The NAYA Family Center Foster Care Support program assists youth and families who are involved with state or tribal foster care systems. We offer services to youth from birth to age 24 as well as their birth and foster parents. Young adults who aged out of foster care can also recieve services through age 24. Our staff work to provide consistent culturally appropriate individual- and family-based support services. These services help to build understanding and maintain Native cultural traditions and connections.
We assist youth and families to identify and access other community resources that fit their needs and goals. We support families with reunification or in finding other permanent homes. We are working to recruit new foster families from the Native American community and are here to support them through the certification process. Foster Care Support services also include Positive Indian Parenting classes, Sibling and Family Night events, Foster Parent Support night and geneology and Regalia assistance.
Once a month, the Foster Care program holds Sibling and Family Visit Night to provide a positive natural environment for youth in foster care to visit with siblings, family members, and other people they have connections with. Growing up in the foster care system can make it difficult to stay connected family and community. NAYA Family Center provides a place for youth to come together with the important people in their lives. We also provide time for the learning and teaching of culturally specific activities and the sharing of traditions and ideas. Foster families are also welcome to attend with the Native American youth in their home.
Foster Parent Support Night
On the third Tuesday of the month, Foster Parent Support Night is held as an evening for foster parents to come support eachother and share dinner. Occasional speakers will present to the group.
We are working with the Portland Native community to recruit Native Foster Parents and helping them through the Department of Human Services certification process and supporting them in their role as foster parents. Foster parents have the opportunity to provide a safe, secure and loving home to a child in need.
Native American people traditionally cared for their children through extended families. It was common for relatives, for "Aunties and Uncles" to care for one another's children in difficult times. Being a foster parent is another way to carry on this tradition and share these values for out future generations, while supporting our children to maintain their Native culture.
In the Portland area there are significantly more Native American children in foster care than there are Native American foster parents. Many of these children and youth are far away from their tribes and communities and may have lost their connection to their culture. We are working to strengthen these community and cultural connections.
The Pathways to Adulthood independent living program is designed to provide support and assistance to Native American teenagers and young adults working to build a positive vision for their future. The program focuses on assisting youth aged 14–21 who are currently or who have been in state or tribal foster care systems. Our focus is on creating a vision for the future that is respectful and inclusive of Native American culture and traditions. Pathways to education, employment, peer support, housing, health, and transportation are all pieces of our work, as is building a sense of belonging and community.
|Tawna Sanchez||ext. 209||Director of Family Services|
|Alise Sanchez||ext. 314||Foster Care Support Specialist|
|Nicomi Levine||ext. 323||Foster Care Support Specialist|
|Eva Williams||ext. 315||ISRS Care Support Specialist|
|Trevino Brings Plenty||ext. 317||AFP-FUP & ISRS Support Specialist|