Page 10 - Chehalis Tribal Newsletter - March, 2017
P. 10

Meal program Children thrive when nurtured
serves elders
Safe, stable environments, relationships make all the difference
Food brings people together.
Communal meals are especially You are needed as a tribal and the average length of time GET IN TOUCH
important because they provide foster parent! Please open in care is 16 months.
socialization for elders and allow staff your heart and open your If you would like
and other elders to interact with them. home to tribal children. There are many types of more information
foster homes, and you can about becoming
Meals are served at the Elders The Chehalis Tribal Social choose the one you would like a licensed foster
Building from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Services program has a great to be licensed for: home or have any
Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.- need for foster homes in our questions, please
10 a.m. Friday. community. n General foster care call Melanie Hjelm
n Relative care at 360-709-1632,
They are for individuals ages 55 Today, there are almost n Respite care send an email
and older and: 9,000 children in our state in n Emergency placement to mhjelm@
out-of-home care. n Therapeutic foster home chehalistribe.
n Their spouse, regardless of age There are children who org or stop by my
n Their dependent children with Two thirds of children in need to be placed for a office in Social
disabilities living with them out-of-home care are younger temporary time and some who Services.
There is no application for eating than 5 and were taken from need help for a longer period
lunch – just show up and sign in. their parents because of of time. When you become a
neglect. licensed foster parent, you are
Home-delivered meals not just opening your home –
Three times more Native you are opening your heart to
Having access to nutritious meals is American children are placed children.
essential for elders’ well-being. in out-of-home care than
white children in Washington,
Home delivery is for ages 55 and
older and: Foster care parents share perspective

n Those who meet the homebound Time, effort and love bring nightmare! The child did not understand
and frail qualifications (see below) positive changes to child’s life what had happened to his world, did not
understand why he could not be with
n Spouses regardless of age My wife and I started looking into Mom and Dad. He cried a lot. This led
n Dependent children with foster care shortly after we married 25 us to cry a lot and doubt ourselves. We
disabilities years ago. We love children and were became unsure whether we could do this.
n Caregivers of elders who receive unable to have any of own. We saw such a
meals great need all around us for foster parents. Slowly, we began to see positive
Those interested must fill out an changes, little things, and it started feeling
application packet and have an annual We took our time looking into the better. It started to feel like time and effort
assessment (home visit) of nutritional process and found the prospect to be and love really can bring about positive
well-being. scary, yet so heartwarming and wonderful change in a child’s life. You can see it in
The packet and assessment must be to see the smiles and love that a child their faces and feel it in their hugs.
filled out and completed before lunches shares with you after time.
are delivered. As our journey in foster care begins
If someone cannot do two of the It was about a year later that we started to find its end, we can look back at all of
following daily activities without our journey as foster parents hoping to the children who have touched our lives
substantial human assistance, they are make a positive change in the lives of forever and the wonderful and not-so-
eligible for home-delivered meals. children. wonderful experiences we have had.
n Bathing
n Transferring Our first of many children stayed with We know we have made a difference. So
n Eating us for about three months. It felt like a stay the course because the rewards
n Toileting are so much greater than life itself.
n Walking
n Grooming
n Dressing
n Continence
Assessments are completed by a
medical provider.
Home lunches are delivered starting
at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.


If you would like a packet for an
elder who might qualify for home-
delivered lunches, call Christina
Hicks at the Chehalis Tribal Wellness
Center at 360-273-5504.
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