North Star Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children who face social, emotional or educational challenges. We have been incorporated for fifteen years and in this time have created over 250 assistance dog partnerships with children around the world. Over half the children North Star serves are on the autism spectrum, but we also work with children who have suffered a loss or a trauma, or are living with a serious illness.
North Star dogs are bred specifically for soundness as well as temperaments conducive to working with children with social and emotional concerns, and then carefully partnered with their children and socialized with them at a young age. We travel to the town where our children live and employ local positive trainers and quality training facilities to allow the child served to be on the ground floor of training and socialization of their North Star dog. There are two supported hours a week once a North Star dog comes to town, one a private hour within our child's own home and the other a classroom hour for the parent to improve their handling skills in public. This training support will last until the team earns full public access, or if a therapy placement is desired, limited public access.
The true cost of a North Star placement with public access is $15,000 ($10,000 for the more limited public access of a therapy placement); in both cases families served are required to raise just half this amount ($7,500 or $5,000 respectively). Both our levels of placement include ongoing support for the therapeutic aspects of the partnership employing the children's existing therapists, teachers, friends and family.
Free DVDs and brochures are available upon request, as education is an important part of our mission.