City Ministries Child Placement Agency

Each week, City Ministries feeds tens of thousands of families, places children in caring homes, and provides housing for women in transition.

The need

The City Church has launched its own foster care agency to help meet the needs of children in the State of Washington and in particular King County. In Washington State, alone, there are more than 10,000 children currently in foster care - a 22% increase over the last two years. Statistics are projecting an even greater increase over the next five years.

Last year in Washington State, over 19,000 children needed a safe place to stay...they needed a foster home. While some of these children went back home or to live with relatives, thousands remained in care.

How you can help

  • You can help by opening your heart - pray for more foster parents, volunteers and resources.
  • You can help by opening your home- become a full or part time foster parent or respite provider.
  • You can help by volunteering your time or professional services (RN, Dentists, MD, MSW, Licensed Counselors)
  • You can help by becoming an agency volunteer (childcare, tutoring, mentoring, etc)
  • You can help by giving financially of your resources or in-kind donations.
“It is very encouraging to see a strong community partner like City Ministries Child Placement Agency step up to get licensed and partner with the King County and DSHS to meet this very critical need—providing safe, nurturing homes for children in crisis.” Kathy Lambert
King County Council Member, Dist 3

Frequently asked questions

Who are City Ministries and the City Ministries Child Placement Agency?

City Ministries is a tax-exempt social service organization that provides various services to the community. In 1993 The City Church started collecting bread and distributing it to needy neighbors in the Crossroads area of Bellevue.

In 2002 the church started City Ministries as a separate nonprofit organization to enlarge the food distribution ministry and offer additional community services. City Ministries’ food distribution network now distributes 1 million pounds of goods each year, serving 20,000 households each week, with 150 partner organizations. City Ministries also has a home for Women in Transition, a clothing distribution ministry called City Colors, a Preschool in Kirkland, WA and a new Preschool schedule to open in Mount Lake Terrace, WA in Fall 2010.

The Child Placement Agency is a private faith-based agency started by City Ministries that is licensed by the State of Washington to recruit, train and certify foster parents and to provide case management services, visitation supervision and transportation in support of children in “out-of-home” placements. The Agency is currently recruiting new foster parents, respite providers, and other volunteers to help accomplish its mission to serve the community.

The Rose Hill Cottages are a community of 22 single family residences with an average of 4 bedrooms and community center. The community is owned by City Ministries and is adjacent to The City Church Kirkland campus. Its purpose is to provide affordable housing to families providing foster care. Some of the families licensed through the Agency will live in the Rose Hill Cottages.

What is the relationship between The City Church and the Agency?

The City Church strongly believes in community involvement and service. Washington State is facing a crisis and is in desperate need of quality foster parents for the 9000+ children who need a foster family each year. The need is not being overstated. It is well documented in the local news and on the DSHS website.

The City Church believes it is a mandate and evidence of our faith to “show our faith by our works” and help those who are in need, underserved and falling through the cracks. Because of this, The City Church is the primary financial supporter of the Agency. With the financial and other support of The City Church and its members, we at the Agency believe we can offer a high quality, professional child placement agency along with support programs to help children and parents who are involved in the foster care system.

We hope to develop a working model that can be replicated by other churches and faith-based organizations who wish to answer the call to serve foster children and foster families, on a 1 house or multiple house scale.

Are you hiring "House Parents" to live in the cottages and take care of the children?

No. The Rose Hill Cottages are an affordable housing community, not a group foster care facility. City Ministries Child Placement Agency certifies foster parents and homes for foster care. Potential foster parents will go through the licensing process and apply to become part of our program. They then must meet the additional requirements of our Agency before being approved.

We are providing licensing, child placement, training, case management and support services to participants in our program. Foster parents will receive a stipend for each child from the State of Washington and our Agency will serve as a pass-through only for these stipends. While some of our foster parents will move into the Rose Hill Cottages and have a lease agreement with City Ministries for one of the cottages, most will choose to remain where they are currently living.

Will you be working with all ranges of children in all types of foster care?

While each foster care child has been through trauma, foster children with development and/or physical needs require an increased number of specialized services. Due to the current stage of development of the Agency, the level of care for foster children with documented special needs is limited.

The Agency must provide the highest level of care for each child, utilizing intra-agency resources. At this time, the Agency is unable to meet the anomalous needs of children that require specialized therapeutic care. For the best interest of the foster children and parents, children with severe developmental and/or physical disabilities are unable to be placed through City Ministries Child Placement Agency. As the Agency develops and more resources become available, children with special needs will be evaluated for placement.

Is this program open to anyone who wants to participate?

Our program is open to foster parents who meet the requirements for licensing. There are state requirements to be a licensed foster parent and home licensing/certification requirements, which are in addition to requirements specific to City Ministries Child Placement Agency.

Can I be single and be a foster Parent?

Yes. You do not have to be married in order to be a foster parent. You must meet the licensing requirements of the state and of the Agency. All foster parents in our program are required to have 1 person in the home employed or with documentable income that proves "foster care payments" are not necessary for them to take care of their living expenses.

Do I have to live in the Rose Hill Cottages to be a foster parent?

No. The Rose Hill Cottages are an optional living arrangement for families that are providing foster care. To be eligible to lease one of the cottages you must meet the affordable housing guidelines for Kirkland (if applicable) and be a foster parent licensed through City Ministries Child Placement Agency or another approved agency. Families may live in their own home or apartment and still become Agency foster parents.

Can I be a volunteer?

City Ministries Child Placement Agency has a number of areas for volunteers to participate. We have specific training for childcare workers, visitation supervisors and transportation supervisors. You may volunteer for a monthly Foster Parent Night Out Event held at our community center to watch children while foster parents participate in support groups or go out for the evening. Event assistance, case aids, clerical assistance and donation coordination are other available volunteer opportunities. We also have a need for social workers with BA degrees to help with home studies and fund raising.

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