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Photo gallery of children seeking adoptive families stops in Bloomfield, Indiana

The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling photo exhibit featuring compelling portraits of children in need of adoptive families, is making a stop at the Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library from March 13-24. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) created the Heart Gallery in 2007 with the goal of sharing the beautiful professional portraits along with stories about children in foster care in Indiana. This initiative helps put a face on a sometimes invisible need and reminds families that adoption changes lives. The goal of the Heart Gallery is to increase awareness of the DCS foster youth available for adoption and encourage the community to learn more about the foster to adoption process. With help from the Heart Gallery, more than 1,000 Hoosier foster kids found permanent homes in state fiscal year 2014.

Cheyney University in Pennsylvania launches summit to help foster youth March 27

Cheyney University presents its inaugural Aging-Out Summit, hosted by Cheyney alumnae Kamalah K. Brown and her colleagues, from 3-8 p.m. Monday, March 27. The program brings adolescent foster youth to campus to learn about financial aid, goal-setting and relationship building as they age out of the foster system. The summit featuring James Burks of Episcopal Community service; Dr. Nathaniel Williams, President/CEO of Child First Services; Julia A. Sullender of Delaware County Center for Youth Services; Diamond Poyer, Job Developer of Achieving Independence Center; and guest attendee Dr. Vincent Miles of Cheyney University. The summit is free and open to the public and youth. The term “aging-out” is used often in social services to describe youth or adolescents in foster care who is ready to transition into the world, because they have reached the maximum age that the state and/or their foster parent can legally care for them.

Meet Sharae and Sharee

Sharae and Sharee are twin sisters who were born in September 2002. Shareae likes to be called “Rae.” She is sweet and loving. She can get distracted easily and needs help staying focused on tasks. Sharee, otherwise known as “Ree,” is funny, happy, and talkative. She and her sister have a typical sibling relationship in which they argue at times and get along well at times. Click to learn more...

Wednesday's Child: Ally

Ally spent the morning at Tryon Creek Park and made wooden name tags before meeting a ranger. Ranger Jamen showed her the birds that flock to the park and she recognized one right away — a bald eagle. Ally is 8 and full of life. She’s waiting to find her adoptive home, a place she will light up with her joy. Ally is Wednesday’s Child for March 22, 2017 For more information, call the Oregon Foster Care and Adoption Line: 1.800.331.0503.

Wednesday’s Child: 11-Year-Old Lariah

Lariah is an eleven-year-old young lady of African American descent. Lariah loves to play with dolls, watch TV, and do craft projects. She loves getting pampered especially getting her nails and hair done. She is currently learning how to do hair in her current foster home.For more information you can contact MARE: 617-54-ADOPT (617-542-3678) or visit MARE .

Foster homes needed in Florida's Flagler, Volusia counties

Live in Flagler or Volusia counties of Florida? More than 1,000 children in three Central Florida counties are in need of a home, and a Daytona Beach-based agency is asking for people to become foster parents. 1,000 children need homes in Flagler, Volusia, Putnam Community Partnership for Children seeking foster parents Orientation set for 6 p.m. Thursday in DeLand ▼ Tina Ward has been a foster parent for three years. She said being a foster parent is a big job, but it's also a rewarding one. "Once you put that structure in their lives, it helps create their future," Ward said. Helping the children create a promising future, Ward said, is a big deal. Her family is helping by adopting children.

Fostering Unconditional Love

More than 400,000 U.S children are in foster care, removed from their families when their parents are in crisis and can’t take care of them. There’s a group of people who unselfishly answer the call by becoming foster parents. One of them is Melanie Watts of Bowling Green. She didn’t give birth to any of her three children, but loves them just the same. She adopted them through foster care, a journey that began while working as a captain at the Bowling Green Police Department.Maybe I hit the age, maybe it was just that point of my life where I thought something was missing, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I thought to myself, I just need a child. 'One would be great,' I kept thinking.

Take A Closer Look: Heart Gallery NYC

(page 11) --So urges the city's Administration for Children's Services (ACS), which has partnered with Heart Gallery NYC for a photo exhibition depicting young people in need of supportive homes Titled "Beyond the Photo: See Me, Know Me," the project was designed to bring attention to more than 400 older youth seeking adoptive families. The first group of photos, featuring 50 of the young subjects, can now be viewed at http://www.heartgallerynyc.org. Additional photo shoots will take place throughout 2017. "The photograph of a waiting child in need of a permanent home is often the first introduction to an adoptive family," said A Spotlight on Support Laurie Sherman Graff, Executive Director and Founder of Heart Gallery NYC. "A quality photo that expresses the true essence of a child's personality can actually open the hearts and homes of 'forever families.'"

LA seeks foster care families for infants, toddlers

Facing a continuing shortage of foster homes for children under five, Los Angeles County is hoping to make it easier for foster parents to take in very young children. A new program, if approved Tuesday by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, would provide immediate childcare slots to foster parents and relatives of foster kids who suddenly find themselves caring for a baby or toddler. "We really want to remove as many obstacles as possible," said Deborah Silver, division chief at the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: Organization Aims to Help Foster Kids

These kids are part of the foster care system and are available for adoption, but for children 10 and older, the hope of finding a family dwindles with every added year. Helen Zeerip wants to restore these children’s hope. Zeerip, who is a foster parent, said back in September 2014 she was watching a foster care training video as part of keeping her foster care license up to date, and one child’s words broke her heart.

What Might Work To Improve Outcomes Of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

State approaches to addressing the situation – and the challenges to those approaches – are varied. There are a growing number of youth with behavioral health conditions, an inability for many of them to take advantage of “traditional” transition services, and the lack of guidance and support during that transition. But there are some new developments in both state policy and in program offerings that are worth noting. One development is changing state policy about eligibility for benefits. Another new approach is post-secondary education initiatives intended specifically for high school-age youth in foster care. Additionally, new data about transitional living programs are showing success. The current “success statistics” and these new developments suggest a need for a more comprehensive policy framework that includes new approaches to programming. There’s a great deal of promise to improve outcomes for these young adults, but it might not amount to its full potential if industry stakeholders — and provider organizations in particular — don’t help support the access and utilization needed to effectively make this change.

Parents shed light on impact of national policies on adoption

Recent presidential executive orders relating to immigration have stirred up questions regarding children adopted from other countries. Citizenship status and the potential for deportation have adoptive parents double checking paperwork. This week’s Focus separates fact from fiction. Tuesday: The social implications.

Taylor

There are hundreds of children in Alabama who do not have a place to call home. They are in the foster care system. It's our hope, through a partnership with Heart Gallery Alabama, that we can find these children their forever home. One of those children is Taylor. Taylor is 18 years old. She is a happy and loving child who wants to be a part of a real family.

Finding a forever home tops 9-year-old Angel's wish list

If a local nine-year-old boy could have any wish in the world, it would be to find a forever home. Angel makes friends easily and is a happy, outgoing boy, but his heart has been broken too many times by adults who have let him down. Angel had never played a round of mini golf before. This fourth grader, who loves to read, has a vivid imagination and was so excited about the prospect of getting a hole in one. I found Angel to be a friendly, polite, talkative, and funny boy who likes to channel his inner Ninja Turtle.

The story behind the ‘Family Wanted’ plea of five Kansas siblings

Since the story posted on The Star's website late Saturday, online readers have clicked on it more than 4 million times. The article featured two sisters and three brothers, ages 2 to 11, identified by first names only. The oldest, Bradley, was described as a "the music lover." Middle child Layla is "already planning to save sick or injured animals when she grows up," and the youngest, Olive, "loves to be cuddled" whenever she "slows down long enough." The story indicated the siblings hope to be adopted together. Lada said placement workers are striving to identify a family who will keep them in Kansas. "Currently they're in separate homes" in foster care, Lada said. He and the nonprofit handling the placement, St. Francis Community Services in south-central Kansas, declined to provide more information on the children's situation.

Benefit race seeks to help find permanent families for Utah’s foster children

The efforts of many went into the 50-mile "Lake to Lake Relay" to raise community awareness for this year's "Utah Heart Gallery," a collection of photos and stories of children in foster homes who are waiting to become a permanent part of a family through adoption, Ben Ashcraft said. Ashcraft serves as lead foster adoptive consultant for Utah Foster Care in Southern Utah, a non-profit agency contracted with the state’s Division of Child and Family Services.

Kentucky Governor Supports Adoption By Adopting

It was an emotional day for Kentucky's 1st couple as Governor Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin spoke at an event promoting adoption and foster care. The Bevin's have nine children including four whom they adopted into their family. Governor Bevin has vowed to make Kentucky the national model for foster care and adoption and is pushing lawmakers to change the system.

Heart Gallery of Central Texas Comes to Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham

A unique photo gallery was set up at Blue Bell Creamery this morning (Thursday). The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is a traveling photo exhibit featuring foster children. The photos will be displayed at the Blue Bell Ice Cream Parlor until March 27th. The photos were taken by professional photographers, including Brenham’s Scott Hill, who have donated their talents. They capture the individual personalities of the foster children who are waiting for adoption. Nationwide, the Heart Gallery program has seen a 60 percent success rate of children getting adopted.

Adoptions on the rise in Muscogee County, Georgia, but more homes still needed

Fiscal year 2017 is expected to be an extraordinary year for adoptions in Muscogee County, according to officials at the Division of Family and Children Services. On Thursday, DFCS Communications Director Susan Boatwright said there were a total of eight adoptions finalized in the county from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. So far, in fiscal year 2017, 27 adoptions have been completed.

YouTube

Daden enjoys watching television programs, playing video games and playing outside. Daden is an energetic, creative and imaginative child. He enjoys skateboarding and riding his bike. Daden enjoys music and wants to learn to play the violin because he likes the way it sounds.

Help Foster Kids! Oregon Heart Gallery Rotation Volunteer

We are seeking individuals to help us with our local Heart Gallery Venues! A Venue Rotation Volunteer helps us update photos in our Heart Gallery Venues across the Eugene/Springfield and surrounding areas. The volunteer is not assigned to any specific Heart Gallery Venue, but rather a part of an on call list for when an assigned Venue Volunteer is unable to complete the photo update due to an unforeseen emergency or scheduling conflict.

13-year-old Ramon hoping to find a forever home

He's a 13-year-old boy who's spent nearly half his life in foster care. Ramon would love nothing more than to have a family to come home to and talk about his day with, but he knows he has just a few years left to find a forever home. And that’s why this resilient boy, who likes math, reading, and soccer, stepped out of his comfort zone to be featured on Adopt 8, hoping it leads him to a forever family. Ramon had some fun defying gravity at the Fleet Science Center. We also tested out the whisper dishes, which made it sound like Ramon's social worker Rodney was standing right behind us, when he was really on the other side of the room. Then, Ramon and Rodney tried this scientific version of face swap, which made it appear like Ramon had a beard. Ramon doesn't like the spotlight and said he is kind of camera shy. But this eighth grader agreed to be featured on Adopt 8, because he knows it could lead him to a forever family.

1st Annual Foster Focus Awards

You may be enlightened or surprised by the First Annual Foster Focus Awards. The surprise will come with some of the names of the awards and the inspiration’s background. You’ll be enlightened to find out about the great work the winners are doing on behalf of the nation’s foster youth. Maybe you will be dazzled, dazzled by the fact that I can still put two sentences together after a six-month choosing process that turned my hair grey. There were so many choices to pick from to select a winner. I didn’t want to leave anyone out, but I didn’t want to give away too many awards either. I also wanted the awards to mean something. I wanted them to have a hook. Something that brought hope to current foster youth. Something to aspire to. Something to chase. When I found out the creator of Gumby was a foster youth, I started to think I could accomplish whatever I set out to do. I thought that maybe if I named the awards after notable former foster kids that might have the same effect.

Outgoing Desiree Hopes For A Forever Family To Laugh With

Desiree is an active girl who is creative, funny, and social. She is an outgoing child who enjoys rapping and dancing. Desiree loves to perform and would love to become a musician someday. Desiree enjoys playing instruments and singing. Desiree will often express herself through writing music lyrics and poems. Desiree likes to play outdoors and climb trees. Desiree also loves spending time with her younger sisters. Desiree is educationally on target and enjoys attending school. Desiree works really hard to keep up her grades and sometimes can use a little extra assistance in reading and math. Desiree loves science and doing things with her hands.

Love Is Louder Than DNA

When she’s not chaperoning field trips or chauffeuring her children around to appointments and activities, Janeris Marte of Miami, Florida, is running a business that directly benefits foster care organizations. Marte started Louder Than DNA as a foster mom. “Louder Than DNA began as a hashtag when I began fostering. #loveislouderthandna is what I used to keep my private pictures together on Instagram,” she said. What started out as a simple hashtag on social media has turned into a successful business for Marte. She sells high quality t-shirts to families who believe in the message that love is louder than DNA.

The Need for Foster Care is Growing in Las Cruces New Mexico

There’s a growing need for more foster parents in Las Cruces. New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department report there are over 160 children in the foster care system in Las Cruces that have been deemed by a judge to have been abused or neglected. That’s why Joey Valenzuela decided to look into becoming a foster parent which resulted in a very special bond. “I vividly remember him playing soccer,” Valenzuela said.

South Carolina Bar Association Sponsors Upstate Fair to Encourage Adoption

SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - A free adoption fair took place in the Upstate to provide helpful resources and encourage families to consider foster care and adoption. The SC Bar Young Lawyers Division hosted the free adoption fair at Upstate Church in Simpsonville located at 679 Harrison Bridge Road. Attorneys, agencies and other vendors in children's services were be on hand to answer questions about adoption. One-on-one consultations were also available.

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.