Our Community... Our Children
We Are United in Our Dedication to Children’s Self Esteem and experiences
Who We Are
Foster Hearts founder Shala Crow and co-founder Christina Urtasun each have 14 years of service with the state’s former contracted foster parent support program, Fostering Together. Larisa Koenig, has over 17 years of service with native education and Indian Child Welfare. Collectively, they have over 28 years of foster parenting experience. This coupled with their professional experience has helped them to become one of the strongest threads woven into the fabric of fostering in Western Washington.
Shala and her family fostered over 50 children and are the adoptive family of a sibling group of 3. In serving as the Program Director of Fostering Together, Shala was able serve foster parents in a wide variety of ways. Including trainings, events, support groups and other resources. Advocating for foster parents and helping them to keep fostering. In addition Shala served for 10 years as a representative for Region 3 for Washington State’s 1624 Foster Parent Consultation Team and recently became a volunteer member for the Foster Parent Association of Washington State (FPAWS).
Christina and her family have thus far fostered over 15 children and had the unexpected joy of adopting. In serving as a foster parent liaison for Fostering Together, Christina was able to support foster parents with payments, court, ICPC’s and many other supports and resources. In addition, Christina has served as a participant in in may FTDM’s and staffing meetings along side foster parents.
Larisa is an enrolled Alaska Native tribal member. She has dedicated the majority of her professional career to serving Native American children and families. She has served as an educator, mental health provider to children in foster care, managing supervisor of a tribal child welfare program, liaison for Fostering Together, Qualified Expert Witness, and contractor for ICWA services.
Foster Hearts is able to provide caregivers with many concrete resources and offer effective system navigation and caregiver guidance due to the expertise of the founders “boots on the ground” personal and professional experiences. Shala, Christina and Larisa are passionate about children and those who care for them and desire to share what they’ve learned in hopes of making the joys of caring for children in foster care the most obvious part of the care-giving experience. They are capable and compassionate deliverers of service who are always ready to assist in meeting the needs of children in Western Washington foster care.
“When it comes to all things foster in Western Washington, if Shala or Christina doesn’t know it or have it they know where to find it or get it.” Former Western Washington Foster Parent
Our Community... Our Children
Help Foster Kids By Giving
Every person whose life is improved or saved, stems from an act of generosity that’s purely voluntary. That’s why donating is so extraordinary when you can do it.
Our foster parents give their time and love to the children in their care, providing day to day care and attending meetings on behalf of the child. We want all foster parents to feel supported, loved, valued, and appreciated for the love and care they provide foster youth that they support.
Help change the story for kids in foster care. Become a Partner, Give a Donation, Start a Donation Drive. Each of us can change the story of a childhood in foster care.
Serving foster children in Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish Counties.
— Our Mission
Foster Hearts provides personal items and life-enhancing opportunities for children in foster care. Providing them with belongings and experiences to call their own. This is accomplished by providing foster children in our area with basic items: food, clothes, hygienic products, school supplies, extra-curricular experiences and more.
— Our Vision
Foster Hearts vision is to improve the well-being of children while they are in foster care and to educate our community about the foster care system. With increased well-being and awareness, we hope to achieve our goal of every foster child having normal childhoods and an abundance of foster homes.
— Our Story
Foster Hearts was founded in June of 2020 in the hopes to provide for kids in our community a childhood like all kids deserve. Our board consists of alumni and current foster parents and community leaders who are passionate about helping youth in foster care and foster parents.