer Family Partner role and responsibilities
- ODHS mandatory child abuse reporting requirements
- Building trauma awareness and sensitivity for Positive engagement
- Understanding cultural competence and implicit bias
- Cases with special considerations; appropriate boundaries and family partner safety
Upon being assigned to a case, you will work with Safe at Home and ODHS Child Welfare to understand the in-home safety plan to begin serving as a volunteer. The duration of your Volunteer Family Partner agreement will be determined based on the family's need and your availability.
The program manager will introduce you to the child and the family, and serve as a resource to you throughout the engagement as you monitor the in-home safety plan.
Why is Safe at Home needed?
- Marion County has Oregon’s third-largest population of children in foster care. In 2021, 783 children experienced foster care in Marion County, with an approximate duration of 18 months.
- Research shows that the adverse impact of multiple foster care placements affects children throughout their lives, increasing their likelihood of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, incarceration, homelessness, substance use and mental health disorders.
- For many children, the trauma is reduced when they safely return home.
How Safe at Home helps:
- Children who can return to permanent, stable routines in loving homes are more likely to succeed in school and social settings.
- Parents with mental health and substance abuse issues find that reunification with their children, while undergoing treatment, motivates them to continue treatment and helps with their recovery.
- Through reunification, children may build relationships with extended family, which is important for support, traditions and cultural identities.
Interested in becoming a Volunteer Family Partner?
Contact Claudia Rodriguez, Safe at Home Program Manager
Who is eligible for the Safe at Home program?
Safe at Home serves families that are eligible for trial reunification but are unable to identify someone to ensure in-home child safety. Families in need are identified by the Oregon Department of Human Services Child Welfare office. .