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Foster care advocacy group expands to Central Oregon


Every Child Oregon, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children in foster care, has now officially come to the tri-county area.

In Central Oregon, there are nearly 300 children in foster care, among the nearly 7,500 across the state. State Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, was on hand for Friday’s ceremony that marked Every Child Central Oregon’s introduction.

Helt has introduced House Bill 2868, which would create an income tax credit that would help pay for foster kids’ day care. Helt said with that extra bit of funding, it’d open the door for more families to have the financial means to become foster families.

The way things stand now, “we’re eliminating foster families that work two jobs and can’t afford to be foster families, but have the home and the heart to be able to open up for our foster children,” Helt said. “I want to make sure that we ensure that we can accommodate people that want to be foster families and help out our foster children. That’s why I brought forward this bill.”

The bill is currently in the Joint Ways and Means Committee in the Oregon Legislature.

Every Child Oregon hopes to expand to all 36 counties in the state by 2022.

News release:


BEND, OR. — In Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties combined, there are more than 270 kids from our communities in foster care according to recent statistics, part of the nearly 7,500 total Oregon children.

Our communities lack the needed number of foster homes to ensure children are placed with the most strategic family for their safety and well-being. However, in the midst of our current shortage of foster homes, there is fresh reason for hope and celebration.

With the goal of mobilizing an unprecedented number of foster families and volunteers to support child welfare across Central Oregon, a group of caring local volunteers, in partnership with the state Department of Human Services (DHS), is proud to launch a regional initiative! called Every Child Central Oregon.

Every Child Central Oregon (ECCO) is a public/private community mobilization effort to encourage and equip Central Oregonians to love, care for, and support vulnerable children and families in partnership with our regional DHS. ECCO has been formed to bring to our region the unprecedented success of the model of Every Child Oregon (, which resulted in more than 540 new Oregon Certified Foster Providers since inception and brought in 934 new family inquiries about foster care or adoption in 2018 alone.

From the beginning, Every Child Oregon was committed to three core values: Collaborative, Hopeful, Determined. In launching ECCO, as a group of volunteers from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, we are determined to work together to fight for every child and f! amily in crisis. But, we can’t do this work alone, and we invite every community in Central Oregon to join us in this pursuit.

With roots in the Embrace Oregon initiative in the Portland Metro area, Every Child first launched in Jackson, Josephine and Lane County in mid-2016. Communities across Oregon work with Every Child Oregon to organize, form, and launch their own affiliate local nonprofit initiatives and organizations, and the effort is scaling. By 2022, Every Child will operate in all 36 counties in the state.

We believe DHS is only as strong as the community that comes alongside it. Most Oregonians are not aware of DHS’ day-to-day efforts on behalf of children and families. We are confident more Oregonians will want to be a part of the solution and those of us with ECCO want to share the possibilities. Not everyone can become a foster parent, but we can all do something to care for our community’s children and families. Every Child needs you.

Connect with us and join the effort at: EveryChildOregon/connect/.

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