Our Story

Embrace Oregon connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. We are dedicated to the flourishing of every child.

 

EMBRACE OREGON BEGAN WITH ONE BIG QUESTION:

WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE WAITING AT A DHS CHILD WELFARE OFFICE FOR A FOSTER FAMILY? 

 

In 2011, Jillana Goble, a foster mom in Portland, Ore., asked this simple question. When a staff member who works for DHS Child Welfare replied, they painted a picture of scrambling each and every time a child entered the office. This sparked an idea. How could community members show hospitality to children during the most vulnerable time in their life—when they are first entering foster care and sitting in a DHS Child Welfare Office? 

 

The Welcome Box emerged with the help of a grant from Imago Dei Community, and community members began to fill box after box for child welfare offices in the Portland Metro area.

 

The Welcome Box sparked deeper community interest and involvement. By 2012, hundreds of volunteers from the faith community in the Tri-County area began to humbly care for the staff at their local child welfare offices. Cookies were delivered. Walls were painted. New furniture was purchased. Hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled.

 

Quickly, the stream turned into a river, and the river turned into a flood as community members, businesses, and faith communities began to get involved. The broader community engaged with children and families in crisis by tangibly caring for children and supporting the staff at DHS who work with children and families every day.

 

As the momentum in Portland grew, interest began to pour in from other counties in Oregon asking, “How can I start something in my community?” The response to this statewide interest is the Every Child movement. While Embrace focuses on the Portland Metro Area, in 2015 Every Child began with the mission to take the heartbeat of Embrace Oregon and spread it to every county in Oregon. By 2022, Every Child will operate in each county in the state. Learn more about Every Child.

Our Foundational Pillars: