Maple Star Oregon (“Maple Star”) is a private non-profit Child Caring Agency licensed by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) in 1998. Maple Star began providing therapeutic foster care in August of 1999 with a mission to provide quality, effective community-based social services to promote growth and well-being in youth and families.
Originally based in Central Oregon and serving a juvenile justice population, Maple Star utilizes a therapeutic foster family program which provides children with an opportunity to live in the least restrictive setting possible while learning skills that will enable them to be successful in the future. In late 2000, Maple Star was approved to begin providing Behavioral Rehabilitation Services (BRS) for DHS. With its BRS designation, Maple Star began offering a broad array of therapeutic foster care from ehanced services for borderline intellectual functioning youth who do not qualify for services offered by Developmental Disabilities (DD) to short-term Shelter and Assessment services for the state’s child welfare population. As of July 2008, Maple Star became the largest Therapeutic Foster Care provider in the state. Maple Star also provides in-home skill-building services, respite care services, and emergency placements for DHS foster youth as well as youth receiving services through local mental health providers.
Maple Star’s therapeutic foster care program operates within a community-based model allowing youth to receive evaluation and services in a setting that is closest to a normative family structure. Providing services to youth within a family setting promotes youth involvement in the community and allows Maple Star to evaluate a youth’s ability to achieve and maintain safe pro-social behavior. During placement, Maple Star helps youth address lagging skills and behavioral concerns that may be a barrier to their post-placement success. The therapeutic and skill-building interventions that youth receive in placement provide them with a foundation for continuation of self-development long after services are discontinued.
In late 2010, Maple Star began providing services under the newly developed In-Home Safety and Reunification Services program (ISRS) offering intensive in-home services to address the immediate safety of children at risk of maltreatment. These services, provided in eight counties, are designed to manage safety risks within the home and family. In cases where children have been temporarily removed from the home, additional services are provided in order to reunify the family as quickly and safely as possible.
Maple Star’s ISRS program, in cooperation with other members of the service team, provides a combination of concrete safety and strengths-based change service that will lead to lasting changes within the home. Services are designed to protect children, stabilize the family, and assist parents in establishing linkages to formal, informal, and natural supports and resources so that a child can remain safely with their family without further intervention by the child welfare system. The opportunity for lasting change is improved when parents develop skills to advocate for their family and meet their child’s individual needs for safety. Services are individualized based on strengths and needs, and the ultimate success is measured by the ability of the youth and family to function successfully in the community with the support of community resources once Maple Star services have been concluded.
Through its expansion, Maple Star meets the growing needs of Oregon’s youth and families. Offering state-wide services enables Maple Star to continue to serve youth and families while offering strength-based, solution-focused, culturally relevant and cost-effective alternatives to institutional care.