|"All Children Deserve a Family"|
There are over 425,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 100,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 20,000 age out of foster care every year, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.
Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster? Or maybe you can start a Heart Gallery or volunteer for one?
What is the Heart Gallery?
The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of America is a collaborative project of over 80 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.
Now, in its fifteenth year, the Heart Gallery model is being replicated in many communities across the country. Although many of our children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, they still have hope. They love to laugh, to learn, and to be with their friends. Most of all, they dream of finding a forever family to be their own.
Photos That Change People's Lives (click below for video)
|Video courtesy of Children's Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay|
Let it be Us is hosting a series of recruiting events throughout the Chicagoland area to teach who the children are and what they need. These town hall style events features agencies throughout the state and keynotes from experts in adoption and foster care.
Our 12th Annual Heart Gallery, featuring 18 beautiful portraits, photographed compliments of several local professional photographers and pristinely produced courtesy of Printmakers, Inc. is on tour throughout Rhode Island. Our new 12th Heart Gallery can be viewed throughout the month of June at the offices of Neighborhood Healthplan of RI in Providence and Smithfield.
An information session is one of the first steps to learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent. You'll receive a basic overview of foster care and adoption and learn about characteristics of children in the child welfare system. To get started, fill out our online inquiry form today. We'll then follow up with information about the next steps, including how to register for a session.
But foster-care adoptions levelled off at around 50,000 annually a few years ago. At the same time, after steadily declining between 2005 and 2012, the number of children in need of foster care is increasing in most states. In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 428,000 children were in foster care, compared with 397,000 in 2012.
Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) expressed support for his bipartisan bill H.R. 2847, the Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act. Faso’s legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 391 to 8.
Decatur County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) will be hosting their annual Healthy Fair. This event offers free screenings, free Jimmy John’s lunch, health seminars with DCMH provider speakers, bounce house, prizes, a blood drive provided by the Indiana Blood Center and more! Representatives from the Indiana Adoption Program, called Adoption Champions, will be on-site to answer questions and provide information on Indiana’s adoption procedures.
Infertile couples are desperately wanting and waiting for children. Foster children are children desperately wanting and waiting for parents this very moment.
KVC partnered with Child Trends, a nonpartisan national research group, to find out if training foster parents and caseworkers about childhood trauma would result in fewer moves for foster children. KVC and Child Trends found that if adults understood the effects of traumatic events, children were more likely to stay in one home during their time in foster care. Children working with better-trained adults also were observed to have better behavior.
But it is the senator and his wife who provide that inspiration. They were in their mid-40s and their own children were teenagers when they decided to seek a license to become foster parents.
Kentucky’s new adoption czar spent his first day on the job Monday in a meeting of the House Working Group on Adoption. Dan Dumas, appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to lead an overhaul of Kentucky’s adoption and foster care programs, told lawmakers that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the governor’s office will attack problems from all angles.
The need for more families like the Billoks is growing in the Tri-State area, social services officials say, thanks to the growing opioid epidemic.
The 48-year-old father of three, who participated in the finalization of close to 200 adoptions and serves on the board of CASA of North Alabama, a nonprofit organization focused on meeting the needs of foster care children, sees adoption as a ministry, a calling.
he 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book urges policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help U.S. children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults. The Data Book also shows the child poverty rate in 2015 continued to drop, landing at 21%. In addition, children experienced gains in reading proficiency and a significant increase in the number of kids with health insurance. However, the data indicate that unacceptable levels of children living in poverty and in high-poverty neighborhoods persist.
Texas child welfare providers will be allowed to deny adoptions and other services to children and parents based on "sincerely held religious beliefs" under a bill Gov. Greg Abbott signed Thursday.
In Massachusetts, the need for foster care is growing, Sugg said. According to the Massachusetts Children and Familes (DCF), there are currently 9,300 children in the foster system across the state. Since June of 2012, the number of children in placement grew by 20-percent.
"In SLO County alone, there are 375 to 400 children ages 0-18 who need homes right now," she says. "We're at an all-time low in the number of families coming forward to help us with this, and we're at an all-time high in the need. But we know no home is perfect. We're not looking for perfect. We're looking for safe. We're looking for a home that can nurture and grow children." Schiro says foster care is open to all sorts of people, single parents, same gender parents, single people, retired people, anyone over the age of 18 who's interested in opening their heart and home to foster youth.
Honoring the 40 Percent: Celebration of Dreams Recognized Graduating Foster Children It is really difficult for many foster children to graduate high school. Less than 3% make it through college. The nearly 50 Ohio young people who persevered through child abuse, foster care and other life challenges to achieve their high school diplomas celebrated their success Thursday night at the 18th annual Celebration of Dreams event. This year’s event will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 8 at The Phoenix in downtown Cincinnati. Celebration of Dreams, hosted by Hamilton County Job and Family Services, honors graduating foster youth still in the custody of the agency and thanks those who helped them get there: caseworkers, mentors, court-appointed special advocates and guardian ad litems.
When passed, ECDF will restrict federal funding for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of potential parents, as well as the sexual orientation or gender identity of youth in foster care. At its heart, ECDF will ensure that more kids in foster care find a loving and stable home — be it a temporary foster home while they await reunification with family or a forever home with adoptive parents.
An advocacy group for kids says a court-ordered report shows Michigan has a long way to go before it can guarantee the safety and welfare of children in foster care. The monitors report says problems include the state not doing background checks on many relatives who take in foster kids, and not investigating credible allegations of abuse or neglect.
Heart Gallery Featured Kid: Meet Darius, an adorable young man who enjoys singing, reading and sports. He dreams of having a forever family. Get to know him. Darius is an adorable young man with numerous interests. He enjoys singing, reading, playing football, soccer, tennis and the drums! He hopes to be a foster parent and a pastor when he grows up. Darius dreams of a "forever family" with a Mom and siblings.
If you have questions about adoption or foster care, Montgomery County Children Services holds a monthly informational meeting at the Haines Children's Center, 3304 N. Main St. Dayton.
State Representative Nick Sauer, Let it Be Us, and the Department of Children and Family Services welcomed foster parents, family members, volunteers and other legislative advocates to the State Capitol to celebrate Foster Care Month and to introduce the Heart Gallery of Illinois, a digital resource for case workers and adoption recruiters searching for forever families for children in Illinois foster care. The Heart Gallery of Illinois features photographs and stories of children awaiting adoption.
About a quarter of Minnesota’s children in foster care are in Hennepin County. And the number of children placed in foster care or in other out-of-home placements has surged, at 2,300 kids in 2016. The number of children waiting to be adopted has also nearly quadrupled from 2009 to 2016, reaching the highest number in recent years.
The children are excited to be settled into their new family. Ellie recalls that when she walked into their home for the first time, she knew that she wanted to live with them and said so out loud. Madison, the oldest, says, “I’m glad that I get to be with my brothers and sister and I’m around them now, and I’m so happy to have good parents that actually care.”
Across the county, foster parents take children in need into their homes. In some cases, these same children become a part of their families forever through adoption. New Jersey foster parent Karen Booker knows this story well.
Each of these first experiences were the beginning of a journey for these families. Belyea and her husband have taken in seven children in the last six years - each time hoping to make both the child and the biological parents comfortable with the situation.
There is a title I worked months to earn, that I waited years to hear articulated. From the time I knew that we would gain a daughter from across the ocean, I prayed about it, pled for it, and then tried to lay down a foundation of security so that I might hear it spoken out loud, by her. What did I want so desperately to be called by my tiny beauty? Mama. I knew I was her mama, but to hear that word loft from her lips as a sweet offering of acceptance and intimacy—it would be the culmination of so many dreams and prayers. She spoke it for the first time about three months after her Adoption Day, mouth awkwardly maneuvering into position, trying to find her voice. Then at last: “Mmmaaammmaa.”
For the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations, foster care comes down to: ‘children are sacred, and their care is a shared responsibility’
For Alice Kurtz and her husband, as they entered their 50s and their only child turned 16, they decided to become therapeutic foster parents. A therapeutic foster family provides a safe and compassionate home environment for traumatized children. Therapeutic foster parents take on the role of a behavioral health provider, as they help children learn healthy expression and coping skills. The Kurtz family focuses on helping teenagers who have been bounced throughout foster care homes and group homes.
We have found this program beneficial in finding families for our children. We ask that as you view the children, consider that they live in our communities. Respect their right to privacy, and be aware that they may attend school or church, or play at the local park with your children and relatives. The availability of their pictures leaves our children recognizable and vulnerable to negative attention. Although we strive to protect them, we need your help. Thank you!
© 2017 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.