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Volunteer / Intern Positions

A Family For Every Child is proud to have many volunteers and interns work with our organization. Want to help A Family For Every Child but aren’t sure how? Volunteering is a great way to support our many programs serving foster and at-risk youth and families right here in our own community as well as foster youth and pre-adoptive families nationwide! Often we can be flexible to accommodate many schedules. Our positions offer a real-world experience for those who wish to improve their skills and add to a resume, for students requiring intern or volunteer hours, students who wish to gain experience, or for anyone who has a desire to give of themselves and their time to our mission. Some of our positions are better suited in our offices, however many tasks can be completed from anywhere. We could not do this important work without you!

Urgent Volunteer Positions

All Volunteer Positions

Professional Experience Volunteer Positions

Are you seeking Professional Experience through a volunteer role?

Are you looking at a career change? Need to build experience on your resume? What to learn about nonprofit and/or Social work? We have the roles for you!!
These are Rare Opportunity to make a REAL Difference. For these roles we are much more selective, we ask for a 1 year commitment of 6-10 hours a week. We will invest in you with the same commitment.

If you are interested in any of these roles, please send your interest and resume to christy@afamilyforeverychild.org

Our History

The Beginning

January 1, 2006

A Family For Every Child (AFFEC), a non profit organization, began with its founder Christy Obie-Barrett, a mother of 12 children – 9 of which are adopted. Christy wanted to make a difference in the lives of more children and found a way through non profits. In January 2006, AFFEC was created to help find permanent homes for many of Oregon’s waiting children with special focus on special needs/hard to place children.

Heart Gallery of Lane County

April 1, 2006

In April, Christy’s friend, Andrea Kingsley Rippee, joined and helped create and introduce several new programs. The first of these programs was the Heart Gallery of Lane County. This program partners with area businesses to showcase a waiting child with their photo and short biography where their clientele can see them. Our first Heart Gallery partner was the 5th Street Public Market. We owe much to them in their willingness to help get this highly successful program off and

Family Finding Program

September 1, 2006

Family Finding started in September of 2006 when AFFEC brought a nationally known speaker, and Family Finding Creator, Kevin Campbell to do 6 month training. AFFEC opened this training to Child Welfare workers and CASAs.

2006 Recap

December 31, 2006

All our efforts were supported 100% by our in-kind donations of local volunteers and businesses.

Mentor Program

April 1, 2007

Our Heart Gallery Mentor program was created to provide local mentors to waiting children so that they would receive positive influences from the local community.

Heart Gallery Christmas Giving

December 1, 2007

This was the first year of our Heart Gallery Christmas Giving program, through which we were able to provide gifts for nearly 100 local foster children.

2007 Recap

December 31, 2007

We worked with over 250 children through one of our many growing programs. We saw over 60 children move through the Heart Gallery to find their Forever Families, largely based on churches for our locations with a new one added every month. Our media coverage expanded to include bus sides and billboards, in addition to our ongoing

Adoption Agency

April 1, 2008

Became an adoption agency, the Heart Gallery Adoption Agency, which allowed us to recruit for more children and represent our families in a more complete way.

Child Trends

May 1, 2008

Began a relationship with Child Trends, a national research organization, to join Los Angeles and San Francisco in a research project that we believed would show that with our Family Finding efforts, kids leave care sooner and are more connected to those who love them.

Oregon State Partnership

June 1, 2008

Received our first recruitment contract with the State of Oregon to partner with the state on Child-Specific Recruitment. This work focuses on the longest-in-care and hardest-to-place foster children, which is the core of our mission.

New Office

September 1, 2008

Moved into new offices with 8 employees, a big change from 2007 with only 1 employee and volunteers who worked from home. By the end of 2008, over 100 volunteers were helping children to find their Forever Families.

2008 Recap

December 31, 2008

Expanded to over 20 venues for our Heart Gallery, with over 100 children moving through the gallery to their own Forever Families. Began to greatly invest into our website, video, email outreach, & database efforts. The use and introduction of technology into our programs greatly increased our outreach, allowing us expand our programs and set the foundation for nationwide exposure. Life Book Group began, this was created and run by a volunteer with the help of community businesses. The Family Building program was created to support the families throughout the adoption process. This started as a support group that met twice per month.

Princess for a Day

April 1, 2009

Instituted the Princess For A Day for area and regional girls from 2-11 in foster care. Spearheaded by a group of dedicated volunteers, participating girls receive the full treatment of hair, makeup, nails, and a dress.

Recruiting for Washington

December 1, 2009

Began recruiting for Washington Children on our web site.

2009 Recap

December 31, 2009

Through our various efforts and programs, over 300 children were adopted that were deemed Hard-To-Adopt or Special-Needs. Through our recruitment we were able to reduce the average foster care placement of 40 months by half. Started a state-wide campaign to activate and educate other people in areas of Oregon to the plight of the children and how the average person, family, and business CAN make a difference. Expanded our data base to provide many services and tracking for recruitment and our families. Expanded efforts to connect families to the support resources with in their communities in order for them to succeed as a family.

Nation wide photo listing

February 15, 2010

Began photo listing children from many states and all over the country.

Our first adoption!

April 1, 2010

Finalized our first adoptions through our Heart Gallery Adoption Agency.

Washington Heart Gallery

May 1, 2010

Began the Washington Heart Gallery.

Matching Assistance Program

July 1, 2010

Instituted our Matching Assistance program to assist families in the matching process. This program utilizes the skills and experience of our staff & volunteers to support home studied families in their journey towards

1st Winter Wonderland Event

October 1, 2010

Held our first Winter Wonderland Event.This event helps to raise much needed funds and awareness for our organization and our efforts.

Heart Gallery of America Website

December 10, 2010

We took on the responsibility of maintaining the Heart Gallery of America web site.

2010 Recap

December 31, 2010

Our Heart Gallery increased to over 50 venues. This program continues to provide a valuable method of finding Forever Families for many children. Once again we expanded into offices on Beltline Road, with 5 full time and 5 part time employees and over 200 volunteers. Now over 60 mentor matches. We completed our strategic plan, business plan, and 5 year budget. Supported over 20 families a month in our Family Building support group that meets twice a month.

Hero For A Day

June 1, 2012

First Hero for a Day Event

Summer Event

July 1, 2013

First Summer Event

2014 Recap

December 31, 2014

Created Family Preservation Program Matching Assistance for Professionals

2015 Recap

December 31, 2015

Created Additional services for Matching Assistance Families

2016 Recap

December 31, 2016

Started relationship with 15th Night Celebrated 10 years

2017 Recap

December 31, 2017

Started building Host home program

Upcoming Events

A Home for The Holidays
A Home for The Holidays
November 12, 2020

On behalf of A Family for Every Child and our A Home For The Holidays Auction, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to partner with us to support this worthwhile event benefiting foster children in search of their forever families. This year’s event will be taking place as a Virtual Gala and will be presented by Zion Ideas Productions and Great Giving. More details are listed on the event page.

More Information
Princess for a Day
Princess for a Day
March 07, 2021

2021 will mark our 13th year of providing foster and community children alike the opportunity to experience a day of pampering and fun. In 2020, we catered to more than 350 “princesses” and we expect to surpass that number in 2021! This is a regal gathering for all the children in the land. This event is to celebrate the children both in foster care and not by giving them the royal treatment. This includes being pampered, adorned in a new outfit fit for royalty, and a fancy tea party.

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Today in the United States, 423,000 children are living in Foster Care waiting for their Forever Family. Approximately 115,000 of these children are ready to be adopted. Unfortunately, 40% of these children will wait for over three years in foster care before finding a permanent home. Could you be a Forever Family for a child that is waiting?

“The solution to adult problems tomorrow, depends on how our children grow up today! There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing when we save our children we save ourselves.”

Who are the children in foster care?

Many children are in foster care because they were removed from their families due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Children live temporarily with extended family, a foster family or in a group home while social workers try to help the birth family. If the birth family’s problems cannot be resolved, the agency that has custody of the child goes to court to legally terminate parental rights. At this point, social workers try to find a safe and loving adoptive family for the child. Virtually every race, ethnic group and socio-economic category is represented. Some children are waiting alone and others are waiting with siblings.

I’m not married, can I still adopt?

You do not need to be married to adopt. Single parents can make great parents to a child looking for their forever family.

What if I work full time?

You do not need to be a stay-at-home parent to adopt. As long as you have a safe place for the child to stay while you are away from the home, working full time should not be a problem.

Our house is smaller, does the child have to have their own bedroom if we adopt?

No, each child only needs to have their own bed. Children of the opposite sex may share a room if they are under a certain age determined by the State (usually around 6 years old). Keep in mind, depending on the circumstances there may be child-to-square-feet requirements or behavioral concerns that may not allow children to share a room.

I am no longer child bearing age, am I too old to adopt?

No. It is encouraged for parents with experience to adopt. Age should not be a barrier to becoming a parent to a child in foster care.

What if I don’t own my own home?

You will not be turned down for adoption if you do not own your own home. There are no rules preventing you from renting your home.

What is a SNAC agency?

An agency who works to find families for children who have special needs is a SNAC (Special Needs Adoption Coalition) agency. An adoption is usually considered “special needs” if: the child is over six years old, part of a sibling group, has some physical, mental or emotional disabilities, or is part of an ethnic minority.

What is Matching Assistance?

This program was created to connect families to children nationwide, and increase the search results for children waiting in foster care. We are committed to assisting families, caseworkers and adoption workers in the effort to place children in adoptive homes. Families that choose to work with the Matching Assistance Program receive a log in to a special nationwide search engine with an ever growing private listing of many children that can’t be seen on a public site. This program assists struggling families during the adoption process in any part of the country.

Is the Matching Assistance Program a part of AFFEC Adoption Agency?

The adoption agency and Matching Assistance are separate programs of A Family For Every Child. The Matching Assistance Program is a nationwide search engine to help parents locate a child for their family. The Adoption Agency is only available for Oregon families and can help with Home Studies and other aspects of adoption. The families who choose to go with AFFEC Adoption Agency also have complete access to the matching program.

What is a Home Study?

A home study is both a process and a document required by the government for every adoption to make sure that your home is a safe and healthy place for a child. It ensures that you are well-prepared to become parents, and have the means to support a child or children as part of a “forever family.” A home study can only be used for one adoption (sibling groups are considered to be one, if done at the same time). AFFEC can complete a home study, and also provides a free copy of your home study to you.

Who selects the family for a child/children?

The selection process varies from state to state. In some states the caseworker of the child makes the final decision, in other states it is decided by a committee of professionals in the adoption field. Consideration of a family is done by reading the family’s home study and assessment.

What is the ICPC process for adoption from another state?

Because each state has differing adoption laws, when a child is transferred between states, an ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) is required. In the state of Oregon, the Child Welfare Manual details a tutorial for completing the ICPC. More information can be found on the state of Oregon’s ICPC website.

Can LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer) parents adopt?

The laws vary from state to state. In many states this is permitted; however, for interstate adoption, this becomes more complex. Click here for a current summary of the laws by state.

How much does it cost to adopt?

While it does not cost to adopt from the state foster care system, there are fees with choosing a private agency to write your home study/assessment. The fees for private agencies vary considerably. Here is A Family For Every Child’s fee schedule. You can also access a list of resources to help with funding for adoption services by clicking here.

Where do I take the required training?

Each state has it’s own requirements on training in order to become an adoptive parent. The training sessions vary by area and location, and are typically four to ten weeks or weekend sessions. You will want to check into what is available in your area.
The training sessions are designed to:
  • Prepare prospective parents to better understand a child who comes out of the foster care system
  • Prepare prospective parents for adoption
  • Challenge individuals to grow and develop as a parent
  • Help parents consider: what type of child can I successfully parent? Am I able to parent a child who has been neglected and/or abused to some degree?

Legal risk vs. Legally free

Legal Risk – A child in state foster care with a case plan for adoption may be placed with a pre-adoptive family as a “legal risk” placement if the actual termination of parental rights is not yet completed. Many states are very proactive about finding adoptive placements while children are still considered legal risk, because the state would like to avoid large numbers of children being wards of the state. Some states do everything possible to keep the number of children considered orphans low and work hard to find adoptive families before the child is considered a waiting child. Usually, children with legal risk statuses are only shown to families within the state with a hope to find an adoptive placement before the termination of parental rights is completed. Legally Free – A child in state foster care who is “legally free” for adoption is a child whose birth parent’s rights have been terminated by the state. This means the child is a ward of the state and has no legal parents. All the paper work is done, and there is no risk that a child placed for adoption will not be adopted by the family selected as the pre-adoptive placement. OR  When a child’s parents or guardians have relinquished their parental rights or have had them terminated in a court of law. Once this has occurred, a child is then “legally free” to be adopted by another person or family member.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of all parental rights and obligations from one person or couple to another person or couple. Adoptive parents are real parents. Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children were born to them. An adopted child has the same legal rights and privileges as birth children.

Who are the children who are available for adoption?

More than 120,000 children wait for permanent homes in the United States. Most are school-aged or older. There are brothers and sisters who need to stay together. More than 60% of the children come from minority cultures. The majority are boys. Many have emotional, physical, learning disabilities or mental retardation. All are waiting for the love and security that only a permanent family can offer.

Who can adopt?

All kinds of people choose to adopt, there is no one ” acceptable ” type. Agencies will consider single, married, divorced and same sex applicants. Agency requirements vary, but the age range most acceptable is usually 25 and up and often depends on the age of the child. There are women and men who are highly educated with well-respected jobs, high school graduates with blue-collar jobs, people with grown children, and others who want to care for a child with special needs. They are all capable people who have a lot of love to share.

How long will it take to adopt?

The time frame, like the cost, varies with the agency and the type of child being adopted. The wait is typically between two and seven years for a healthy infant. If the prospective family has a completed home study, children with special needs can often be adopted quickly, within several months.

What is a home study?

The home study is an educational process designed to help the agency get to know you and teach you about adoption and its impact on children and families. You will attend a series of meetings with a social worker that will provide more in-depth information. Social workers want to be sure that a person or couple can provide a safe and nurturing environment for a new child in their home. The home-study process varies from agency to agency. Some conduct individual and joint interviews with a husband and wife; others conduct group home-studies with several families at one time. Most ask applicants to provide written information about themselves and their life experiences.

Where are the children living while waiting to be adopted?

Most children who are waiting for permanent families in the United States (those with special needs) live in foster or group homes because their parents were unable to care for them. Often, personal and family problems made it impossible for the parents to maintain a home for their children. Most of these children have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

How does foster care differ from adoption?

Foster care is meant to be temporary shelter for a child; generally the plan is for the parents to take their child back when they are able. If that fails, the child is legally freed from their birth parents and made available for adoption. Once adopted, the child becomes a legal member of a family other than his/her biological one.

Can the birth parents take a child back?

In order for a child to be adopted, the birth parents have to relinquish legal custody or their rights have to be terminated. With most agency adoptions, a child is already legally free for adoption before a placement occurs. While cases where a parent changes his/her mind (usually before an adoption is finalized) are highly publicized, they occur infrequently.

Can I adopt a child in a different state?

Yes. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, passed in 1997, requires state agencies to speed up a child ‘ s move from foster care to adoption by establishing time frames for permanency planning and guidelines for when a child must be legally freed for adoption. The bill also removes geographic barriers to adoption by requiring that states not delay or deny a placement if an approved family is available outside the state.

What is involved in adopting a child from a different state?

Currently to adopt across state and territory lines a process must be followed. That is guided by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children(ICPC). This agreement lays out who will be responsible for the supervision of and the financial aspects of the placement. In other words, who supervises and who pays for that supervision. This financial responsibility also includes which state or territory will pay for post- placement therapies, subsidies and respite care, thus it is vitally important that this process be followed properly.

Can I adopt a child of another race?

Yes. In October 1995, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act became effective. This act and subsequent revisions bar any agency involved in adoption that receives federal funding from discriminating because of race when considering adoption opportunities for children.

Should I be a foster parent before I adopt?

In order to adopt, it is not necessary to begin as a foster parent. Foster families should be able to adopt the child in their care, if the child becomes legally free. Becoming a foster parent may increase your chances of adopting a young child.

Organizational Documents

Employees

Christy Obie-Barrett
Executive Director

Christy Obie-Barrett, the Executive Director created the agency through dedicated and insightful leadership. She brings the unique perspective of an adoptive parent, a business person and a community partner together to motivate others toward positive outcomes for children. Christy is President of the Heart Gallery of America.

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Charlene Savant
Associate Director
Charlene is the Associate Director of A Family for Every Child. Charlene brings a wide variety of experience, compassion, never ending enthusiasm and commitment to whatever task/assignment/project lies ahead. Especially, when it comes to “A Family for Every Child” and the programs/people/families and children it affects. Just ask her, she will tell anyone who will listen.
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Kelli Smith
Child and Family Operations Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator

Kelli was a long term volunteer with A Family For Every Child before finding her place with our organization. Since 2012, her position has grown to include Child Recruitment Services as well as the Volunteer Coordinator for the organization.

“I consider it a privilege to be a part of this organization and to work alongside such dedicated individuals. I firmly believe that there truly is a family for every child.” Kelli is exuberant about her work and eager to form partnerships with agencies and social workers nationwide. “We all have the same goal in mind-to find stable, loving homes for waiting foster children. By providing free recruitment services, we can achieve this goal together.”

While Kelli’s work is her passion, she likes to spend her free time with her husband, two grown children as well as with many friends and relatives. While they enjoy trips to the Oregon Coast, University of Oregon football, and the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest, they are also self-described nerds and their home is filled with their memorabilia collection.

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Jan Ferguson
Mentor Director
Host Home and Mentor Programs Director

Jan comes to us having worked 17 years in Special Education and has always had a passion for supporting youth. She has extensive experience with youth with Autism, ADHD, PTSD, RAD and numerous other disorders. It has always been her desire to be a consistent, patient and positive advocate for young people.

Having lived most of her life in the Midwest, she moved to Eugene in June ’18 to start a new adventure. Enjoying the outdoors, cooking, reading and yoga are some of her passions, along with spending time with family & friends.

Her role as Mentor & Host Home Programs Director has given her a place to focus her passion. Being the mother of two grown adult daughters, she had been on a search to find a place to put her concern & desire to be useful. Being offered a position at A Family For Every Child was the perfect solution. In addition to helping facilitate successful matches with Mentors & Mentees in our Mentor Program , Jan is very excited to see the Host Home Program grow and help get local students in homes and off the streets.

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Andrew Hampton
IT Director
Before joining A Family for Every Child as the IT Director, he spent 5 years working as a web developer / programmer specializing in work with schools, banks, utilities, small businesses, and nonprofits. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family, travel, exploring the outdoors, and is a music fanatic.
Alex Graham
Events Associate

Alex has been with A Family for Every Child since August of 2019. Before he joined the team, he worked in retail after graduating from Oregon State University in 2014. Finding a passion for coordinating events and working with the public while in college, Alex determined he was done with retail and wanted to go back to something he had been missing. Having been born and raised in the Eugene/Springfield area, Alex feels very at home in his community and is glad to be making a positive impact while working with A Family for Every Child. Alex enjoys art, music, cooking, photography, and collecting vinyl records. 

Lorigay Laskin
Executive Assistant
Lori is a recent transplant to the PNW. Born and raised in New York, coming to the PNW was a culture shock on so many levels. Spending almost 30 years working in healthcare, and always speaking about fostering kids, but unable to find the right time to do so, joining AFFEC was just perfect for her.
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Debbie Lira
Matching Assistance Program Director
Debbie started at A Family for Every Child in January 2020 after 14-years of service at the University of Oregon. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Debbie and her family moved from Austin, Texas and arrived in Eugene on Christmas day 2005. As both an adoptee and adoptive mom she brings life experience to her commitment to find forever homes for kids in our foster care system. By working with families in the Matching Assistance Program, she hopes to support others in their journey to create the family of their dreams. Building forever families one child at a time
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Carrie Stone
Development Associate
Carrie is excited to join the AFFEC team as the Development Associate. Having over 30 years of experiences in education, entertainment production, community outreach, customer service, and small business ownership, Carrie brings a well-rounded and diverse background to the table. Carrie recently returned to the Eugene area after 20 years away, and she is happy to be back in this beautiful state that she calls “Americas best kept secret!” As an adoptee, Carrie feels fortunate to have found a career that not only feeds her soul but also allows her to help those who need it most…the foster children in search of their forever families.
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Adoption Workers

Rosalind Trotter
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR

Rosalind has a Master’s Degree in Early Intervention from the University of Oregon. She worked as a caseworker for the Department of Human Services Child Welfare department for seven years. She has also worked with homeless families and victims of domestic violence. She says, “I believe that taking care of children is the most important job in our society and children in foster care are among those needing the most care”. Rosalind was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Italy. She has worked in Africa helping girls to go to high school. She has three children, six grandchildren, one cat, and enjoys gardening and writing.

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Nichole Brown
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR

Nichole Brown has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Spanish from The University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. She worked as a Bilingual Child Protective Services caseworker for 12 years and has extensive experience working with foster families, interviewing child abuse victims and developing individualized case/safety plans. She currently serves as a legal assistant and child visitor for juvenile and family law attorneys currently serving local youth in foster care.

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Heather Raskin
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR / Surrounding Areas

Heather is an adoption worker based out of the Eugene/Springfield area, however, she works with families all over the state.  She has been with the agency for several years now and absolutely loves being able to help families through their adoption journey.  She has a huge heart, and has made it her mission to find loving and stable homes for children in the foster care system. Heather has a background in education and taught elementary and middle school for 13 years in Florida, California and Oregon before stepping into the social work arena.  She spent time traveling around the United States in her camper before settling down in Oregon. She has worked with diverse populations and especially loves to work with non-traditional families. Heather connects well with children and goes the extra mile when it comes to providing service for her clients before, during and after adoptions.  Additionally, Heather facilitates a community adoption support group that meets in Eugene once a month and is in the process of creating a group in the Medford area.   

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Staci Super
Adoption Worker
Portland, OR / Surrounding Areas

Staci is an adoptive parent who has a passion for assisting others grow their families through adoption.  Staci is a passionate advocate and has a strong knowledge of adoption and how the system works.  She lives in the Portland area with her children and husband.  They enjoy the outdoors, helping others, and doing things together as a family.  Staci is a dedicated worker who has many years of experience as a youth support counselor and as a teacher.  Staci loves assisting others through the adoption process.

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Tina Childers
Adoption Worker
WA

Athenia (Tina) Childers……..was born in California to a single mother in crisis. She spent most of her formative years moving often from state to state, even at one point living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Much of these years were spent moving in and out of foster care, group care, receiving care and relative care.

Tina has 4 biological children and 7 grandchildren and 1 very cherished angel. Currently she has a teenager and her two sisters residing all in the same home.

Growing up in care Tina brings a unique perspective to the table. Always questioning and encouraging our youth to question. Bringing the “family value” of teaching our children to Dream……that is the one word that most us take for granted. Passion…….Drive……..Teach……..these are all very valuable qualities that Tina has had to learn along the way. One’s that she values above all else and shares with friends and family.

Tina has worked in Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program / Shelter (YWCA), Federal Probation & Parole, State of Washington Children’s Administration (Child Protective, Child Welfare, Division of Licensed Resources), Pioneer Human Resources, Auburn Youth Resources, Sea Mar Community Healthcare and Anthem Healthcare (Amerigroup.) Currently she holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Forensics, and a Master’s in Science Criminal Justice Administration. With numerous other trainings and certifications. It is also with great anticipation that Tina looks forward to collaborating with our community, state and agency partners to provide a better future and to teach our kids to Dream again.

Lyndsie Wynn
Adoption Worker
Bend, OR
My name is Lyndsie and I live in Redmond, OR. I enjoy playing volleyball, practicing yoga, and reading! I have a passion for working with children and families and I am a very motivated individual with a strong focus on my career.
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Dani Clifford
Adoption Worker
Bend, OR
Dani is a compassionate human services professional with a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Human services from the University of Oregon. She has a background in foster care where she worked primarily with the foster youth. For the last several years, she has been assisting foster youth, aiding them in their journey to become self sufficient leaders of their own lives as they age out of the system. She helped them to secure life opportunities in housing, education, employment and helped them to develop necessary skills for success. Dani is a dedicated and resourceful advocate with an infectious enthusiasm for helping others. She is passionate about improving the care and well-being of those who experience societal disadvantages or are unable to advocate for themselves. She is extremely excited to work with a non-profit adoption agency and to further her reach within this system. Dani has strong facilitation and case management skills with experience in maintaining cultural sensitivity, establishing rapport with members of diverse groups and creating an open and safe environment. She believes in focusing her work on open communication and mutual respect to ensure the best outcome for all involved. Personally, she is a PNW native, proud dog mom and auntie of two. She is an outdoors fanatic and loves to kayak, camp and hike, She is a travel enthusiast, lover of all things furry and a sucker for a good scary movie
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Chauntel Semien
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR

I was born and raised in here in Eugene Oregon and have no plans on ever leaving this beautiful state. I got my B.A. at Northwest Christian University and studied English, History, and Early childhood Education. During that time, I interned as a teacher’s aide at a local elementary school and volunteered at our local Childs Advocacy Center KIDS FIRST. After Volunteering at KIDS FIRST, I knew I wanted help children in the foster care system find forever families. I am thrilled to be apart of the AFFEC family. During my free time, I like to take my daughter on mommy and daughter dates to Barnes and Noble and order warm drinks and read for hours.

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Mae Salas
Adoption Worker
Salem, OR
Mae earned her Masters’ of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Her education and career have always focused on her passion to make a difference in the lives of others. Mae has a strong background in working with foster and adoptive families and extensive experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Mae is a focused, driven and organized profession that strives to support families in their self-directed adoption journey.
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Stephanie Cummings
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR / Prineville, OR

Hello my name is Stephanie Cummings and I am an Adoption Worker.

I have been working with families and children for over 30 years. I started out as a foster parent at 23 with a new baby myself. My household quickly grew with 2 bio children, 5 foster and a guardianship within a year. I fell in love with the children and began to look at the "why" and "how" we have children in foster care and the needs of families and communities. I became an advocate for my kids in court and providing resources for special needs. My heart grew bigger and I needed to know and research about this vulnerable population of little people. I decided to continue my education at received a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences and in Women's Studies from Portland State University. I also have a 2-year degree in Interpersonal and Domestic Violence.

I have worked with families all over Oregon in many different roles. I have been an in home safety service provider, a foster parent, community trainer, family advocate, homeless families case manager in Portland and a child welfare social worker in Child Protective services and adoptions. I recently worked as an Education Manager for Head Start and Early Head Start and a Family Advocate. I have many years and training hours in attachment and bonding, special needs and education, RAD, oppositional and defiant behaviors and trauma and crisis.

I live in Prineville but travel to Eugene often as a second home base! I grew up in Springfield but have traveled and lived all over the state of Oregon plus a few other states! I have a blended family with 5 children and 6 grandchildren all under the age of 7! I love to travel, read, quilt and meet new people!

I feel strong and open communication, knowing your families and providing amazing family and child connections and matches are so important in what I do! I am so excited to begin this journey with A Family for Every Child

Wendy Cooley
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR

I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Portland State University. My job history includes a couple of years at an adoption agency, 10 years as a caseworker for the Department of Human Services Child Welfare and five years with the Nursing Facilities Unit. I was born and raised in Oregon and have two children and six grandchildren. My hobbies include hiking, gardening, reading, computers and learning.

Megan Anderson
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR & Other Select Areas
As an advocate for youth in foster care as both a CASA and an Adoption Worker, I cannot wait to help guide you through the home study and adoption process. Adoption has always been a part of my story—my older sister was adopted from a neglectful situation as a young child more than 40 years ago. I draw from this experience to assist families seeking to adopt.   As a graduate from the University of Oregon I have strong connections to the Eugene/Springfield area, where I have lived with my family since 2002. I have four children ranging in age from 2-14 and married my husband in June of 2019. Currently, I am balancing adoption work with running my own business creating online corporate training content.   I understand this process can be overwhelming and emotional. I see my job as helping families see their strengths and then helping them match successfully with a child waiting in foster care who will benefit from those strengths
Grace Works
Adoption Worker
Eugene, OR
Grace originally comes from Kansas, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Criminology at Kansas State University. During her time in college, Grace worked with her local juvenile intake program, volunteered with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), lived and volunteered with youth in South Africa, and worked with a literacy program targeted to serve economically-disadvantaged families.     It has long been Grace’s passion to support children in attaining their life goals. She has spent the past 8 years either volunteering or working with marginalized communities and knows that serving at-risk youth and families is where she truly belongs. Since graduating, she has worked with Teach for America and KIPP schools where she pursued her passion and commitment to education equity and social justice. While teaching in Jacksonville, Florida, she had the opportunity to work with over 500 diverse students and families in the previous 3 years.   Some of her interests include spending time with family, travel, coffee, books, baking, Disney, and Harry Potter.
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Mildred Aranda
Adoption Worker
Portland, OR
Mildred (Mily) Aranda has been providing social services since 2004. In 2016, she began to work with families applying to be kinship, foster and adoptive homes serving both English- and Spanish-speaking families. She has provided mental health services through both group sessions and one-on-one settings to individuals and families. Mily has taught at New Mexico State University and the University of Texas San Antonio during the last 10 years.
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Joanna Crawford
Adoption Worker
Salem, OR
Hello! I am Joanna and I am a mom of two in the Salem area. I have been working with children and families for the last thirteen years.I graduated with a Bachelors in both Human Services and Psychology from Oregon State university in 2007.I love helping children and have had the privilege of many years in DHS working in investigations and in permanency work doing just this. In this role I facilitated multiple successful adoptions and remember this as some of my favorite moments of this work. I have a passion for educational advocacy and working with children with special needs and disabilities which led to a Masters Degree in School Counseling from George Fox University. The last few years have been spent in a training position for new workers and foster parents to support them in their service to children across the state. Adoption was a part of my family of origin and I have been drawn to this work over and over again and am thrilled to be joining AFEC. I have a commitment to equity and am always interested in ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in my personal and professional life. When I am not working or researching best practices I am spending time with my kids, my pets, or in my garden or garage, which I call “The Studio”. Painting, crafting, ceramics, furniture repurposing, cross stitch, coloring, all have become interests that I move through depending on my mood. I believe in the healing power of creating art, gardening, cooking, and getting outdoors. My husband and I love getting our family out in Oregon and exploring, going on scavenger hunts, hikes, and to any kind of farmers market or outdoor festival.
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Prudence Zeni
Adoption Worker
Spokane, WA
Prudence was born and raised in West Virginia, but has lived in various cities throughout the southern and northeastern US, as well as Australia during a couple of her childhood years! She visited the Pacific Northwest while in college and knew that, one day, she would be back to stay. Prudence shares her Portland home with a Cocker Spaniel named Minne, two cats, her husband, and all of his guitars. She loves to cook, clean, organize and generally be a homebody, although she likes to go out for hikes, coffee dates with friends, or mini golf. Prudence got her degree in social work in 2001, and has held positions with a variety of interesting and worthwhile organizations, including domestic violence shelters, afterschool programs, and teen mentoring programs. After working with youth and their families for over twelve years, Prudence is so excited to be part of the adoption process!
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Brenda Torres
Adoption Worker
Portland, OR / Nearby Areas
Brenda Torres has been involved in adoption and foster care since becoming a licensed foster parent in 2006. In 2008, she was hired by Special Needs Adoptive Parents Services (SNAPS), an Idaho nonprofit whose mission is to see the most at-risk, longest-waiting children in foster care find their forever families. Over the next decade, as a Wendy's Wonderful Kids Adoption Recruiter, Brenda was instrumental in matching dozens of children with their adoptive families; children that were often labeled "unadoptable." Foster care adoption is Brenda's passion. She jokes that she literally brings her work home with her, as she and her husband have adopted twice from foster care -- first a 4-year old in 2009, and then the addition of a 14-year old in 2014. In 2017, Brenda was appointed as the new Executive Director of SNAPS (soon to be renamed Adopt Idaho). The following year she stepped down into the role of Program Manager of SNAPS/Adopt Idaho, as her husband took over the helm as Executive Director, in order to better use her skills in staff and program development. Brenda is also a certified TBRI Practitioner. Her passion is to equip families to parent children from hard places, and she will be leading the expansion of AFFEC into Idaho.
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Madison Ribich
Adoption Worker
Seattle, WA / Surrrounding Areas
Madison was born and raised in eastern Oregon where she earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Integrative Studies. She then relocated to France where she lived for almost 5 years teaching and encouraging positive development in youth of all ages and backgrounds. Madison was raised in a household surrounded by fostering and adopting youth with special needs which is what first ignited the passion to work in child welfare. She is now settled in Seattle and has experience as a behavioral specialist, parent-child supporter, program developer, and continues constant training through the National Children’s Advocacy Center. Her passion has always and will always be focusing on ensuring a postive and loving environment for all children. Every child deserves the right to have an education, shelter, and above all, the reassurance that they are loved. Madison enjoys visiting family, watching documentories, running with her brother, tutoring, and scuba diving.
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Georgina Jones
Adoption Worker
Astoria,OR / Surrrounding Areas
I’m Georgina Jones and I live in beautiful Astoria, Oregon. I serve the north coast area of Oregon and southwest coast region of Washington. I am a mom to two wonderful people; my son is 24, and my daughter is 14. Some of the things I love are: my partner, essential oils, photography, yoga, dancing, camping and chickens. I also love all things metaphysical and became a Reiki Master in 2014! I enjoy helping people live their best lives. My journey into the world of youth experiencing foster care started in 2000 when I became a CASA volunteer. From that time on I have found myself in several different jobs where I have advocated for or supported youth in foster care. I spent several years supporting foster families and youth as a certifier, trainer and coordinator for a therapeutic foster care program. I spend 17 years organizing a camp for child surivors of sexual violence. Eventually I even came full circle as staff for the CASA program. Along with being an Adoption Worker I currently work as a Family Find Specialist at Hope House in Astoria. I also find time to volunteer for two organizations close to my heart: FosterClub and Camp Victory. All my professional positions have helped me gain knowledge, but there is nothing like real life experiences to help you truly gain insight and understanding into the needs of youth experiencing foster care and adoption. I had the honor of being a foster parent for 10 years. I know the ups and the downs, and the whys and the how to’s, and I’m very excited to help you grow your family!
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