Kairos Seeks Foster Parents - Illinois Valley News
Date: April 2, 2014
Southern Oregon Adolescent Study and Treatment Center, or SOASTC, changed its name last year to “Kairos,” the Greek term meaning “a moment when change is possible.”
“The name change acknowledges the organization’s recent growth. New developments include offering various programs in other counties and moving the main office to Grants Pass,” said Bob Lieberman, executive director. The change also reflects the focus of its mission, which is to create an environment conducive to that change.
Part of the Kairos program is to place children and adolescents, ages 4 through 18 into foster homes in Josephine and Jackson counties. Either one or two parent households are sought to provide a safe and caring home for these children who have had significant challenges in their lives.
Following application, the prospective foster parents’ records are checked and additional screening takes place. Those selected are required to take training, after which, graduates are accepted into the program. Foster parents receive extensive 24/7 on-call support, 2 days respite each month, daily check-ins for further support and a monthly reimbursement of $1,800; which is more than traditional foster care.
“We’re looking for couples whose kids have grown and are gone, or even those who have never had kids; households without other children,” Lieberman states. “We then place one or sometimes two children per home.”
“We highly value all the people who have been foster parents over the years.” Lieberman emphasizes. “We have had outstanding foster care homes in the Illinois Valley in the past, and we’re actively looking for more homes to provide this haven and help impart important life skills for these kids.”
The children are Wards of the Court, part of the child welfare system; and there’s a rea- son they have been taken from their homes.
“Foster care provides opportunity for healing, much more than in an institutional setting,” Lieberman explains. “We try to integrate the biological family into the program as well. These people are not happy with their circumstances and they wish it was different. We work to correct problems so these families can be reunited. We allow the parents back into their children’s lives if it’s reasonable and feasible.”
“The intervention involves collaboration with the whole team,” Lieberman continues. “The agency does its best to delink the families from the past and go on with their lives renewed and restored. I consider it God’s calling to do this kind of work. It takes special people to become foster parents. When it goes well, which is most of the time; it has a lifelong impact for these children.”
Other Kairos programs include “New Beginnings Psychiatric Residential Treatment” for youth ages 11 to 17 and “School Community Team Advocacy and Mentoring” for K-12 students in both Three Rivers and Rogue River School Districts.
For further information on the foster care program, contact coordinator Tami Potts at (541) 474-5579 or visit www.kairosnw.org.