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INTRODUCING FLO 2.0

Families like Ours continues to grow as we embrace our 16th year of helping at-risk foster youth and pre-adoptive families.

In 2016, we have been hard at work creating a team of professionals specifically to address the permanency and support needs of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBT&Q) foster youth. Additionally, we have been working to expand our supports to pre and post adoptive and foster families in order to meet their specific challenges. 

As part of this growth, David Wing-Kovarik, founder of Families Like Ours, is moving into the position of CEO.  A new Executive Director, Sheila Wilson, has been selected and scheduled to officially take over the day-to-day operations of providing direct family and youth case management, fundraising, and oversight officially on April 4, 2016. 

“It is time,” says Wing-Kovarik. “Conrad and I began Families Like Ours in our living room in 1999 never realizing it would become what it is today. These changes have actually been in the works for a while, I have just been waiting to find the right team members with the same dedication, drive, and commitment our families and partners expect from Families Like Ours.  With their help and teamwork, we will stimulate the even further growth of our work and provide greater capacity to help at-risk youth and families.” 

Families Like Ours remains a strong independent voice within the adoption, foster care and LGBT community, both locally and nationally. It is only with the support of our families, community partners, and committed financial contributors that we can continue to do this work. The team here at Families Like Ours is energized for the challenges that we meet each day and continue to appreciate your volunteerism and donations. 
Support & Educate enough pre adoptive and foster homes for more then 200 at-risk foster youth each year; An overwhelming 97% of families that get their educational support from FLO, move forward; Find and support families for LGBTQ at-risk foster youth needing a welcoming family ...
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Hello everyone [from David]! Yes it is the 4th of July weekend and while we are officially closed for a few days, I am alas still plugging away on a few things. One of our [King County] kids, 14 needs to move into a temporary licensed foster home on Monday. He is in general a good kid, no behavioral issues (really none); he's case is concurrent planning so adoption could be an option but it isn't the primary direction at the moment. At the moment his housing needs are at a minimum of a month, but could be long term depending upon how things unfold over the next four - eight weeks. We can ONLY look at licensed foster homes for him. I know it is a holiday weekend and you're all busy with activities. But if you'd like to talk, learn more, have questions, etc. drop me an email directly. Thanks - David 
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Happy Mothers Day!
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Did you see David's BLOG post today? "We often get so caught up in the adoption process, our kids history, our kids daily needs and helping them move forward that we forget that we too are part of this. If we're not taking care of who we are, who is going to?" Check out the amazing link in the post for these brownies!
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This week's Top 10 2014 Adoption Q&A: We’re interested in older teens, including LGBTQ youth. Can we specify like that? YES! Actually there are more older youth needing adoptive homes than ever before. Approximately 14+% of youth in care are LGBTQ and there are very few families stepping forward. If this is your direction then we want to talk with you. Touch base with someone at Families Like Ours and we will get you setup with everything.
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Recently David was asked to speak at the annual Bonfire Heights retreat about the passion of FLO ...
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Hi everyone! This message is from Dori regarding one of our SAFE-WWK youth that is in need of a long term foster home, or adoptive family by the end of August! She is a transitioning youth. She has a wide range of interest, both indoors and out. She gets along fine with other kids, and doesn’t have any allergies that we are aware. She is currently in a temporary housing until the end of August and she is worried that she will not be in a family home in time for school to start. She is legally free so you do not need a foster license; however you do need an approved homestudy or at least be working on your homestudy. If you want to know more, or know of a possible family please email dori@familieslikeours.org or call 206-441-7602, Ext 3. 
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EMERGENT NEED: Hello everyone. We have a new LGBTQ youth that has been referred to FLO for support and recruitment services. He will be 18 on Tuesday May 26th and must move by the end of the day on the 26th. He is focused on completely high school and then going to college. He loves dogs, has no acting out behavior. He is in extended foster care but a family doesn’t need to be licensed. We are still learning more about him but David has met the youth. There are more details which can be explained to a family. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about this youth, please contact FLO ASAP via email at david@familieslikeours.org. Thank you!
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Don't forget FLO today on GiveBIG! For the next 24 hours on Tuesday May 5th your donations will be matched by The Seattle Foundation! Help us continue to make a difference in the lives of at-risk foster youth! PLEASE make a donation today! #adoption #fostercare #lgbt #parenting  
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Important January 2015, WAC 388-148-1320 Update
Specific to items number 5 and 6 related to flu shoots

We have been working on this issue since last week. This is an attempt to provide clarification to the recent changes made regarding new mandatory requirements by all Washington State licensed foster homes with foster youth ages 2 and under. Under the newly revised WAC, all individuals in a licensed foster home with foster youth 2 years or younger are required to have proof of full immunizations, which now includes proof of their yearly flu vaccination. 

This change in the WAC was implemented by DSHS after consulting with the Washington Department of Health. According to DLR on 1/9/2015, this recent change applies only to homes taking children under the age of 2 because they are considered under-immunized at that age, and are the most vulnerable population.

There has been a great deal of reaction to this new change, including the assertion that children will be removed (by DSHS) from a licensed home if the home is not in full compliance of this change by mid-January. As of 1/9/2015, DSHS has made no formal statement to this effect, nor do they [currently] have any specific plans to this effect.*

This does not however mean that a licensed foster home with youth under the age of 2 years can ignore this new WAC change. Additionally according to DLR on 1/9/2015, the WAC does not [currently] allow for administrative discretion.

Families Like Ours is working closely with FPAWS and other strategic community partners to assist DSHS in new language for this WAC. This isn’t going to happen overnight so we strongly suggest that foster families with questions regarding this new change contact their agency, Families Like Ours or FPAWS. If you have received ANY information contrary to this, please let us know.

Families Like Ours: 1-877-230-3055
FPAWS: 1-800-391-2273

*As of the writing of this letter, if you have foster youth 2 years or younger in your home we highly recommend you obtain your flu vaccine sooner rather than later and have that documented by the end of February 2015 at the latest. If there are medical why you, or someone in your home cannot have this vaccine, we suggest being proactive and clearly document that with your agency. Please keep in mind that decisions regarding this WAC seem to be evolving each day so at this point we simply do not know the end result. Please practice patient, if you need to share your story reach out to someone here at FLO or FPAWS.
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David was more then a bit inspired by Benjamin O'Keef's article this week of a father escorting his son to a date with another boy. Take a read of this weeks BLOG Post "Should I let my Gay-Son date?" 
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This week's Top 10 2014 Adoption Q&A: Is there a transition time when you get to meet the kid before you say yes or no, before the child moves into your home? Great question and glad so many asked this today. Given that you’re all more or less here for adoption then the question is typically yes when adopting from foster care. If you receive a call saying the child has to move into an adoptive family and you have two hours to say yes or no, then that is NOT an adoptive placement. If you’re intending on international or birthparent placement, then things are different. Clearly in birthparent, you will typically be there during most or some of the pregnancy and the birthparents have chosen you to be the adoptive family. In nearly all international adoptions, there may be a few days during the transition but it typically isn't more than that. You should talk with your individual placement agencies about how it works with an international transition.
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Have them in circles
21 people
Laura Louise's profile photo
Coalition for Children, Youth & Families's profile photo
Jaime Tae's profile photo
Jodi Su Tharan's profile photo
Paulette Caswell's profile photo
Nathan Amaya's profile photo
Heather Brown Holly Guss's profile photo
Tolora Jackson's profile photo
Milo Moon's profile photo
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206-441-7602, 1-877-230-3055
Address
603 Stewart Street, Suite 902 Seattle, Washington 98101
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Every child deserves a strong, welcoming, accepting family to call their own.