Foster Love Project

Love is an action.

Pittsburgh, PA   |  https://www.fosterloveproject.org/

Mission

Foster Love Project shows love in action to children impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services and support.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director & Founder

Kelly Hughes

Main address

PO Box 8779

Pittsburgh, PA 15216 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2263514

NTEE code info

Foster Care (P32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Over 1,500 children in Allegheny County are in foster care. We aim to make their transition from their first home to their foster home as smooth as possible as well as supporting them during their time in foster care with the hopes for reunification as often as possible.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Free Shopping Center

We operate a free shopping center for kids in foster or kinship care to come shop, free of judgement, full of love and compassion and focused around the child's well being. The Center provides items such as new and gently used clothing, accessories and shoes, baby items such as car seats, strollers, cribs, diapers and formula, toys and games for all ages, as well as hygiene kids and specialty hair care products.

Population(s) Served

Our Annual Retreat started in 2019 as a way for kids who experience foster care or adoption to have the opportunity to build relationships with other kids who experience similar life
circumstances and to bring foster/adoptive families together to connect with each other. After our first family retreat, registration for the next retreat filled in 22 minutes!
In 2020 & 2021, we had to shift to a virtual retreat due to covid safety precautions.
In 2022, we were able to bring back the family in retreat in person at Laurelville Retreat Center. We have received so much positive feedback from the families on the benefits of having a safe place for their family to come and how much this weekend of respite was a needed support to their family.
Each retreat we prioritize the voices of former foster youth and adult adoptees and provide intentional workshops to families to continue to learn how to best support kids who face similar situations.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Multiracial people
People of African descent
LGBTQ people

Foster children experience trauma in many ways and one way that Foster Love Project supports their healing is with the Excellent Hair Care program. It is specifically designed for Black and Brown children in foster care because our experience shows that when placed within white foster families, their hair care is often overlooked. We work closely with multiple Black-owned businesses who educate foster parents on the essential care needed for their foster children. Textured hair requires specific products and treatment - this program provides the education alongside the products for Black and Brown children to have the proper care for their hair. We host educational hair care workshops, gift certificates for salon and barber shop visits and a variety of products and resources to ensure that kids receive excellent hair and skin care.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Multiracial people
People of African descent

Every year, since our inception we have hosted a bag drive to provide foster children with their very own backpack of items that will help them feel loved and welcome in their new home. Foster children are often taken to an unfamiliar place with little to no time to plan, they must leave their belongings behind and there is trauma in this stage of their lives, that is eased a tiny bit by having a bag of carefully chose items that are age specific and brand new. Each bag includes an outfit, blanket, stuffed animal, socks, toothbrush/toothpaste, soap, bath pouf and a book. Each bag costs $75 in total and we serve over 2,000 children each year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent
Multiracial people
At-risk youth
LGBTQ people

Each August we hold our annual Back 2 School event. Kids who are impacted by foster care and adoption are able to pre-register for the family-friendly event which includes food, games, face painting + more. At the event, each child gets to pick a new backpack, school supplies, a new hoodie and most exciting - new, brand-name shoes for the upcoming school year! Kids can often experience bullying at not having the "right" brand of shoes. We want to help remove barriers to bullying and ensure that kids can go back to school with dignity.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People of African descent
Multiracial people
LGBTQ people
At-risk youth

The Teen Connections Program has been developed to create a safe space for foster and adoptive teens to talk about unique challenges they face and make connections with teens who experience similar challenges and feelings. This includes topics covering everything from trans-racial families, mixed and conflicted feelings about having two families, sense of belonging and traumatic backgrounds. They will also have an opportunity to connect with adults adoptees or adults who experienced the foster care system as a youth. The teens meet monthly and have opportunities for fun activities, good food and discussion of a variety of topics designed to help them explore and communicate about their experience and emotions.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Multiracial people
People of African descent
LGBTQ people
Children and youth
Multiracial people
People of African descent
LGBTQ people
At-risk youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Philanthropy Award 2018

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of foster youth served in the Donation Center

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Free Shopping Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Foster children can shop up to 4 times a year and each trip results in them leaving the Center with items of an average value of $150.

Number of foster youth served with transition bags

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Essentials Bag Drive

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Transition bags ease the stress, anxiety and trauma of the first night a child is away from their home and often provides needed items for the first week.

Number of foster youth served with Foster Love Project programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Foster children benefit from the Foster Love Project programming via our donation center, transition bags, Annual Retreat, Angel Tree gifts, Tickets for Kids, and more.

Number of foster youth served living in Allegheny County

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Free Shopping Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Allegheny County has approximately 1,500 children in foster youth in any given year. Foster Love Project tracks our shoppers foster home zip codes for grant writing purposes.

Number of children who receive new clothing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of backpacks filled with school supplies distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our Mission: Foster Love Project shows love in action to children impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services and support.
Our Vision: All children, no matter their family composition, will be treated with dignity and self-worth so they are empowered to thrive.
Our Strategic Destination: Foster Love Project's goal is to be a leading, impactful organization offering free resources and comprehensive programs and services to children and families impacted by the child welfare system so that they retain dignity and thrive. Foster Love Project is known for its unique role as a crucial and influential partner within the foster care system because of the child-centered, holistic resources and expertise it provides.

Our strategies are to provide goods, services and support to all foster children who are in need.
We provide an essentials bag for the child's initial stay in foster care followed by free shopping trips to our Center throughout the year. We support families at the very stressful back to school time, we host an annual retreat for families to come together to connect and support one another, we provide hygiene and hair care products, we provide a Teen Connections program for support to teens who experience foster care and adoption and we provide holiday gifts during the month of December.

Our Center is the hub for all of our strategies to come to fruition. Growing requests for our services has allowed us to expand to a staff of 7. We also rely heavily on wonderful volunteers to maintain the Center as well as support all programs and events. Donations and grant funding are continually being sought and we have an active board supporting our staff.

In 2014, we started as a one time bag drive with a goal of collecting 300 bags of essentials. After collecting 1,300 bags that first year, we have now collected and distributed more than 14,000 FLP bags in 4 states. Our free shopping Center started with an all-volunteer team in 2017. In 2022, we are now a staff team of 7 who are supporting 7 programs throughout the year. The request for our goods, services and support continues to grow and we continue to focus on providing love and dignity to every person who crosses our path.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Kids and families who are impacted by foster care and adoption.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Covid-19 has caused a variety of challenges for many organizations throughout the past several years. Many in person events have had to be canceled and we've had to make pivotal changes in many of our programs. Through surveying those who participate in our programs, we have heard them say how much they value the in person events, even if some of it has to be paired back to be covid cautious. We have been able to move forward with several large events, with covid safety precautions in place. We have heard back the response of how supported our families have felt being able to attend these events in person.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The goal of leaders in our organization is to never operate in a vacuum. We cannot truly support those who need it, unless we listen to their needs and adjust how our programs can best support them.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome,

Financials

Foster Love Project
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Foster Love Project

Board of directors
as of 07/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Summer Dean

FOSTER LOVE PROJECT

Term: 2023 - 2019

Summer Dean

Advancement Advisors

Jordan Shoenberger

​Jeremiah's Place, A Crisis Relief Nursery

Ja-Neen Jones

Three Rivers Adoption Council

Emily Thornton

Co-Director, Sonshine Quality Childcare

Bruce Thornton

Director, Don’t Worry Childcare

Jeff Alex

Senior Assoiciate Counsel, UPMC

Valerie Rose

Coldwell Banker Realty

Kristen Moss

Maher Duessel, CPA

Kelly Hughes

Foster Love Project

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/22/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/22/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.