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How we help families

Prevention Works!


Relief Nurseries improve lives, save money and contribute to school readiness.

Relief Nurseries keep children safe in their homes.

An independent evaluation found that nearly all (98.6%) children enrolled in Relief Nurseries between 2008 and 2010 avoided foster care and continued living safely with their families. In 2014 no children attending Family Tree's classroom program needed to be removed from their home and placed in the foster care system.

Relief Nurseries substantially reduce family risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect. In a 2011 study, the average number of mutable risk factors dropped from 9 to 7 in the 12 months after taking part in our program.

Relief Nurseries reduce the number of children in foster care. A Portland State University study published in 2011 found that Relief Nurseries reduce foster care placements and help children exit the foster care system twice as quickly as those not receiving services.

Relief Nurseries enhance early literacy and increase school readiness. In a recent evaluation of Relief Nurseries, the percentage of enrolled parents reading to their children at least three times per week increased from 32% before enrollment to 52% after 6 months.



Relief Nurseries are supported by their local communities.

Private fundraising more than doubled the legislature’s contribution to Relief Nurseries in the 2009-11 biennium! A 2011 study found a nearly 4:1 return on investment for Oregon Relief Nurseries. For each tax dollar spent, the state saved nearly $4 in costs associated with child abuse, unemployment, criminal behavior and other social issues. Even more striking is that this high rate of return was realized in just three years.



Child Welfare Outcomes Report: Oregon Relief Nurseries 2010-2012 Beth L. Green – Director of Early Childhood and Family Support Research Center for the Improvement of Services for Children and Families Portland State University