Dear PSU Community,
We are delighted to announce the start of a new community outreach project benefiting Every Child PDX, a non-profit that supports foster youth and families. Join PSU NSSLHA in creating Welcome Boxes for foster children!
The PSU Chapter of the National Speech Language & Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is a group of pre-professionals entering the field of Speech Language Pathology or Audiology. In addition to expanding education opportunities for our peers, we are committed to serving our community. This year, we are holding a drive to create Welcome Boxes for children and youth entering foster care.
We also want to use this drive as an opportunity to spread awareness about foster care. Children in foster care are at increased risk of language delay and 35%–73% of these children experience language difficulties (Krier, 2018). As future SLPs and AuDs we celebrate ALL families, strive to be aware of what unique challenges various populations face, and seek to understand how these experiences impact development in general, and communication and feeding in particular. Take a moment to learn about the foster care system from Morgan Palm, a current SLP grad student and resource parent. Read her insightful Q & A here.
What is a Foster Care Welcome Box?
After being removed from their home, children wait at a Child Welfare office for several hours while being matched with a foster family, now known as resource families. This is a time of stress and uncertainty for these children. The notion of a Welcome Box is simple: while the child waits in the office, a social worker gives them a box of items that are age-appropriate to occupy their time. They will take this box with them to their placement. Since many children enter foster care with only a few personal belongings, the psychological importance of these Welcome Boxes cannot be underestimated.
Feeling Inspired to Help Foster Kids? Here’s How to Participate in the Welcome Box Drive
We will be building these boxes as a team. Each person can expect to spend $1-10 on an item. Whether you are able to donate 1 item or several, we are grateful for your generosity. Students are encouraged to involve parents and family members when making a contribution.
What Can I Donate?
All items must be new, gender-neutral, and inclusive
We will be filling a photobox which is approximately 4”x8”x11”. All items must fit inside,
Each box is required to have a flashlight, night light, and something to write on. After that the rest of the box is filled to the brim with games, toys, crafts, health/beauty items, socks, books and anything fun and age appropriate.
Tags or boxes for toys and games usually have an age suggestion.
Be creative! Think of something fun you might get for your child/niece/nephew
For more information see the Welcome Box Guide from Every Child
For the easiest shopping experience go to our Amazom Wishlist
Go to the Sign up Sheet. Completing this step early will help us plan. It’s ok if you change your mind and end up getting a different item than you originally signed up for, just update the sign up sheet or email us at NSSLHA@pdx.edu to let us know.
Where do I drop off?
The easiest and fastest way to donate is to shop from our Amazon Wishlist. At checkout you will see the shipping address as PSU NSSLHA c/o Teale Niles. The exact address will be hidden. You can choose an item and check out in as little as 2 minutes! So simple!
If you are shopping at a physical store, please drop off your item(s) at the front desk of the Speech & Hearing Sciences Department in UCB 430 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10am-4pm.
Be sure that shipped items will arrive by April 18th. If dropping off, Monday April 18th is the last day to drop off.
Where can I learn more?
The Welcome Box program is run by Every Child PDX. Check out their website to learn more about this organization.
Thank you for your time and generosity!
Krier, J. C., Green, T. D., & Kruger, A. (2018). Youths in foster care with language delays: Prevalence, causes, and interventions. Psychology in the Schools, 55(5), 523–538. https://doi.org/10.1002/pits.22129