Douglas, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/23/2014 --When children enter foster care from Whatcom County, social workers have 72 hours—3 working days—before they appear before a judge with a plan about where the children will live. Where do the children go in the interim? There's currently no plan. It's a massive service gap, that a local group of social service providers, faith communities, and childcare professionals would love to solve.
At the first meeting of the community solutions workgroup commissioned by Mayor Linville, a group of individuals coalesced around their shared passion to solve the problems with the foster care system. They were inspired by the presentation of Todd McNeal, Executive Director of Hand in Hand in Everett, who has managed to solve this 72 hour problem in neighboring Snohomish County with a facility staffed by volunteers. Speaking with McNeal after the meeting, the group was encouraged to launch a similar facility right here in Bellingham.
After several months of planning and preparation, the group incorporated as "Skookum Kids." Skookum is a chinook word that means strong or healthy, but lifetime residents of the pacific northwest will know that it has crept into regional vernacular as well. The group thought it summarized their goals well—that foster children should have the same chances to live healthy, happy lives.
Skookum Kids now seeks to open a facility that would care for children in their first 72 hours of foster care. Children would receive nutritious food, new clothes, toys, transportation to and from school, and transportation to a medical screening—all under the supervision of trained volunteers. An Indiegogo Campaign has been launched to raise funds for this cause. Read More...
You can learn more about Skookum Kids at SkookumKids.org.
About Skookum Kids
Our first initiative is to create a volunteer-staffed facility to care for children entering or transitioning in the Foster Care system throughout Whatcom County. We're following closely in the footsteps of Hand in Hand, whose Safe Place facility in Everett has made a tremendous impact in the lives of many foster children.