Safe Families for Children
Lutheran Community Services Northwest, McMinnville, Ore.
- Emerging Leader: Allison Killeen
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Amount of Grant: $15,000
- Dates of Grant Term: December 2020 – December 2022
Allison Killeen has been a member of the Safe Families for Children staff for the past year. Prior to that, she volunteered for Safe Families as a mentor for three children whose mother was overcoming homelessness and domestic violence. As a mentor, Allison bonded with the children and became deeply committed to the mission of SFFC. A graduate of George Fox University, Newberg, Ore., with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication, Allison completed an internship with All God’s Children International where she served as a case manager for families adopting internationally from the Philippines and Bulgaria. She also interned for Christian Alliance for Orphans and helped plan their annual Summit, where thousands of leaders, families, and individuals gathered to become empowered and encouraged to serve the vulnerable through foster care, adoption, and Safe Families.
Safe Families for Children (SFFC) supports families in crisis with a caring and compassionate community by providing respite and family support ranging from hosting children for months at a time to mentoring parents through some of the toughest challenges of their lives, such as recovering from chemical dependency, completing a jail sentence, or escaping domestic violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased stress on at-risk families and SFFC has responded by increasing volunteer recruits to partner with food banks and churches in order to address a critical pandemic stressor: extreme food insecurity. The grant will fund critical growth, which will keep an increasing number of the community’s children safe and their families together. Their goal this year is to serve 50 individuals by hosting 24 children and provide respite and mentorship for 26 parents. This will reduce the number of children entering the foster care system by 20% in the county, producing a state cost savings of $324,000.