In the 15 years since its inception, Safety Net Inland NW has provided, nurtured, and cared for children in the Inland Northwest who are aging out of the foster care system. However, Safety Net is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.
The Inland Northwest offers various resources for at-risk children and families, but the system is challenging to navigate when a specific need arises.
By creating Networking for At-Risk Kids (NARK), Safety Net hopes to develop a network of organizations that refer families and at-risk children to the appropriate agency for the necessary resources.
“The idea [for NARK] started with a simple question,” says Coleen Quisenberry, co-founder of Safety Net. “‘Where do we send kids when we can’t help them?'”
The most recent NARK meeting took place on February 27th, with about 25 to 30 people in attendance. Each with a single goal: to provide at-risk youth and young adults with multiple agencies to lean on, no matter what.
All organizations represented at the gathering share the same mission to help children in the foster care system.
“We all shared what our specific organization does so that we can better understand our community needs,” says Coleen. “The hope is that if foster families or children come looking for a service we can’t provide them, we can refer them to another organization that can assist them and accommodates their specific needs.”
NARK is a perfect example of a community banding together for the greater good. In this case, to nurture at-risk youth through childhood and beyond.