|"All Children Deserve a Family"|
There are over 410,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Almost 100,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 25,000 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?
Source: AFCARS 2015, for fiscal year 2014
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 fourteenth 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
|Video courtesy of Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay|
the Heart Gallery The Heart Gallery is an exhibit and community education initiative featuring foster children who are available for adoption. Working together with The Department of Children’s Services and volunteer photographers, pictures of these precious children are captured and put onto canvases. These are children seeking a forever family to love and support them. This gallery of photos and information will be on display in the Auditorium lobby on Sunday, February 14, so that you can see the faces and read the stories of these children seeking homes.
Adoptions Together, the Summerill-Bizzell family, Leveling the Playing Field and Jouons Soccer are teaming up to host an all-day tournament at the Rockville Sportsplex! This tournament will benefit the Heart Gallery, a program of Adoptions Together. The Heart Gallery features children in foster care who need a loving family. The exhibit is made possible through the generous support of the Summerill-Bizzell family. Join in the fun, raising awareness and funds to support this important work! Ages 7-12 $75 per player Lunch for players included
The conference is on Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20 at Austin Oaks Church. Friday is a day for professionals and Saturday is our family day. Family day will include a keynote speaker and breakout sessions for people who are exploring adoption, foster care, supportive roles and post-adoptive families. Project Zero Heart Gallery's Christie Erwin is the keynote speaker Saturday, February 20. A Future and A Hope Conference provides excellent resources and support for families who are exploring adoption and fostering. There are also sessions for post-placement families and professionals. Childcare is full. February 19-20 from 9a-3p at Austin Oaks Church. $20/person for Feb. 20. Register at www.fosteringhopeaustin.org.
Oversee day to day operations of the Heart Gallery office including administrative duties, project support, and act as point person for HG staff and projects. Establish and maintain relationships with funding agencies, community partners, vendors, case management, and volunteer committees. Serves as point person for contracted employees, vendors, and oversees projects as assigned. Establishes community partnerships which generate direct resources for the Heart Gallery, children served, researches and approaches potential venues for exhibit exposure, provides public speaking and facilitates presentations to stakeholders, potential sponsors, internal and external partners, cultivates relationships with potential sponsors, secures corporate/private donors, provides oversight of funds and reporting, unites community partners in Heart Gallery events and brand development activities, supports program and funding partner branding and awareness,
The Heart Gallery of Iowa is a traveling photography exhibit of Iowa children who are waiting to be adopted from foster care. Volunteer photographers donate their time to create portraits that bring out the personalities of these children. This helps significantly increase the chances of children finding an adoptive home! The Heart Gallery of Iowa will be displayed at the Mahaska County YMCA in Oskaloosa from February 8 –15.
Devontae, born in August 2000, is a handsome young man who loves sports, especially basketball. He has played baseball in the past and excelled at the sport. He enjoys going on outings and playing at the park. He likes to laugh, have fun, play with cars, and color. During school, Devontae receives special education services, and he excels every year. His ADHD is controlled by medication. He also takes medication to control high blood pressure. Devontae’s appearance is very important to him. He is a sharp dresser and likes to have his hair clean shaven.
When Richard and Paula Charlebois married, they wanted children but their personal circumstances didn’t allow for them to come traditionally. Fortunately for the 35 children they’ve either fostered or adopted since, they found their true calling in foster care and adoption. The Charlebois family includes 13 adoptions, two guardianships, a boy awaiting adoption, two parents Justin, a former Wednesday’s Child, was adopted more than 18 years ago and was the first child. Though their heritages might be different, the children are truly brothers and sisters.
By the age of two, little Jorge had already been in and out of three different foster homes, but his fourth placement ended up being his final one and Jorge's foster family has since become his forever family. Four-year-old Jorge recruited his dad to help him find his lost Matchbox car in the sand, and it's everyday father-son moments like this that Jorge's mom cherishes so much. “My husband, it's been really neat to see him become a father and be very loving to him,” said Elvira. And just like he did on this day, dad usually comes to the rescue.
Southcrest is hosting the Heart Gallery of the South Plains in the month of February. Information on these children and general information on Adoption and Orphan Care will be available. The exhibit can be found in the northwest hall. For more information, Contact Name: Katrina Ballentine, Contact Number: 806-797-9000, Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
for some people who could provide loving and supportive homes as foster or adoptive parents to deserving children, a number of common myths and inaccuracies can make the prospect of foster care adoption more intimidating than it should be. We all have a role we can play to help correct these misperceptions and make foster care adoption less daunting. So as we gather with friends and family during the new year, let's take a minute to correct some of these common misperceptions. You never know the lives it may change. Click here to read an article written by Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Since 2001, Soronen has worked to find adoptive families for each of the more than 134,000 waiting children in the United States and Canada’s foster care systems. Soronen has worked for the past 30 years on behalf of abused, neglected and vulnerable children.
Want to learn more about Illinois children who are waiting to be adopted? The Heart Gallery of Illinois provides a perfect opportunity to discover these children through a series of beautiful portraits and informative biographies. The Heart Gallery of Illinois is made possible through the generous contributions of volunteers. iCAP works with professional photographers throughout the state who donate their time and talent to help capture the vibrant personalities of waiting children. The Heart Gallery of Illinois was launched in 2005 and has displayed over 100 portraits of waiting children, many of whom have been placed with loving, adoptive families.
“This is a great opportunity for us to let the whole community know that they can help children in need,” Lakeside Christian serve minister Russ Howard said. “Having this training was sparked out of a deep sense of what we’re supposed to do. Everyone should feel safe and valued. We want to love Jesus and love like Jesus, this is a living out of that love.” Howard said the goal of the training is to help anyone curious about fostering or adoption an opportunity to learn more. The training is open to the public. An informational meeting will be held 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.
They belong together. Kenyon, 10, loves playing the older brother role, and Matthew, 8, loves, well, just playing with his older brother. "They love each other," explains their worker. "Kenyon enjoys being the big brother." "I like to play games with him," says Kenyon, who adds that their favorite is checkers. Their brotherly bond spills over into food preferences and career plans. When asked about their favorite foods, they both say they like pizza, but Matthew explains his fondness for "pisghetti" as well. They both prefer mushrooms, pepperoni and bacon on their pie, but Matthew urges his older brother not to forget the cheese. And you bad guys might as well turn yourselves in right now or face the wrath of Kenyon and Matthew later. They might look small, but they aim to put the criminals behind bars when they become police officers. Of course, if the policing career doesn't pan out, Matthew has other plans: becoming a fireman.
thank you! We are excited to celebrate 300 adoptions of local children in foster care. Thank you to the many supporters of adoption in our community that have played a part in making forever families.
The Children's Heart Gallery, an initiative of DCS, is a digital exhibit of high quality, compelling photographs capturing the unique personalities of children in Arizona who are waiting to be adopted. PFCU will display these photographs on its television screens in each of the five financial centers within Pima County. PFCU will offer materials with more information for individuals who are interested in the program. “Pima Federal Credit Union is proud to partner with Arizona’s Department of Child Safety (DCS) to aid in the mission of finding stable homes for our state’s foster youth. Recent foster care statistics reveal that nearly 17,000 Arizona children are in out-of-home care and thousands never achieve permanency through adoption. The credit union’s involvement is simple, but the results for these foster youth can be life-changing,” says PFCU Interim President/CEO Eric Renaud.
Children's Home Society of Florida presented its highest employee honor, the 2015 Employee of the Year award, to Frank Avilla, adoptions marketing specialist and coordinator of the Heart Gallery of Okeechobee and the Treasure Coast. Since 2007, Avilla has been a key player in the organization's adoptions program. He has helped raise awareness of the need for loving forever homes for children in the state foster care system. More than 1,000 children have had their adoptions finalized during the past eight years....
When you hear the word “adoption” do you might imagine two parents adopting a newborn from a different state or country through a private adoption. But if you’re thinking of adopting, you don’t have to look much further than your own backyard. Hundreds of children in Central Texas are hoping an adoption through foster care will be a reality for them. So what does it take to adopt them? “You can be single, married, you can be a gay couple, it doesn’t matter, we are looking for anyone who is safe and appropriate that can open a loving home to these children,” said Casey Jordan, CPS Adoption Preparation Specialist.
Del Norte County needs foster parents, especially folks who will care for teenagers. “Right now we have literally two homes that take teenage girls and we have none that take teenage boys at this point,” said Daphane Williams, license evaluator and social worker for Del Norte County’s Social Service Branch. “And when I say teenage boys, probably 13 and up.” Foster children range in age from infants to elementary-school aged youngsters and teenagers, which are often the most difficult to find placements for, Williams said. Often the children have been exposed to drugs in their home as well as domestic violence issues. Only one home in the county had taken in teenage boys until the foster parent retired. Now, many teenage boys are sent to group homes outside the county for six months at a time. Foster parents must have a current CPR-First Aid card and a background check, both of which are paid for by the county. Potential foster parents must also attend an orientation held from 4 p.m.-5 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at the Department of Health and Human Services, 880 Northcrest Drive, Crescent City
Foster care is a program that provides shelter to children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse, neglect or abandonment, or because their parents are ill or incarcerated. The shelter may be emergency, short-term or long-term. There are nearly 1,000 children in Tulare County’s foster care program, and there are not enough foster care homes. Of particular need are foster parents prepared to take in siblings or teenagers, and parents willing to respond to emergency placement needs.
The Graphic Designer/Webmaster must be a technically capable, self-motivated and organized person that can work well with others who is comfortable with limited and/or developing structure. (this is a new position---things will change). The Graphic Designer will be working directly for the Community Development Director to develop, explore, design, refine and implement improvements and additions to the company’s brand image, print materials and web presence. Quickly implement design concepts across all channels of print and digital media, both independently and in collaboration with other team members.
Live near Meriden, North Haven, Sherman, New Haven, Farmington, or Bloomfield? Take a moment out and stop by one of the Heart Gallery exhibits and learn a little bit about the adoption and foster care. Click here to find out where in January and February 2016.
Attend a local, free information meeting and learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent! CYFD staff and foster parents will be available to provide information and answer questions about the process to become a licensed foster or adoptive parent at the following locations (click on city name to jump to a list of dates). Reservations are not necessary; just show up! Due to various scheduling and county training differences, it is recommended that families attend the information meetings in the counties in which they reside.
Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm were awarded the Child Advocate of the Year by Florida Children's Home Society. Executive Director Sabrina Barnes and Board Chair Diane Gallagher presented the award to Publisher Bob Brunjes at the organization's Martin Community Center in Stuart. Treasure Coast Newspapers has donated funds over the years to the child abuse prevention organization and the company's photographers have taken more than 150 photos of foster children for the Heart Gallery.
Come learn about our non profit focusing on recruiting, training, and supporting Christian Foster Families in Ouachita County. Join us as we celebrate our new office location and host The Project ZERO Hearts Gallery, a mobile statewide art exhibit showcasing the faces of children in care in search of their forever home. We will be available to discuss needs in our county and build relationships that will allow us to successfully care for our Foster children in Ouachita County. This is a public event all are welcome to come learn more. Note the times may not be correct on the whereevent posting.
Click to check out the activities of the past two months detailed in the January Newsletter of the Heart Gallery of Northwest Texas.Today, the Heart Gallery features 34 children's portraits printed on 20x30 inch canvas. This is only a fraction of the number of children who are currently available for adoption in our local foster care system. November was also a time of HUGE celebration!! National Adoption Day took place at First United Methodist Church on November 6th! Over 30 children were officially adopted during our local National Adoption Day celebration. Click for more!
Marquis, born April 2003, is a shy boy who wants to please others. He has very good manners and is a helpful child who likes to assist with chores both inside and outside of the home. Marquis likes to attend church where he participates in various activities. He also enjoys fishing, playing video games, and riding his bike. Marquis is an average student with a very good memory, but he needs extra assistance in math. He also has an IEP in place that is used as needed. Due to multiple moves while in foster care, it typically takes Marquis some time to adjust to new situations and environments. He can become very anxious when things don’t go as expected. Marquis needs to be reassured at times and told that he is loved and wanted. He desires an active two-parent family that is outgoing and involved in church.
This from Heart Gallery Sacramento's facebook: If just 1 in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family. About Foster Care Adoption Understanding the processes and procedures. When a child gets adopted, the child is permanently a part of their new family. This means adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children were born to them. It also means children who have been adopted have all the emotional, social, legal, and familial benefits of biological children.
Judy McSoley from Adoption Rhode Island, along with NiRoPe, Nick, Ron and Pete Cardi of Cardi’s Furniture joined The Rhode Show to talk more about The Heart Gallery and Adoption Rhode Island. NiRoPe also shares ideas on how you can get comfy and cozy this winter with some recliners offered at Cardi’s Furniture. Cardi's has been a long-time supporter of several Heart Galleries.
Crystal, born in 1998, loves art, music and cooking. She has dreams of becoming a KPop artist, which is her favorite genre of music. Crystal is not only intrigued by South Korean music (KPop) but is also very interested in Asian culture. She even hopes to visit Korea someday. Crystal is a charming and inquisitive girl. She especially enjoys spending time with younger children and animals. Helping others is something that brings her great joy. She is a genuine and sweet natured person.
While adoption or foster care will make a big difference in a child's life, there are other ways to volunteer and help. The national organization of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are volunteers who serve the child's best interest during the time when they may not have their parents available for them. CASA in SE Indiana needs volunteers. Child abuse is on the rise across the country and in Indiana. 2015 is the fourth consecutive year that our numbers on child abuse show an increase,” notes Tonya Ruble-Richter, executive director of Southeastern Indiana Voices for Children, 217 E. Main St., Madison, which serves Ripley and Jefferson counties. “We’re seeing it locally, too. Ripley County had more cases of abuse and neglect in the past year than we’ve ever seen.” As they go through the court system, sometimes ending up in foster or adoptive homes, “these local children ... are in need of a voice and someone to be in their corner through the most difficult point in their lives.”
Before our newest adoption John and I had six children. Three of them are biological, and three are adopted. Six kids?! You may be wondering why we felt it necessary to adopt again. The idea started with my husband. “You know,” he told me one morning after prayer, “I'm feeling like we're a little too comfortable, and God hasn't called us to comfort in this life. I think we should adopt again.” I wasn't surprised by his comment, and he wasn't surprised by my response, which was, “Yes! Let's!”
He's an 11-year-old boy who's spent more than half his life in the foster care system, but TJ isn't giving up hope he'll find a permanent home. This avid young football player is hoping to score a big win when it comes to finding a forever family. We started our time together at the park with a chat about football. TJ would like to be a running back. He also said his current team hopes to win the championship and during the games he scores touchdowns. “Oh, he's really good. He has an arm on him and he's a little bite sized when it comes to his stature, but don't let that fool you. He is amazing on the football field,” said protective services worker Crystal Irving. His passion for the sport is palpable. TJ said he's been playing football since the age of five, which was the same year he entered foster care. When asked if it has been difficult in the foster system, TJ responds: “No, I'm used to it.” But TJ is wise enough to know that it's not how life has to be.
Child Protection Services and Child Placing Agencies will host an informational meeting on becoming a foster or adoptive parent on Monday night from 6 to 7:30 at Wichita Falls Faith Baptist Church in order to spread the word on the need for foster parents. Local placement agencies said the need for foster or adoptive parents in our area is large and there never fails to be a call for a child in need. "This week alone, I turned down eight kids because I didn't have homes for them," Samantha Taggart with A World for Children said. "I also placed four kids this week, so I placed four and I turned down eight. Now the other agencies may have been able to take those, but that's kind of what we are looking at." The most common reason children are removed from local homes is drugs. "More than anything.... it is the security.... Some of them come into care severely neglected and they don't know if they are going to get a meal or not," Taggart said. "And so they are giving them that security and stability to know they're safe and they are going to be taken care of."
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!
© 2016 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.