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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Northwest Family Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Family Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health, Protection Against Abuse, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment

Mission: Northwest Family Services improves family stability, child well-being, and victims of crime by focusing on the social determinants of health. Since 1983, NWFS has worked to reduce poverty through health, education, employment, and social justice services. Services are offered in the greater Portland-Salem metro area in both English and Spanish.

Results: With more than 30 years of experience in education and social service, NWFS has a deep commitment to the success of youth and families. NWFS served more than 34,000 youth, teens and adults in 2016. Key Facts and Accomplishments: 1) NWFS has been in the 100 BEST Oregon Non-Profits to Work for over the past 11 years and the 100 BEST Oregon Green Businesses for the past 6 years. 2) What distinguishes NWFS is our ability to be nimble in this changing world without sacrificing the quality of service. Since NWFS has a wide range of services, it allows us to provide for the multiple needs of the participants we serve in a single setting.

Target demographics: reduce poverty for children and families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 34,000 youth and adults through all programs and services.

Geographic areas served: Oregon and Southwest Washington

Programs: Youth Programs: Academic Success Programs Mentoring Programs After-school Programs Peer to Peer Leadership Mentoring At-Risk Youth Human Trafficking Awareness Summer Activities for Youth Suicide Prevention Drug and Alcohol screening and treatment Mental Health outpatient treatment Housing Domestic violence prevention and shelter Health navigation Adult Programs: Professional Counseling Anger Management Job Readiness and Placement Financial Literacy Basic Needs Parent Education, e.g., Love and Logic Parenting Inside Out (PIO)—for people in the system Healthy Relationship Classes for Singles and Couples

Community Stories

86 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the coordinator for National Educators to Stop Trafficking (NEST) I get the distinct privilege of receiving success stories from organizations who work in the anti-human trafficking arena and have written prevention curriculum and resources for educators. Here is one about the "Deceptions" program facilitated by NWFS.

“Thank you so much for bringing this program to our school! I was trafficked last year when I was thirteen and had some really bad things happen to me. Girls need to know this is really happening in our community,” says a 14-year-old high school student.

Vancouver Police Department’s, Sergeant John Chapman explains, “Unfortunately, in the past two years local law enforcement has learned that domestic minor sex trafficking is a very real problem that greatly impacts our community. It is very exciting to have a new curriculum presented in our schools that will warn our boys and girls of the dangers and consequences that lurk within innocent locations and relationships. We need to inform our kids and give them skills to recognize threats and retreat.”

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This non-profit has helped my family throughout the years. From being in the local middle and high schools where my children went and participated in the afterschool programs and field trips to the parenting and marriage workshops I received. Totally recommend!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I liked working with NW Family Services A&D specialist Casey Palmer because she helped me work through a difficult time when i lost my kids to DHS. She also assisted me into getting into treatment as well as self help meetings in my community.

I think Casey gave me good guidance on resources in the community, in our four months working together, she checked in with me every two weeks and always returned my calls.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a public middle school educator who welcomed experts from NW Family Services into my classroom to educate eighth graders about suicide prevention. The teachers were outstanding. The curriculum was comprehensive and appropriate to the age group. They provided empowering information that allowed students to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression, and how to respond. My students were provided with a procedure that emotionally supported them in the event that the curriculum triggered difficult personal feelings. The presenters' knowledge of pedagogy and best teaching practices was very evident, as they kept the students focused and interactive. I am ready to advocate again and again for this tremendously valuable program. I am certain it reached many students directly, and likely will save a life/lives indirectly. Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Northwest Family Services has provided the very best counseling I have ever had. After many years of going to counseling for help, I am finally able to make progress and feel encouraged and hopeful about my life. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs help or direction.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've witnessed the staff and volunteers at Northwest Family Services bring stability and joy back to Portland-area families that struggle with life's challenges. This team's genuine concern and love for their neighbors radiates through their daily activities. A few weeks ago I attended a health fair at Milwaukie High School that Northwest Family Services organized. I was impressed at the resources that were provided: everything from free flu shots to free dental care (local dentists actually set up a mobile office and were working on teeth long after the fair was scheduled to end). No doubt that the man who received this dental care is now in a better position both physically and mentally. His new confidence will surely lead to a more successful job interview, which will ultimately lead to family stability. I'm proud to be affiliated with an organization that takes a long-term vision of improving lives, families and our Portland community.

Review from Guidestar

1 Deacon B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a kid growing-up in NewarK, NJ with an unstable family situation, there was no organization like NWFS in our community. I was lucky. My mother ensured that I had a strong support network outside of the home. Not many kids have that opportunity. I am honored and privileged to work with an organization that gives children and families the tools to succeed that I didn't have. We roll-up our sleeves up every day and get our hands dirty making significant impacts in the rich soil of people's lives. It doesn't get better than that!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Katrina N. was so helpful and kind during a very abrupt and scary time in my family's life. She truly was an angel that came into help us navigate where to begin to get help with resources when we had no idea where to even begin. I am so thankful for her and Northwest Family Services!!! Thank you, thank you!!!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've had wonderful and extremely healing care through NWFS. I've seen one of their counselors over the past 6 years and received the highest possible care of any counselor/therapist I've ever seen. Their guidance has seen me through a struggling marriage that ultimately ended in a planned separation and then divorce. During that time my ex-wife and I saw ~5 other counselors and therapists including separate counseling sessions, joint sessions, and group sessions. Although well-intended, these other services didn't have nearly the expertise or qualifications that NWFS did. NWFS had highly trained and certified counselors with a wide background of experience and varied specializations to match our needs.
In subsequent years, their guidance has helped me through various life changes and challenges, including my father being diagnosed with cancer and the ensuing battle. Although I don't regularly see them anymore, I would unequivocally recommend their services to anyone.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I have benefited so much from the counseling offered at NWFS in the past year. Our counselors are extremely caring, competent, dedicated, and compassionate professionals who, we feel strongly, treat us with respect and are genuinely interested in helping us resolve our seemingly unresolvable problems. Our counseling experience elsewhere in the past was frustrating to us as we were directed to focus mainly on patching up various problems that never ceased to crop up at that time but weren't taught the necessary skills to overcome our problems. In contrast, the counselors at NWFS never fail to listen to us patiently and attentively, identify/recognize deep-rooted problems from the past, offer us objective opinions and practical advice, and encourage us to grow as a couple, as well as reaching emotional maturity as individuals. We are very much grateful for our counselors at NWFS and hope to continue our journey under their guidance.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

Counselor who I saw was fine, the unlicensed one who saw my teen son was a loose cannon, did not get consultation from supervisor before he acted impulsively to break confidentiality. Created lots of difficulty for my family. Supervisor met with me but never provided follow up on plan to fix this problem, got my money back for the counseling but do not feel that these issues were really addressed, worry for future clients.