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The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) reported 7,000 confirmed cases of child neglect and abuse in 2008. Family member perpetrators accounted for 95 percent of the alleged abusers. In December 2009, Boys & Girls Aid took a ‘snap shot’ of the youth being served in our programs. We found that 100 percent of the clients in care had been subject to psychological abuse, physical abuse or some kind of family disruption connected to their primary caretakers. These children all experienced some sort of physical and/ or mental trauma.



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A Child’s Journey To Secure Attachment


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) characterizes trauma as the mind’s response to serious injury whether that be physical or mental. Just as with adults, the effects of trauma on children can include changes in brain neurobiology; social, emotional, and cognitive impairment; adoption of maladaptive, unhealthy coping strategies; severe and persistent health and social problems, including early death; and impairment in forming relationships (Bloom, 1997; Saxe, 1999; Perry, 1995, Garbarino, 2001). The NIMH says, “It (trauma) can produce extreme behavior; such as intense fear or helplessness, withdrawal or detachment, lack of concentration, irritability, sleep disturbance, aggression, hyper vigilance (intensely watching for more distressing events), or flashbacks (sense that event is reoccurring).” As a child welfare agency that serves children who have experienced trauma, we are pushed to ask ourselves what influences of trauma are present in the children we serve and how should our programing be guided to best impact their lives? Through the analysis of this question we have come to believe that the youth in our care are not permanently damaged by their trauma, but instead delayed in their attachment to supportive caregivers. Attachment is a basic human need that is the basis for all interactions and relationships. Attachment theory indicates that starting from birth, attachment shapes an individual’s social, emotional and behavioral health, and lays the foundation for a healthy and successful life (Children’s Institute, From Risk to Resilience: Building the Social and Emotional Health of Oregon’s Most Vulnerable Young Children, p.4). There are three cycles of attachment a child experiences with a parent or caregiver. Each cycle has to be fulfilled within an individual before they can progress to the next cycle and develop into a healthy, functioning adult. The first cycle is trust of care. A child needs Continued on page 3

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Letter from the Executive Director

Why attachment theory?

Attachment Theory Continued from page 1

A Season of Events Boys & Girls Aid happenings

Charitable Giving Gifts that last a lifetime

Stories & Celebrations Stories of success from Boys & Girls Aid programs

core purpose

“To impact the lives of children in need.”

core values

CRITICAL THINKERS We regularly analyze ideas and data new and old to improve our outcomes. CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO AND CHANGE

To be the best in the field, we challenge the status quo for the best possible solutions.

AUTHENTICALLY VALUE OTHERS We interact with people in a manner that authentically demonstrates the high value we place on others. DO WHAT IT TAKES We do what it takes to serve our children and families, and to support each other.

executive director update

DESIRE TO EXCEL We do the best possible job with passion and attention to detail.

board of directors

Dear Friends, In this issue you are learning more about attachment theory and the concepts we are utilizing from it. The exploration of these concepts has been an extensive, thoughtful process. We examined these questions: What kind of an organization are we? Who are the children we serve? How can we best help those young people develop into healthy adults? We are a child welfare agency, which means we are here to protect the child’s needs and guide that child in a way that is best for his or her welfare. When answering the questions I listed above, we considered our Core Values, such as, challenge the status quo and change to be the best in the field. Through experience and a deeper examination of the child we serve, we acknowledged that every child served in our care comes from a diverse situation. Their backgrounds may have some similarities, but two stories are never exactly the same. We understand that at some point in their young lives, their interactions and normal attachment to a caring adult was disrupted. We also recognize a very important quality about the youth in our care; while they have experienced some trauma in their young lives, they are not traumatized or altered beyond healing. This is a source of hope. Boys & Girls Aid believes that if we can meet young people where they are on the continuum of attachment, we can then guide them back into normalcy through fulfilling their trust of care, trust of control and trust of self. We look forward to sharing this journey with you as we continue to address how we can best serve children. Warmest Regards,

Michael H. Balter Executive Director

2010-2011 President B. Gabe Nachand Executive Committee Kris Gorriaran Kent J. Holce Jim Harbolt Libby Hartung Tom Szambelan Michael H. Balter Board Members Deana Freres David G. Grano Everett Jack, Jr. Chris L. Johnson Jennifer Kinkade Dawn McMaster Mike Nyland Gaylyn Sher-Jan Mike P. Thayer

Continued from cover story

the reinforcement from family that says, “I will meet your needs and take care of you.” The second cycle is trust of control. This involves knowing that someone will be there to keep you safe and do what is best for you. The third and final cycle is trust of self. The responsibility is now on the individual to say “I make good decisions. Doing good, feels good and doing bad, feels bad.” We have learned through 125 years of serving children that our clients come into our care within the continuum of the cycles of attachment. We work hard to meet children where they are, fulfilling their basic needs immediately and evaluating where within the continuum they may have experienced insecure attachment. This evaluation shapes how we approach their care. We know we must have a trained staff and provide programming that is based in cognizance of where our clients are in their cycle of attachment. We also know, in the recognizing and addressing of the severity of attachment needs in our clients, the healing process begins. This awareness creates a system of care based in the concepts of attachment. After thoughtful discussion and research of attachment theory, we believe by focusing on ideas born from attachment theory we will make a greater impact on the children served at Boys & Girls Aid. At first glance it seems simple enough, meet the child where they are and begin building trust through care, control and self. After 125 years of serving children in need, we know this is no simple matter. From the research we have been able to identify the concepts from attachment theory that we feel can guide our work with the young people we serve.

“We believe by focusing ideas born from attachment theory we will make a greater impact on the children served at Boys & Girls Aid.”

We believe the emerging themes/concepts from attachment theory are: • Meeting the basic needs of the youth served. This means taking into consideration the situations youth are emerging from, while not doing any additional harm, physically or emotionally; • Being present and mindful when working with young people in care. Every moment, word and action has a meaning that can help children work toward healing; • Awareness that the youth in care have had prior relationships that impact future relationships; • A  nd, understanding that youth have free will and can make their own choices. It is our hope that they make these choices in collaboration with adults and peers. We know we seek to provide young people in our care with opportunities for positive self-growth and help them fully realize trust of self. Our understanding of attachment theory and the emerging concepts identified will hopefully help guide us to ensuring every child in care has the same opportunities. Boys & Girls Aid will continue to study what methods best address the challenges facing young people in our care. One of our core values is to challenge the status quo to remain a leader in our field. As such, we are taking this idea seriously. A task force continues to monitor how we can best utilize the themes of attachment theory in our programs. Through this utilization we will better accomplish our core purpose of impacting the lives of children in need. If you are interested in more information about attachment theory, please contact Laura at lgraham@boysandgirlsaid. org or 503.542.2321.

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a season of events 2011 Black & White Ball

May 21, 2011

Mark your calendars for Boys & Girls Aid’s Black & White Ball! The event will take place Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the Nines in downtown Portland. We are pleased to announce The Standard will be the event’s presenting sponsor. The elegant evening features silent and live auctions along with dinner and dancing. Don’t miss one of Portland’s longest running and most elegant events!

2010 Gala of Trees

December 3, 2010

‘Tis the season for Cherry Branch Auxiliary’s signature event. Festive holiday trees will light up the evening at the Salem Conference Center during the annual Gala of Trees event. The night will also feature dinner, and a live and silent auction. The trees, along with the fabulous gift packages, will be up for bid. This year’s Gala of Trees will be held Friday, December 3, at 6 pm. Tickets are available at The event is generously sponsored by Mountain West Investment Corporation and Doctors William & Selma Pierce.

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charitable gift annuity (CGA) benefits A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) is a simple contract between you and Boys & Girls Aid. In exchange for your irrevocable gift of cash, securities or other assets, Boys & Girls Aid agrees to pay one or two annuitants a fixed sum annually for their lifetime(s). The annuity amount is based on the age of the annuitant(s); the older the annuitant(s), the greater the annuity payment. After 14.5 years, the entire annuity becomes ordinary income.

 eceive fixed income; partially R tax-free. Save on capital gains tax.  our estate may enjoy reduced Y probate costs and estate taxes.  rovide generous support to P Boys & Girls Aid.

Remainder: You will provide generous support to Boys & Girls Aid to be used for the purpose you designate at the time the annuity contract is created.

There is a $10,000 gift minimum to fund a charitable gift annuity.

SAMPLE Summary of Benefits


Benefits 72 Charitable Deduction

Investor’s Age Principal Donated

$10,000 Annuity

$6,707 $540

5.4% Tax-free portion


Quarterly Ordinary Income


Annuity Rate Payment Schedule

You can fund a charitable gift annuity with cash or appreciated assets.

After 14.5 years, the entire annuity becomes ordinary income.

A CGA is Easy! The Summary of Benefits is an example, to receive a customized Sample of Benefits please call Dr. Suzan L. Huntington, Director of Development, at 503.542.2304.

1 Gift of cash or property. Ann Nicholas Current Annuitant

Receive tax deduction, and fixed income for life.



2 Remainder to Boys & Girls Aid.

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stories and

Child Specific Recruitment Every night there is an average of 200-300 foster children eligible for adoption in the state of Oregon. Because of this large number, Boys & Girls Aid partners with Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) to help find these children permanent loving homes. The process starts with a DHS representative contacting a Boys & Girls Aid recruiter about a child or group of siblings that need additional efforts on their behalf to find the best-suited family for adoption or long-term foster care. We work together with the DHS caseworker to learn as much as we can about the children. We find out about the child’s unique background, strengths, needs and challenges. Then we put together individual recruitment plan for the child or siblings. These plans can include a variety of activities that all support the efforts to find a loving family for the child. Examples include having professional photos of the children taken for use in articles, on adoption website and in presentations; studying applications of potential adoptive parents, contacting other professionals involved with adoption about the child, and much more. Our main objective is to assist in any way possible to find the children in Oregon’s foster care system the loving families they deserve!

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celebrations ILS (Independent Living Services)

Infant Adoption Ben might not realize it yet, because he is only a year old, but two families are extremely grateful and full of joy that Ben is in their lives. These families are his birth family, the Bernards, and his adoptive family, the Dales. At Boys & Girls Aid we believe that some sort of open communication between birthparents and adoptive families is in the best interest for all involved—especially the child. But in order for this openness to be successful, a mutual decision on the degree of openness between birth and adoptive families is crucial. In the beginning, the Bernards weren’t seeking an open adoption, but after developing a strong connection to the Dales after seeing their letter on the Boys & Girls Aid website, they knew they had to at least meet the family that could potentially become Ben’s family. The rest is an open adoption success story! The two families are now close friends, going on vacations and hosting holidays together. And the best part is that Ben has twice the amount of love in his life!

“At Boys & Girls Aid, we believe some type of open communication between birthparents and adoptive families is in the best interest for all involved.”

Kelly grew up in Portland, living with her biological mom and dad until she was 11. Often the family didn’t even have enough money to pay for utilities so they would sit in a cold, dark apartment with empty stomachs. Kelly’s dad died when she was 11, and her mother left them to fend for themselves. After being arrested, Kelly’s parole officer had her placed at Boys & Girls Aid’s Pettygrove Residential Program. Kelly experienced great success with the program, graduating from it and completing her GED along the way. Kelly’s accomplishments gave her the determination to continue creating a productive and positive life for herself. She is now participating in the Boys & Girls Aid Independent Living Services Program (ILS). Kelly, who can be enrolled in the program for up to two years, is developing skills needed to live successfully and independently with the ongoing support of the Boys & Girls Aid community. She is currently participating in an internship with a major hotel where she is learning about the human resources field and the hospitality industry. Kelly has strong motivation to complete the program and start a career!

Names and pictures in this newsletter have been changed to protect confidentiality

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Boys & Girls Aid Celebrates National Adoption Month Learn more about us at


Boys & Girls Aid Fall 2010 Agency Newsletter  
Boys & Girls Aid Fall 2010 Agency Newsletter  

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