Safe Families for Children, a local faith-based ministry with families that help care for children while their parents are struggling with issues, is hosting a community forum on Thursday, May 19, at New Directions Northwest, 3452 13th St. in Baker City, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The community is welcome to attend. Register online at www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-community-forum-registration-304116268947.

The event features psychiatrist and author Dr. Curtis Thompson. The main session will be livestreamed, followed by a breakout session with those in attendance. The forum also includes local success stories and several national panelists.

Safe Families started in Baker City in November 2019. Andy Micka became program director in February 2021. The program, he said, has six host homes available to help struggling families.

“Parents, if they’re struggling, can volunteer for this,” Micka said. “We can host the child while the parents work on making a safe home.”

He said the program has a 92% rate of children returning to home, rather than entering the foster care system.

Long-term hosting, up to six months, is available, as well as day hosting or respite care for a weekend. Host homes go through a background check through the Oregon Department of Education, and also complete various trainings.

“It’s a lengthy process to get a host family approved,” Micka said.

The program, he said, uses “circles of support” to assist families.

“There’s a whole circle of support wrapped around that family,” he said. “Our approach is to include the parent in everything.”

To learn more, visit https://safe-families.org/.

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