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Waiting For Adoption
 

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?

Source: AFCARS 2016
for fiscal year 2015
newsbriefs

Look Below!



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

Heart Gallery Related News


Indiana Heart Gallery Display at BellaBoo’s Play & Discovery Center April 17-28

Those wanting to learn more about adoption are encouraged to stop by BellaBoo’s Play and Discovery Center in Lake Station, now through April 28th, to view a traveling photo exhibit featuring compelling portraits of children in need of adoptive families.

Mississippi non-profit hosting foster care orientation

With a demand of nearly 200 foster homes on the Gulf Coast, one organization is working to bridge the gap. Mississippi non-profit 200 Million Flowers is holding four orientation classes in the month of April. The Rescue 100 training program is open to Mississippi residents who are interested in becoming a foster parent.

Florida's Flock to the Trop

Join us on April 27, 2017 for our annual gala, a heartfelt night of celebration with featured forever families of Heart Gallery of Pinellas-Pasco, dinner, drinks, auction and entertainment! Your support helps us to continue finding homes for our local children in foster care! We look forward to seeing you at the Trop!

Los Angeles’ Tech Community Steps up for Foster Youth

Currently, there are more than 18,000 foster youth in L.A. County, making it the largest child welfare system in the nation. These children and youth face significant challenges. Research has shown that only half will graduate from high school, while a disproportionate number will experience homelessness and unemployment once leaving the system. These are very real problems with very real solutions, but it will take true collaboration between tech and government.

Fairfax, VA event aims to support, encourage adoption, foster care

Formed Families Forward, an organization supporting foster-care adoption and kinship care, will present its fourth annual Spring Forward event on Saturday, April 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Providence Community Center, 3001 Vaden Drive in Fairfax. The event will feature activities for children and workshops for parents, care-givers and older youth. A fun fair will complete the day’s activities.

New York's 28th Annual Foster Care and Adoption Conference

For almost three decades, the Coalition’s annual statewide conference has provided an opportunity for foster, adoptive and relative care parents to join with professionals to be inspired, network and learn about the latest in the field. Aimed at parents and professionals alike, the conference brings leaders in the child welfare field to New York and offers a variety of topical workshops designed to deepen the knowledge of attendees, make connections to other parents and professionals and give attendees tools they can bring home and share in their community. Nationally-known plenary speakers and workshop presenters share their knowledge and expertise to help participants gain perspective, increase skills, and learn to appreciate the positives.

Recruiting Events in Illinois

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.

Informational Meeting on Foster Care and Adoption in Arlington, Texas

Learn about the basic requirements to become a foster parent, the steps it takes to become a foster parent, the basics of foster care and adoption, and the rights of children and youth in foster care at Foster Care and Adoption 101, a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services informational meeting.

Heart Gallery of Broward County to get highest recognition

In celebration of 50 years of service to children in Broward County, Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) invites the community to its 16th Annual “Helping Turn Lives Around” luncheon on May 19 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. During this inspirational event, CHS will present its highest honor, the 2017 R. David and I. Lorraine Thomas Child Advocate of the Year Award, to the Heart Gallery of Broward County.

"Now is the Time" Adoption Conference

If you have ever felt called to adopt or foster but intimidated by cost or paperwork, this event is for you! Gain the tools you need to move forward, information from professionals and been-there-done-that experienced parents who are ready and willing to mentor you on your journey to bring hope to children in need!

Heart Gallery Related News


Texas Outlaws Rehoming

Rehoming is illegal in most states.

Georgia Attempts Adoption Reform

Observed without opinion. There are some interesting facts here.

Severe shortage: Idaho foster parents quit almost as fast as they're recruited

Health and Welfare’s Child and Family Services has struggled for at least 13 years to improve Idaho’s worsening shortage of foster parents. But the parents quit at nearly the same rate they are recruited. Potential foster parents don’t have to be perfect, said Ellen Leavitt, who has licensed foster parents for Health and Welfare since 1996. They just need to be willing to try their best.

Letter: The National Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Act

On April 20, 2017, the First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to U.S. Representative Jared Huffman thanking him for his support of the National Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Act. This Act creates national home study standards and a database for prospective foster and adoptive families.

First Baptist Church, Arnold, Missouri ministry aims for ‘one less orphan’

“We started this ministry to encourage couples interested in adopting or going through the process,” Lisa Jackson, leader and member of FBC Arnold, said. “Tim and I have three biological children,” Lisa added. Adopting and fostering children is a journey. FBC Arnold has a ministry, “One Less Orphan,” to make that journey easier to navigate by providing support for parents and children.

Heart Gallery focuses on children needing adoption

They look like happy, healthy youngsters, smiling in the professionally done photos in the café area of BellaBoo's Play and Discovery Center, but the photos don't show the most important thing missing in their lives: a loving family. For the third year in a row, BellaBoo's is hosting the portraits from the Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling photo exhibit of children needing adoptive homes. The gallery is a project of the Indiana Department of Child Services and was started in 2007, but has grown in the last four or five years, getting into more communities, according to Amanda Schortgen, spokesperson for the gallery.

Heart Gallery Alabama: Jonathan

Heart Gallery Alabama is a nonprofit organization dedicated to families for those children. Each week WSFA 12 News features one of those children. This week, we introduce you to Jonathan is one of those children. He likes to be clean and dress nicely. He's described as mild mannered and mature. Jonathan's hobbies include drawing. We're told he is very talented.

New task force focuses on adoption and foster care system in Kentucky

State House Speaker Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown) this week announced a task force to study how Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system can be improved. Critics say that the adoption process has become increasingly difficult for families over the years due to increasing paperwork and escalating cost. The bipartisan committee consists of eight House members — five Republicans and three Democrats — and will be led by the Majority Caucus Chair David Meade (R-Stanford).

Meet Taylor in Arizona: Hands-on and hungry for a family

Fifteen-year-old Taylor is good with his hands – whether he is holding drumsticks or a wrench. During a guitar lesson with instructor Sam Sultan at Scottsdale Music Academy, Taylor goes from strumming a six-string to pounding a drum kit – and sounding pretty good at it. And he has never had formal lessons. He acquired his musical skills through osmosis hanging out with musicians and by watching YouTube videos. “I like to learn new things,” Taylor says. He recently built a BMX bicycle and does repairs to keep it rolling. “He has always been into tools,” says Tabitha, Taylor’s adult sister. “He is very hands-on.” Tabitha, who entered the foster care system when Taylor did, has aged out of the system.

Adoptive Families Surveys The Typical Costs of Different Kinds of Adoption During the Past Two Years

How much does adoption cost, on average? How long does it take? We share the results of our 2015-2016 Adoption Cost & Timing Survey.Each year, Adoptive Families polls newly formed families across the country to get actual information on the cost and length of time it took those families to complete their adoptions. We are grateful to every one of you who took our most recent Cost & Timing of Adoption Survey. Adoption expenses vary according to the route and country program, the agency or attorney used, and secondary expenses, such as travel. With the exception of adopting a child via the U.S. public foster care system, it remains expensive to adopt in the U.S. or internationally. Total costs range from almost nothing, if you adopt from U.S. foster care, to more than $50,000 from several international countries. Of adoptions finalized in 2015 and 2016, international adoptions cost an average of $42,000; U.S. newborn adoptions cost an average of $37,000.

15-Year-Old Lisa in Dallas, Texas Needs a Forever Family

Lisa needs a forever family who will be supportive well after her 18th birthday. With her new best friend in tow, Lisa hopes to get adopted by a family who will never give up on her. She calls her new doll “the best thing that’s ever happened to her.” But more than anything, this young lady who gives unconditional love is thankful for moments filled with gratitude and hope. "I was like, I was so happy!" she said about her magical day at American Girl.

What is the future for foster care in Greater Cleveland? Free panel discussion

Can better public and private partnerships be formed to help protect vulnerable children placed with foster families? Is greater public financing needed? Who should lead the charge? These are some of the urgent questions to be addressed by a panel of local foster care and adoption experts Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Ave.

DCF in Connecticut Starts a New Push to Find Forever Families

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — 13-year old Jamiah Johnson might be petite in size but her voice and smile are larger than life. She is one of 18 children currently in the care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Family Services that will be featured in new videos that aim to increase their chances of finding forever families. “I was kind of excited. I didn’t know I was going to be nervous but then when I walked in here I was like oh, my god. There’s cameras. I was kind of nervous,” said Jamiah. The DCF Heart Gallery has been around for quite some time. Currently it features photos and brief descriptions of children that are typically hard to place, like teenagers, sibling groups, and children with disabilities. The Heart Gallery can be found on the DCF website and at the entrance to Jordan’s Furniture on Long Wharf in New Haven. Jordan’s is partnering with DCF to help create unique videos for each child.

Number of NC children aging out of foster care up 10.4 percent

Recently released figures show a jump of 10.4 percent in youth aging out of foster care in North Carolina in 2016 compared to 2015. These are the highest numbers since data compilation began 16 years ago in mid-2000. Youth aging out of foster care without the support structure of a safe, permanent and loving family, face tremendous odds transitioning successfully into adulthood. Challenges frequently include an absence of mentorship, homelessness or inadequate housing, incomplete education, a cycle of low paying or no jobs, early parenthood, health issues, hopelessness, substance abuse, and sometimes incarceration.

The Heart Gallery of Central Texas visits the Capitol

If you might be visiting the Texas Capitol building, stop by and check out the exhibit of the Central Texas Heart Gallery. Each portrait is a photo of a child or group of children who are available for adoption now! If you don't happen to be in Austin at the moment, you can also see these photos online!

California's Central Coast foster care system needs more families

I believe it goes without saying, it is far better for our communities to solve local needs rather than depend upon the government. Right now on the Central Coast there is a significant need to which our families and individuals need to rally to solve. To put it bluntly, there are not enough individuals and families to care for and meet the needs of the children and youth in our local foster care system. These children and youth need our help. The Family Care Network once had enough families to serve 150 or so foster youth. Now, we have about one third of that capacity. And all of our local foster care agencies are similarly impacted.

Never too late to adopt older children

Each year 20,000 young adults will age out of the foster care system. These children are at an increased risk of homelessness and unemployment. Couples looking to adopt tend to aim for a younger child, said Jenny Kutz, Director of Communications at KVC, a non-profit organization that provides foster care services. But there is hope. Kutz says older kids that are adopted still provide the family with plenty of great memories. "You'll still be a parent and you'll still get the joy of so many first in their lives with you," Kutz said. "It's still just as special and will just make an incredible lifelong difference in their life."

Waiting Child Update

Meet this week's featured waiting children!

Kentucky Governor, First Lady talk about raising nine kids, and overhauling state foster care system

Governor Bevin went on, "It's funny, we discovered when we first met each other we had both always been fascinated with orphans for some reason. I don't know why, when I say fascinated, we always had a heart for them." The Bevins now have nine children; four were adopted. Their struggle to adopt children in Kentucky drove them to adopt their children from another country. It also drove them to try to make sweeping changes to the current foster care system in the state.

A father who provides therapeutic foster care shares his advice with other parents

Deciding that he could make a difference in the life of at least one young person, Steve Combs became a foster parent six years ago. He adopted the first boy he fostered—who is now 20 years old and in college studying business—and over the last four years has been a foster parent to three other teens. Two years ago, Steve got licensed as a therapeutic foster parent to work with teens who had experienced greater trauma and have greater needs. Steve shared his experience and some of the lessons he’s learned with us.

Hamilton Kids Heart Gallery, Updated

Professional Photographers Aim to Help Foster Kids Find Adoptive Families

Fifteen volunteer photographers took photos of foster youths at the L.A. Arboretum. Marin Austin reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for one group of kids there’s only one word that matters: home. A picture might help them get there. "I want to find a family, to take me so I feel happy and comfortable," said 12-year-old Jim Martinez.He is one of 60 foster kids who had their photos taken by professional photographers Saturday at the Los Angeles Arboretum as part of an effort by the nonprofit Heart Gallery Los Angeles to help facilitate adoption.

Help teenagers by becoming a foster parent

Each day, many of us reflect on all of the love and support our families have given us throughout our lives. However, there are many teenagers in our area who cannot share in our joy. According to the latest data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), over 40 percent of those in foster care are teenagers. The Orange County Department of Social Services is partnering with the Foster Care Network to urge local residents to open their hearts and homes to the at-risk teens and pre-teens in need of loving foster families.

Facebook: It's Really That Bad

Sometimes the hardest issues to talk about are the most important to bring to the forefront. In the foster care system, there is one group of individuals that are consistently and unequivocally innocent…the affected children. The children who are lost in the news. The children who are taken from their homes with nothing but a trash bag filled with clothes. The children who feel lonely and lost.

How Churches Are Helping Foster Kids Find Homes

Despite the successful response to the five children in the Kansas City Star story, the truth is that most people do not pay much attention to the “Wednesday’s child on the nightly news” form of advertising for foster and adoptive families. These kids seem far away from the concerns of viewers, who likely assume someone else will step up. But many of the new adoption and foster care programs find children in the immediate vicinity of the church in order to show people that the need is close by and immediate.

Our Most Current List of Lists of Children Who Await a Permanent Adoptive Home

There are lots of agencies, including Heart Gallery of America, that list children who are waiting for a family. These lists are primarily intended for parents who have completed their home study and are looking for a child to adopt. In all cases, the child's primary social worker has given the listing agency permission to list the child as available for adoption. In almost all cases, you will be given a form or find instructions on how to reach that primary social worker. In most cases, the child has been determined by the courts to be legally free to be adopted, although the listing details vary in some states. If you find any legal listing of children not in our list, please let us know. You can reach me at webmaster@heartgalleryofamerica.org .


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.