KEEPING VIGIL: Embrace Washington - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KEEPING VIGIL: Embrace Washington

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Embrace Washington offers hope for Washington's foster children Embrace Washington offers hope for Washington's foster children
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Children deserve a happy childhood where they grow up in a stable environment, but unfortunately that is not always the case.

As a matter of fact, there are more children in our region waiting to be placed in a foster home than there are people willing to open their doors. In this edition of Keeping Vigil, meet an organization that supports social workers, foster children and parents as they Embrace Washington.

The first 6 years of Josephine Davis' life were filled with love until her single mom got too sick to care for her.

"She just couldn't meet my needs or my sisters needs," Davis told KHQ's Stephanie Vigil.

And that's when Josephine and her sister Naomi were placed into foster care.

"My foster mom did a great job. She really cared about me and my sister very much but she was a single parent and she had thre jobs," Davis recalled.

Her foster mom's stress and harmful words took its toll on Josephine

"It's so scary to hear that you are never going to amount to anything, and you're going to become an outcast, and no one is going to care about you. Especially when you have fire inside of you saying I want to become somebody."

It was Josephine's faith that saw her through her darkest days and it is organizations like Embrace Washington that give foster children like Josephine hope.

Kevin Parker, our state representative and his wife saw a need in the foster care system and are trying to fill the gap.

Embrace Washington has come alongside the Department of Social and Health Services to offer a welcome box for the child.

"We can make sure they have clothes, and food and a safe place to stay, but it's those little things those tiny little gifts, a snack, a pair of socks, your own little toothbrush, a little book something that speaks inspirationally at a moment that's very, very challenging that's just uniquely theirs," D.S.H.S. Regional Administrator Connie Lambert Eckel told Stephanie.

Lambert-Eckel knows how traumatic it can be for a child to be removed from its home. She's on the frontline for the Department of Social and Health Services.

Embrace Washington uses trained volunteers called "Office Moms and Dads."

These are people who can visit them, stay with them, comfort them, offer them words of support to make sure their safe while their with us in the office pending their placement.

It's a scary time for children being removed from their home, and a stressful job for the social worker whose work often goes unnoticed, but not by Embrace Washington.

Josephine is a success story. She graduated from Whitworth, and today calls her mom her best friend, but she chokes up when she thinks about her past, and now volunteers to help those who resemble her most.

"Foster kids are my family too. I was thinking about other people too, and I don't want them to be homeless on the streets and I want their dreams to come true as well," Josephine concluded.

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