An estimated 500 children enter foster care in Snohomish County each year. Many of these children leave home late at night with just minutes to say goodbye to their families. They are loaded into a social worker’s car with only a hastily-packed garbage bag of their belongings in tow.
Before Safe Place, these children would ride in the back of that car, sometimes overnight, while their social worker made calls in hopes of finding them a safe place to stay.
Founded in 2010, Hand in Hand Safe Place was established by a group of foster parents in response to this exact situation – supporting children entering foster care at night and on weekends. It was the first program of its kind.
In May of 2013, HB 1261 (the ‘Safe Place bill’) was passed and signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee, allowing for the Safe Place model to be used across Washington state.
Since 2010, more than 1,500 children have been served through Hand in Hand Safe Place.
During their stay, Hand in Hand Safe Place children receive a medical screening, new clothes and shoes, personal hygiene items, and school supplies. They are also given opportunities for education and adventure like fieldtrips to the Children’s Museum, the zoo, movie theatres, and hiking outings.
Our goal is not only to provide the children we serve at Hand in Hand Safe Place with the basic needs necessary for their success, but with hope, support and ongoing opportunities to thrive.
A few Hand in Hand Safe Place Facts:
Hand in Hand Safe Place serves children ages 0-17, initially entering foster care. The majority of children served by our shelter are 0-5 years of age.
Hand in Hand Safe Place is a shelter that provides 72-hour emergency care for children initially entering the foster care system.
Safe Place creates a supportive environment for youth to transition smoothly into foster care and allows time for families to access resources needed for their children to return home. Additionally, placing children in our shelter provides social workers with additional time to locate a foster home that is well suited to meet each child’s needs.
Hand in Hand Safe Place serves children immediately after they are removed from their homes until their shelter care hearing, or for up to 72 hours.
The Safe Place Fund
While all of our work is important to the well-being of the children and families we serve, one of the most critical projects underway right now is the renovation of our new Hand in Hand Safe Place home.
The completion of this renovation will allow us to move our children’s shelter from a business park to a freestanding home with a yard. A safe place where children can sleep in bedrooms, eat and help prepare meals in a full kitchen, or hunker down to watch TV in the family room.
Once completed, the new shelter will allow us to expand our services from a 72-hour placement to a home where children can live for up to a month until proper accommodations can be made for them.
These improvements will allow Hand in Hand to provide more space, comfort and security to the children in our care.
You can help make the dream of a new space and expanded services a reality.
Please take the time to donate here.
Safe Place Volunteer Opportunities
Hand in Hand is blessed to have the support of volunteers working throughout our organization. One of our key volunteer opportunities is working within our Hand in Hand Safe Place shelter.
Hand in Hand Safe Place Volunteer Position Description:
Hand in Hand Safe Place provides temporary shelter in a welcoming environment while compassionately and expertly supporting youth as they transition into foster care. Much of this volunteer work takes place at the Safe Place shelter.
Best Suited for People Who:
- Are passionate about providing direct care services and support to youth who have experienced trauma.
- Embody compassion, dedication and hope and possess the ability to remain calm in stressful situations.
- Have evening/weekend availability
To apply for this position, or any of our volunteer opportunities, click here.