About Family Tree Relief Nursery

Our History

Family Tree was established in 2004 by a dedicated group of community members in Linn County, driven by their passion to support families and children. Recognizing the importance of healthy families and children for community success, they took action due to the high rate of child abuse and neglect in the county.

Through collaboration with Relief Nursery Inc in Lane County, the founders discovered the positive impact of early childhood education and home visiting programs on vulnerable families, inspiring them to establish Family Tree Relief Nursery. With a core team including Fr. Stephen Soot, Mona Soot, Heitho Reuter, Diane Aspengren, and Dr. Rose Miller, Family Tree was built on the Relief Nursery model and its standards, practices, and programs.

Initially operating with limited resources at the Albany Boys and Girls Club, Family Tree quickly expanded to its first location at 1100 SE Jackson St. in Albany. The program grew to offer services for three age groups in the Therapeutic Early Childhood Education program, along with Outreach and Respite services. In 2006, Renee Smith was hired as the first Executive Director, marking a significant milestone for the organization’s development.

Under the dedicated leadership of Renee Smith and the board, Family Tree has expanded its programs over the past two decades. They now offer a range of services supporting families with children of all ages across Linn County, including Therapeutic Early Childhood programs in three locations, Peer Support services in Linn and Benton Counties, and Family Support services in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

As Family Tree adapted to the evolving needs of the vulnerable families in our community, our commitment remains strong. We strive to keep children safe and promote healthy family environments, believing that thriving communities are built on stable families. As our communities grow and change, we are committed to growing and changing to meet the ongoing and ever-changing needs of families in our communities.

What We Do

Since its inception in 2004, Family Tree Relief Nursery has helped thousands of children and their families to stay together as a family unit. Family Tree Relief Nursery is the only private, nonprofit organization in the area that provides the following services:

Therapeutic Early Childhood Program

Our early childhood center-based programs serve children from 2 to 5 years of age in a therapeutic classroom setting. The children have a snack and lunch, supported playtime, group experiences, and outside or gym activities. Teachers work in partnership with families by coming to their homes at least monthly to help parents and strengthen the parent-child relationship during challenging times.

Home Visitation & Outreach

Depending on the Relief Nursery program, home visits may be a monthly parent-child activity with the child’s classroom teacher, two or three supervised visits weekly as children begin the transition back to their parents’ care, or intensive, short-term weekly or even daily in-home services through family preservation and strengthening activities. Home visitors help parents who are experiencing challenges such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of transportation to find resources and develop skills to keep their children safe, to become self-sufficient, and to build healthier relationships.

Alcohol & Drug Recovery Support

We understand parenting can be difficult. Our classes are free, offer transportation, meals, and childcare for children 0-12 (as space allows). Classes are multi-week, and registration is required. Typical courses offered are:

General Nurturing Parent

Spanish Language

Nurturing Fathers

Parenting in Recovery