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10/17/2012 9:07:00 AM
Agency offers positive message
Northwest Family Services photo
A Northwest Family Services youth drama troupe touts abstinence.
Northwest Family Services photo
A Northwest Family Services youth drama troupe touts abstinence.

The folks at Northwest Family Services in Portland consider it an act of respect for human dignity to support families and children. Knowing help is out there can be one reason women feel confident in carrying babies to term.

The big idea here is healthy families.

The social service agency, which has been going for 25 years, does everything from teach natural family planning to informing teens about the wisdom of sexual abstinence. Workers offer professional counseling, couple’s classes, parenting, money management, job readiness and placement, youth programs, healthy relationship education and even dental care.

Each year almost 30,000 people get help from the Southeast Portland offices. To reach youth, Northwest Family Services has gone boldly digital. Multiple websites, blogs and a Facebook page draw a lot of buzz.

Ask children at Oregon's Catholic schools and most will say they have been on a LifeSaver Retreat, which focuses on the benefits of abstinence, the dignity of the human person, and the importance of respect for human life, ourselves, and each other.  

"We wanted to do something positive," says Rose Fuller, founding director of the agency. "In our community, negative tactics don't always work." The retreats offer church teaching to the youths in an exciting format.

Another program, Project Genesis, helps prepare students for the changes involved as they reach adolescence, giving them the chance to talk with and ask questions of a trained staff member in a boys-only or girls-only setting.  

Northwest Family Services has long taught the most up-to-date natural methods for regulating births. Classes are offered online nationwide and in local classrooms in English and Spanish.

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