July 1, 2010 in Washington Voices

Private foster care agency gets new home

Olive Crest, Lilac Plaza forging relationships between kids, retirees
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Coming up

What: Olive Crest open house

When: Tuesday, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Mordecai Ministries Community House, 505 E. Wedgewood Ave.

 For more information go to www.olivecrest.org/ site/Calendar?view= Detail&id=113423 or call (509) 468-0700.

An agency that helps children find homes at last has a home of its own. On Tuesday, Olive Crest will host an open house at its new North Side location.

Eastern Washington area director Carol Plischke said since the organization opened locally in 2006, the staff has worked out of their homes and used donated space for classes and training. Now, the private foster care agency has plenty of space to do what they do best: help kids and educate families.

“We are so excited,” Plischke said.

The space has been provided through a partnership with Mordecai Ministries and the Spokane Baptist Association of Housing. Located across the street from Lilac Plaza Retirement Community, the new facility is called the Mordecai Ministries Community House.

Plischke said in addition to space for administrative staff and interns, “We now have a conference room, a family resource center, a room for therapy or counseling and a big visitation room for supervised visits between kids and their bio parents.”

Part of Olive Crest’s mission is providing education and support for area foster parents. Currently, 18 foster families are receiving support from the organization and 25 children are in placement. The new space, with its large playroom for kids, offers a centralized location for foster parent training. “Our goal is to be a premier children’s services association,” she said.

Another reason Plischke is excited about their location is its proximity to a retirement facility. “We want to invite residents of Lilac Plaza to volunteer,” she said. Olive Crest launched a foster grandparent program and sponsored a Christmas party in December.

“It’s been a nice reciprocal relationship,” she said.

Olive Crest also provides one-on-one tutoring through a program called Tut 4 Kids. “We’re finding foster kids often get behind in school – especially when they have to change schools,” Plischke said. “This program offers a familiar face – the same tutor, no matter what school they attend.”

The mission of the agency remains the same: “Olive Crest is dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family one life at a time.”

Plischke said the open house provides an opportunity for people to “come see who we are and what we’re doing.”


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