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Events

Heart Gallery NYC and Administration for Childrens Services: Celebrate the LGBTQ Pride Month's PRIDE Exhibit 2015

There is a disproportionate number of LGBTQ youth in foster care, and more than 40,000 homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Many of them have been forced to leave their biological or foster homes due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. So on June 1st, Heart Gallery NYC is very excited to launch their 2nd Annual PRIDE Exhibit. Hosted by the New Victory Theater in Times Square and kicking off PRIDE Month, they will be displaying the photos of children in need of "forever families" and spotlighting LGBTQ youth in foster care. LGBTQ adoptive families, youth, and potential mentors are encouraged to RSVP. Info: http://heartgallerynyc.org .

Jordan's Furniture Sponsors Adoption Information Weekend

Find out about older children and sibling groups. Have one-on-one conversations with social workers. Or, just stop by and pick up some information. No pressure! Go to any Jordan’s Furniture location during Adoption Information Weekend.

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Louisiana Foster Parents Recognized, Honored As Mentors

Dozens of local foster parents were honored for their roles in changing lives and providing safe homes for children who enter the state’s foster care system. Louisiana Mentor Program hosted an appreciation luncheon Thursday to celebrate the end of National Foster Care Month. Monroe public relations coordinator Rod Washington presented a proclamation from Mayor Jamie Mayo, declaring May 2015 Foster Parent Month in Monroe.

Family Bikes Across New York - Shirts Say Adoption: “If we can do it, so can you”

Tuesday afternoon, the whole family arrived in downtown Buffalo, completing a nine-day bicycle trip, from Troy to Buffalo, to inspire more families to adopt and foster children in need. May is Foster Care Month in New York. Paul, who pedaled the cargo bike, came up with the idea. “We were hoping to do something ... give back a little bit,” he said late Tuesday morning, during a break in Ellicott Creek Park in the Town of Tonawanda. A bicycle trip would provide the most opportunities to meet people, he reasoned.

interest in adoption

The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling photographic exhibit which features children in foster care from DCS who are seeking forever families to adopt them, is currently on display at Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center in Lake Station.

lavel

Lavell is seven years old and is currently living in an emergency children's shelter. He has been bounced around in the system and urgently needs to find a forever home.

New Hampshire Facing a Shortage of Foster Families

New Hampshire is facing a critical shortage of foster homes, say child protective agencies, who are encouraging Granite Staters to consider opening their homes to a child from their community. This year, more than 1,000 children will enter the New Hampshire foster care system, yet only 600 homes are licensed to provide care, Child and Family Services of New Hampshire said in a recent news release. The private nonprofit is working with state’s Department of Health and Human Services’ Division for Children, Youth and Families to recruit foster homes in every part of New Hampshire.

Unconditional L*O*V*E

Each year in New York’s Penn Station, The Heart Gallery has an annual exhibit that features large posters of children in foster care waiting to be adopted. Staff members sit at information tables offering details about these children and statistics about youth in foster care, hoping to tug at the heart strings of passersby from all walks of life. There might be someone in that crowd who’s considered adopting from the foster care system, or maybe there’s someone who just seeks to become more socially aware. Perhaps there’s even someone in the crowd who has the talent and connections to make a huge impact by raising awareness of the issue.

Foster Care Appreciation

Over 6,000 children in Kansas are in foster care — 106 of those children are from Lyon, Chase and Morris counties. At this time there are approximately 2,500 family foster homes licensed in the state. Missy Floyd, foster care homes supervisor with St. Francis Community Services, says that more foster homes are desperately needed in Lyon county and surrounding areas.

find forever families

Even though many kids are finding forever families each year, many more still need forever families. Amanda Lopez organizes the Heart Gallery for the state's Department of Child Services. She talks with KLOVE about the many organizations who are trying to get the word out about these waiting kids to seeking families.

Oregon Study: Frequent Moves Make School Tough For Foster Kids

Foster children are four times more likely to move and change elementary schools during an academic year than children not in foster care. All those new homes and new schools can lead to academic and behavior problems that require special intervention. A new study clarifies the negative impact of school moves experienced by children in foster care but also points out ways to limit the damage.

Oklahoma DHS Still Short on Foster Homes

The state is closing the emergency shelter for kids in state custody: the Laura Dester Shelter. Just last week, the director of DHS, Ed Lake, said 63 kids were staying at the shelter. Lake says closing the shelter is not about saving. He said children do better when they're in more permanent homes, like foster homes.

Supporting a Family Could Make The Difference in the Life of a Foster Child

Andy and Sarah Thornton will be the first to tell you that nothing can prepare you for the experience of being a foster parent. It took them about eight years of marriage to be financially and emotionally ready to foster. The first children placed in their home were three siblings, under the age of five. "We had these kids that were kind of like they were deer in the headlights staring at us, and we were probably the same way back at them," Andy said. "Anyway, we absolutely fell in love with them and fostered them for two and a half years, and they came available for adoption and we said yes."

Foster Care Youth

In "Know How," a new documentary by Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza, viewers follow the experiences of foster youth in NYC -- those young people who are forced to fight for themselves, or like a white dwarf star, succumb to the prevailing reality of the foster care life. Some sleep on the street. Some turn to drugs. Some find a family. Some unite with their real parents. Despite these sorts of awareness documentaries, there really is little preventing these hardships.

Dispelling The Myths of Foster Care #11

MYTH: I could never be a foster parent because I don’t make a lot of money, don’t even own my own home and live in an apartment.

four brothers looking

These brothers have been split up in foster case since most families don't have the space for four boys. Despite this shortcoming, these four brothers want nothing more than to live together under one roof.

Hundreds turn out for Jordan's Furniture Walk/Run For Adoption 2015

MARE is the only agency in Massachusetts whose sole objective is to find adoptive homes for the hardest-to-place youth in state foster care, including sibling groups, older youth, and youth with special needs. With well-known programs like Wednesday's Child with Jack Williams on WBZ TV, and Sunday's Child columns in the Boston Globe, MARE has helped over 6,300 children join their "forever families" so far.

after growing up

Nathian Dohna graduated from the University of New Haven two years ago with a degree in criminal justice and became involved in the state's Foster care system. It's not surprising, as grew up in the system, living in several homes before attending UNH.

Churches Look For New Ways to Help Foster Kids

Did you know…that there are countless ways to help children waiting for a forever family – other than fostering or adopting them? “ Churches can do so many things to help meet the need of thousands of children who are in limbo or aging out of the foster care system,” shares Rev. Diane McGehee, director of the TAC Center for Missional Excellence. “Some of our churches are already engaging with these children with a variety of supportive ministries, but we want to expand on these initiatives. Anyone with a passion for helping children might consider joining our think tank to help figure out how the conference can help more young people so that they know that the church cares in very practical and life sustaining ways.”

Donovan From Nashville Tennessee Needs a Forever Family

Meet this week's Heart Gallery child Donovan. Donovan is in the seventh grade and enjoys Lego building blocks and collecting Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh! cards. He likes to listen to music and really likes Imagine Dragons. He's not crazy about school, but he enjoys his friends and being active. He likes playing mindcraft. He loves to eat pizza rolls. When Donovan thinks of an adoptive family he hopes to have siblings who share his likes and interests and are close in age range. The energetic and outgoing boy is looking for his forever home and a special family to call his own. He has a wonderful personality and a huge smile. FOX 17 This Morning's Erin Como spent the day with Donovan, giving you a chance to get to know him.

She’s taught me how to laugh again and have fun'

“So the foster system is not glamorous. I won’t lie to you. It’s very traumatic for the youth because they’re moving on average 3-5 times per year and with that, they’re changing schools 3-5 times per year and they’re making new friends and so consistency is not normal. Stability is not normal. And if we can offer a little bit of that through a mentor, that’s powerful,” Mavis said. That’s where a mentor like Julie Lowell steps in. She’s a single mother of a one-year-old and has been a mentor for Chrissy for nearly six months. Eight-year-old Chrissy is becoming what feels to her like a big sister to her mentor Julie’s daughter.

Joseph and Julie are in need of a forever family

The brother and sister duo you're about to meet have been thriving since being placed into a loving foster home. But what they need now is a forever family to take over and give them a lifetime of love. Joseph just turned five-years-old and this preschooler is singing a happy tune. Life is good now that Joseph and his little sister Julie are living in a stable and supportive foster home, but what they need now is a forever family.

New Hampshire Magazine Recognizes Heart Gallery Organizer

You’ve probably seen it -- the “Home At Last” segment on WMUR-TV’s “NH Chronicle,” where NH children who are living in foster homes or group homes are profiled in hopes of finding a family that wants to adopt them. Mary-Paige Provost, Chronicle’s coordinating producer, says, “Everyone deserves a place to call home.” The first profile was aired in 2014. Since then, seven of the nine featured children -- most of them older or with special needs -- have been adopted or are in the process.

5 adorable siblings in foster care are looking for a forever family

Imagine this scenario: what if during your childhood, your mother left home one day and never came back. Then after abandoning you, imagine if she was arrested for endangerment, went to jail, got released the next day and then left the state for good. That is exactly what happened to five adorable children in Arkansas. Joshua, 9, Dominick, 8, Caleb, 6, Chris, 5, and Zariya, 4, haven’t seen their mother since June of 2013. With the help of their DHS Family Services worker, Willie Barker, these adorable siblings have been placed in foster care.

Honoring All Mothers on Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to those who have mothered foster, adopted, or step-parented children but never "their own," and those who have mothered both. Special Mother's Day wishes to grandmothers and great mothers, aunts and sisters who raised others' children as their own. I wish peace for those who bore children they did not get to raise because others - foster or step or adoptive parents - stepped in with or without consent.

Alex, Heart Gallery of New Mexico

Are you ready to open your heart and home to 11-year-old Alex? Playing outside, playing soccer, going for walks and riding his bike are just a few of the activities Alex enjoys. We are looking for a two-parent household for Alex. The adoptive home will need to provide ongoing patience, routine and structure to help Alex feel accepted and secure. To learn more about Alex, including a short video interview, visit his Heart Gallery profile at http://heartgallerynm.org/alex/.

National Foster Care Day: North Carolina DHHS Thank Foster Parents, Displays Mini-Heart Gallery at State Convention

“We appreciate the supportive community members who recognize the needs of these children and youth,” said Kevin Kelley, Chief of the Child Welfare Section in the state Division of Social Services (DSS). “Our state has much to be proud of, even as we strive to improve the experience for those who need foster care services.” The Division of Social Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, will display a smaller version of its Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit that features photographs of children in foster care who need adoptive homes.

Klicks For Kids Heart Gallery

Klicks for Kids is a photography exhibit featuring the images of some of the nearly 900 Kansas children in foster care needing adoption. The gallery is a collaborative effort by Adopt Kansas Kids and the Kansas Professional Photographer's Association. The gallery is a collaborative effort by Adopt Kansas Kids, a program of the Kansas Children's Service League, and the Kansas Professional Photographer's Association to find families for these children, as well as raise awareness of the critical need for foster and adoptive parents in our state. The gallery will tour the state throughout the year with anticipated stops in several Kansas communities.

emmanuel

Emmanual sees what family life is like, but hasn't experienced it. It has to happen before he turns 18. He's already 15. He is determined to be a great family man one day and his time and the possibility of experiencing a forever family is running out!

Heart Gallery Founding Photographer Moves to Israel

Cathy Maier has spent her life watching and listening to others. She also launched an idea that has since gone national – the Heart Gallery, in which photographers take professional portraits of children in foster care hoping to be adopted. Cathy is returning to Israel.

An Oregon Heart Gallery Treats Foster Girls To A Special Day

Eugene, Oregon based A Family For Every Child Heart Gallery is treating over 300 Oregon foster girls to a special of dress-up, dancing, photographs, and fun at a local hotel. Princesses take home a new gown and attend a tea party with a royal guest. The event, designed as a foster-care awareness-raiser, is now in its seventh year. A Family For Every Child started a similar event to encourage foster boys by introducing them to community heroes at Hero For A Day in February.

Barrington Illinois Heart Gallery Volunteers Spawn A Nonprofit to Help With Adoption

When a stranger asks which country Carolyne Osterhues adopted any of her four children are from, she laughs. Osterhues is part of a growing local movement to place children in foster care with families. Barrington mother Susan McConnell recently launched a nonprofit called Let It Be Us that is aimed at bridging the gap between parents who want to adopt and the thousands of children available in Illinois' foster care system. The Ostenhues's fostered each of their children before later adopting them.

The Best Part About Adopting Through Foster Care

Today is the first day of May, which is National Foster Care Month. In keeping with my Friday Favorites post, I thought I would post 5 of our favorite things about foster care and adopting through foster care. 1) The kids are awesome I know what you're thinking. All kids are awesome. I know, I know, they are. But kids in foster care are really awesome. Occasionally you’ll meet uninformed people who think that kids in foster care have all these problems. Nope, kids in foster care are every bit as awesome as every other kid.

Indiana Heart Gallery

The Indiana Heart Gallery was created by the Indiana Department of Child Services in 2007 as one way to help these incredible children share their stories and hope of joining a family and encourage families to adopt. Many of the foster children featured in the gallery are older or special needs children, minorities, or members of a sibling group. All are considered hard-to-place children. Our goal is to keep the Heart Gallery moving until all of the children are adopted!

Finally, a Family For Davion

For a long time after he was sent back to Florida, Davion didn't want to talk. Not to the counselors the agency sent to console him; not to the guys from his old group home or the teachers at his new high school. Not to the foster parents who took him in; he knew they didn't plan to keep him. Or to the church people he had stood before when he asked someone – anyone – to adopt him.


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!

© 2015 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.