John Moore, The Children’s Fund Executive Director

Amara is proud to be partnering with the Children’s Fund to expand opportunities for children who stay at our Emergency Sanctuary in Tacoma. In the interest of raising awareness about resources for our community’s kids, we’re pleased to highlight the Children’s Fund.

It’s not easy to recover from childhood trauma. Yet research has shown that through positive experiences, children can develop characteristics that help to build resilience, despite their exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). An intentional positive experience gives a child the foundation to understand that dreaming, hoping, believing, and succeeding are possible. Resilience gives a child the ability to navigate the many challenges of life well.

Being a part of “normal childhood activities” is one way kids in care can start to feel typical, rather than all the ways they feel atypical and separated from their peers. These activities, when undertaken with a team, troupe, or group, create a sense of belonging, which we know is important for all humans – but particularly so for kids bouncing from home to home. In addition, learning new activities and skills helps a child to develop self-esteem, which can also be impactful for a kid who may wonder if all these life changes are his or her fault, if he or she is lovable. Lastly, trauma often presents as hyperactivity, and having physical outlets can be a huge benefit for kids (and their caregivers).

The mission of The Children’s Fund is to provide scholarships for abused and neglected children to participate in cultural, educational and social experiences. Activities we fund include swimming, horseback riding, karate lessons, sporting activities, music, museum memberships, theatre and the arts (including classes and shows), yoga, tutoring, graduation expenses, and even college application tutoring. It is our hope to see the negative effects of ACEs minimized and overcome through a child’s participation in experiences that enhance education, develop skills, build confidence, encourage personal growth, and create positive social networks.

These are our kids. This is our future. Join us! To apply for a scholarship or to donate to help our children, visit

Within the child welfare system, greater attention is being paid to the impact on children and adults of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). ACEs include experiencing abuse, neglect, exposure to mental illness or substance abuse in the home, experiencing domestic violence against a parent, and having an incarcerated family member. Children suffering from ACEs who do not receive appropriate supports often engage in risky health behaviors, have chronic health conditions, and face low life potential and negative impacts on life expectancy.

For further reading on the mind-body connection and healing trauma, Amara recommends The Body Remembers by Babette Rothschild, and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk.

This article appeared in the February 2017 issue of The Crossroads, Amara’s quarterly newsletter, which convenes community to build a better path for kids in foster care. To subscribe to The Crossroads, sign up here.