The organization that would become Kindred Matters was founded in 2006.
Advocates for youth in care were concerned by the high rate of sibling separation in Oregon and the lack of positive avenues for brothers and sisters to be together when separated. To meet this need, our volunteers began hosting day events for Oregon siblings throughout the state in the late 1990s.
In 2001, one of our volunteers learned about a week-long overnight camp program designed to bring brothers and sisters. We felt that this program was just the thing we were looking for to serve Oregon siblings, and we sent one of our volunteers to attend Camp To Belong California that summer to learn more. The next year, we brought two siblings from Oregon to attend camp in California. The following two years, we brought groups increasing in size to Camp To Belong in Colorado. Finally, our volunteers decided that they could serve more separated siblings by bringing Camp To Belong to the Northwest.
In 2006, the first Camp To Belong Northwest was held on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho serving youth from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. In 2009, our volunteer team helped start Camp To Belong Washington to meet the growing demand in the State of Washington.
Since 2006, Camp To Belong Northwest has hosted at least one session of Camp To Belong every year. Beginning in 2014, we added a second session of Camp To Belong each summer to meet the growing need for sibling programs in Oregon.
In 2013, we introduced our Family Camp program. This is an annual weekend for Oregon foster parents and their children to come together for community building and continuing education.
Beginning in 2017, we introduced KINnect events to provide further avenues for separated siblings to come together on a more regular basis.
Following the introduction of KINnect events and Family Camp, it was decided to rebrand the organization as Kindred Matters, to reflect expanding programming offerings and our mission to serve Oregon youth by strengthening family connections.