Alma Mater Rooftop- Tacoma
Time & Location
About the Event
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/513133753135794
FRIENDS OF CHILDREN BENEFIT WITH STEPHANIE ANNE JOHNSON
ON ALMA MATER’S ROOFTOP SHOW 7PM, DOORS 6PM ALL AGES, STANDING
PLEASE NOTE: Access to the event will be from the rooftop entrance, located in the alley behind Alma Mater.
Friends of The Children Bio: The mission of Friends of the Children-Tacoma (Friends-Tacoma) is to impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors—12+ years, no matter what.
Prior to our launch, community leaders across Tacoma agreed that our program would provide unique, much-needed support to the regions highest risk youth, particularly those impacted by early trauma and at highest risk of abuse and neglect and entry into foster care. More than 17% of youth in foster care in Washington state live in Pierce County, even though Pierce County makes up only 12% of the state’s population. Moreover, 31% of Pierce County households are struggling with poverty (compared to 28% statewide) and approximately 1.3 million visits are made to food pantries every year. The successful launch of Friends of the Children – Tacoma (Friends-Tacoma) positions us to intentionally work with families who are profoundly disconnected from their communities and the hardest to reach.
To interrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty and trauma, we proactively enroll high-priority children when they are 4-6 years old. At this young age, children in our program already navigate intersecting challenges of abuse and neglect, poverty, complex trauma, and an accumulation of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Research has shown that ACEs are directly related to toxic stress, which leads to long-term mental, emotional, social and physical health problems. All youth who qualify for the program are at greater risk of challenges later in life due to the cumulative effect of traumatic exposure to ACEs before the age of five. Eighty-five percent of our youth experience three or more ACEs in their lifetime and over half experience six or more.
Friends-Tacoma uses a research-validated risk/protective factor assessment tool to identify and enroll youth experiencing the greatest number of risk and fewest number of protective factors. We identify these children in partnership with Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center, Olive Crest (child abuse prevention), Franklin Pierce School District and Tacoma Public Schools. Once enrolled, we stay by their side for 12+ years – no matter what.
During the pandemic, we have been regularly assessing the evolving needs of our families. They are experiencing extreme isolation, suffer from food insecurity, need support with basic needs and do not have good access to distance learning, mental health support and other critical stabilizing resources. Our fundraising efforts support our work to ensure program youth don’t fall farther behind their peers academically and meet other urgent needs, including basic and health-related needs