|"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|
The Indiana Heart Gallery is a traveling photo exhibit featuring compelling portraits of children in need of adoptive families and it is making a stop at the Monon Community Center in Carmel. 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 exhibit can be viewed at Trine University – Fort Wayne 9910 Dupont Circle Drive E Fort Wayne, IN 46825.The gallery will be featured in the main lobby of the center, 9910 Dupont Circle Dr. E, through September 27. There is no charge to see the gallery, which will be available from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
Join us for breakfast, coffee and a portrait gallery from The Heart Gallery of Central Texas in the Community Hub before the day's first panels. The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is a portrait exhibit and community education initiative featuring children in Central Texas who are waiting for adoption. A larger Heart Gallery exhibition will be on display close by in the in the Union Ballroom on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 8am-4pm.
The Heart Gallery Presented by Adoptions Together is a portrait exhibit of children in need of adoption. The children featured on the gallery are from Maryland, DC and Virginia, and many of them are eligible to be adopted by families in any part of the country. The Heart Gallery will be in our Lobby for your viewing on Sunday, Sept. 17 & 24. If have questions or have been thinking about adoption, please get info from one of the Adoptions Together stands.
Calling all food enthusiasts and wine devotees, get your appetites ready to enjoy the fifth annual “Eat Your Heart Out” culinary feast at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale benefiting the Heart Gallery of Broward County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the adoption and enrichment of Broward's foster children. More than 300 friends and supporters of the Heart Gallery will enjoy a variety of delicious foods from local restaurants. The event will host live entertainment, offer fine wines and specialty craft beer and spirits as well as a silent auction with exquisite luxury packages. During the event, the Heart Gallery of Broward County will honor Dr. Ana E. Calderon Randazzo as Child Advocate of the Year. The Gallery is unique: in concept- it is displayed in many public places just like an art exhibit- and in execution - every photograph is a vibrant composition taken by a professional media or portrait photographer. Coupled with a bio card that decribes each childs personality and interests;
Bring your friends/family and join us in keeping Sacramento Area families strong and kids protected! Defending the Cause Regional Alliance is excited to partner with Student Reach, K-LOVE/Air1 Radio, Sacramento Heart Gallery and William Jessup University to kick off our first annual Members Expo: Standing Up for Kids & Families! This is an interactive, high-energy, family-friendly event for the entire community where people can learn about the issues affecting kids and families in the Sacramento region and connect directly with organizations to serve with or support. This FREE event includes: - 3D videos and powerful speakers on our main stage - A vendor fair with 25+ local non-profits, agencies, & ministries - Music from K-LOVE/Air1 - A unique simulation where you can step into the shoes of a child just entering foster care - A photo gallery with pictures of kids recently adopted out of foster care in Sacramento County - Door prizes and raffles - Food trucks with treats for purchase - And so much more!
Love One and Fostering Bulloch is hosting this year’s Statesboro Heart Gallery Event on 10/21/2017. We are raising awareness for children in foster care. The photographic exhibit will display children in foster care who are available to be adopted and are waiting for a forever family. There will be arts and crafts, games and food for the whole family! This is a great opportunity to find out more about Adoption/Foster Care. We will have booths/venders who can help answer any or all of your questions. Love One is also looking for volunteers to help. We will need help with decorating and running the event. We would love to have your input and your help!
New public service advertisements (PSAs) launched today by the Children's Bureau at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in partnership with the Ad Council, AdoptUSKids and KBS, highlight the importance of adopting teens from foster care and emphasize that adoptive and potential adoptive parents do not have to be a perfect parent in order to adopt youth from foster care.
You’ve seen this NFL Hall of Famer on television as a football coach and then as an analyst. Now, former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy is planning stops in South Carolina and will appear in a statewide ad campaign encouraging S.C. families to consider adopting or fostering children in need.“As the father of seven adopted children, I believe there is no greater calling for my wife and I than helping other families adopt and foster children,” Dungy said in a news release. “All children deserve to grow up in a family who loves and supports them,” Alford said. “(Dungy) knows firsthand the blessings of fostering and understands the great need to grow our network of families in South Carolina.”
Let It Be Us, the Barrington, Illinois not-for-profit committed to inspiring adoption from foster care and the support of children and teens living in the Illinois Department of Family Service care, announced a pilot program to provide homes for the holidays for college students in DCFS care. The new initiative matches college students who are in foster care, with families who can provide a temporary home during school breaks and holidays. Currently, more than 200 teens in care attend college in Illinois and other nearby states. When college campuses close for holidays and semester breaks, many students often struggle to locate living arrangements.
More than 6,000 children are in foster care in Alabama. We want to help them find forever families. We've teamed up with Heart Gallery Alabama to profile these children. Isaiah is ten years old. He's described as outgoing and boisterous, yet affectionate. Isaiah enjoys sports, playing outside, and spending time with friends. You can learn more about Isaiah and Heart Gallery Alabama
"We’re very blessed, and we’re very lucky," Bell told CNN. "We’re thrilled to help the community to help these kids out. These are great kids who had a bit of a bad luck, but they’re all delightful and wonderful. For us and our friends, it’s just been an eye-opening and beautiful experience." Some of those fun activities have included clowns performing for the children, as well as friends coming over to play football with them. The kids also took part in arcade games in Bell’s special game room and were serenaded over dinner by singers and a live guitarist. The Bells also treated the young girls to manicures.
Stephanie and the Heart Gallery LA are dedicated to finding adoptive families for our hardest to place children in foster care using the power of amazing photographs. Stephanie shares emotional joyful momemts with stories about when she found a home for a frightened, hard to place young teen and when she discovered in her 20's that she had a sister that she had never known about before and how they reunited. Share this episode with those who may be interested in finding joy through adopting or fostering a child. Stephanie asks of the Heaven on Earth Club "I would love for your listeners to share this podcast, encourage others to get involved or even take the leap of faith and become a foster or adoptive parent. Above all, I hope your listeners can reach into their hearts and find a way to make the world a better place for kids in foster care, even if they can't adopt. I manage another great program called Kidsave which is a way to set to know our kids via a hosting/mentoring program with events every month. It is perfect for those who aren't quite ready to jump into adoption.
"I'm trying to get a new family that will love me. Secure roof over my head. Love me as a daughter," she said. The term fast friends was meant for Kanzes. "Oh, this one's easy," she says as she smells a test tube in the Test Kitchen at The Thinkery children's museum in Austin. "Yeah, lemon, yeah it has to be lemon," she said. We wafted and wondered about what her forever family will be like. "I always dreamed to sing. Kanzes brightens every room. Her friends, and there's a lot of them, describe her as kind, generous and honest.
On any given day, there are nearly 428,000 children in foster care in the U.S. In 2015 alone there were 670,000. In Alabama, there are 6,000 children living in Foster care. 300 of these children desire and need a permanent family. These children need a place to call home, parents who will treat them with love, warmth and respect. The statistics for children who age out with out being adopted are grim: 1 in 5 will be homeless, 1 in 4 will be incarcerated, less than 3% will earn their college degree.
Abby Ciccolo is Jason's mentor. She and her boyfriend first saw him in the Adoption Rhode Island Heart Gallery, and then in a Tuesday's Child story. That's when they decided to sign up for training through Adoption Rhode Island and Foster Forward. Once approved, committed to one year, an hour a week to Jason. They take him out to see things he's never seen before and just give him attention.
A few weeks ago, this picture went viral on our Facebook page. It’s a letter to foster care from Maddy, a child placed into care with Jen Jarvey, one of our licensed foster parents. Her adoption was finalized in February and she then wrote this letter. You are all doing awesome things for the children of Milwaukee and this is proof of that.
With the hope of finding more citizens who are willing to become foster parents, the Meeker County Department of Family Services is revamping their licensing process to ease potential providers through the necessary requirements. This will include updating the county website at the end of September with a foster care page in order to provide details on training, along with more information. Though the process follows statutory requirements, the efforts of prospective foster parents do not go unappreciated. According to Tina Schenk, social worker and child foster care licenser, Meeker County currently has five licensed foster care homes, but this is not enough to meet overall needs of Family Services. Unfortunately, some children placed in foster care still get sent to outside communities.
The Tulsa World is partnering with the Oklahoma Heart Gallery to raise awareness of the need for permanent families for children in the Department of Human Services custody. These children have had their parental rights terminated and are available for adoption. Learn about some of them. Oklahoma Heart Gallery project raises awareness of children waiting for adoption. The program showcases professional-quality portraits of children waiting to be adopted out of state custody with the Department of Human Services. Photographers such as Gay Larson of Tulsa volunteer to shoot the portraits.
"There's a shortage of foster parents and there's also more kids in Foster Care," said Robin Reese, executive director at Lucas County Children's Services. "That is due to the opiate and heroin epidemic that we're facing."
"What we need is for families to say, I can do that," said regional director of Child Protective Services Shawn Vandygriff. She hopes that meeting with churches about the foster crisis will help bring awareness to Lubbock residents. Due to the lack of willing families in Lubbock, Child Protective Services started sending foster kids to other cities in Texas for them to have a chance at finding foster families. But Vandygriff said that's not ideal since it takes the kids away from their school, friends, other relatives and their home city. Two hundred foster kids are waiting for their forever families. And there are currently 1,200 children in the foster system in Lubbock.
The state of Nebraska has 3,400 children in the foster care system, and about 40 children in Otoe County need a permanent placement. Makayla Schippert, recruitment coordinator for KVC Nebraska, visited the Nebraska City Rotary Club Wednesday afternoon to give club members information on what her agency does. KVC Nebraska is a behavioral health agency that has the best interests of children as one of its main focuses. KVC works with families to maintain safe and secure homes for children, and it also offers foster parenting training and follow-up to help children who cannot currently live with their birth families.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which orchestrates the Angels in Adoption® Program, will honor Greenvillian Clark Smith at an awards ceremony on September 26 and gala on September 27 in Washington, D.C. Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-04) congratulated Mr. Smith for his outstanding advocacy as Chairman of South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation. “Congratulations to our Angel in Adoption, Clark Smith, Chairman of the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation. Through his passion for video production and his heart for foster children, he has opened the door for hundreds of families looking into adoption. His impact on the lives of South Carolina’s foster care community is immeasurable.” “The Angels in Adoption® Program is a unique annual opportunity in the nation’s Capital to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the power of adoption and the unspoken heroes who have made the dream of a family a reality for children.
When Christine DeLoach decided to adopt, a few questions crossed her mind. Would an adoption agency be concerned that she was a single mother? What about the limited space in her small New York City apartment? Would her age matter? A decade later, the Chicagoan is mom to three boys. She adopted her first son, Nathan, who is now 11, from Ethiopia in 2008. After moving from New York to Chicago, she adopted her son Andrew, 5, in 2015 through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services foster care process. She is now hoping to legally adopt Andrew’s biological brothers, 1-year-old John Robert and 4-week-old Joshua, who lives with them. Along with adoption advocates, she has a message for people who want to be parents — don’t count yourself out. Many people assume factors from salary to age are deal breakers in an adoption application. To be sure, it is a complex process.
Christian and Izzy hope to share their big hearts with a forever family whose love is true. "They are such loving children and they just need to find the right fit for them. A permanent home. A permanent placement with people who care for them," said Lowther. You can view Christian and Izzy's profile at The Heart Gallery of Central Texas website which features hundreds of Central Texas children who are available for adoption. It's is an outreach program of the non-profit organization Partnerships for Children.
The day that changed the course of Jon Cardoza’s life started out as a fairly ordinary one. He’d gotten in trouble at school – again – and was sitting down over sandwiches that afternoon to endure yet another lecture from his mentor. “That was the day he popped the question,” Jon recalls now, more than a year later. “He was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you are so frustrating; I should just adopt you.’” At 16 years old, Jon had given up on the idea that he would ever be adopted. He’d spent the first dozen years of his life enduring abuse and neglect from biological family members. After several reports from teachers and neighbors of suspected abuse, he was removed from the home and spent the next several years bouncing around the foster care system. One of the only constants in his life had been Tom Bauer, a 50-year-old man who’d been reluctantly trained to be an advocate for children in foster care and had taken on Jon’s case when Jon was 12 years old.
Victor Rojas gives a behind-the-scenes account of a recent Miami Heart Gallery photo shoot.
12-year-old Angelica has been through unimaginable heartache and grief during her nine long years in foster care. She was almost adopted - on two different occasions - but in both cases, the foster parent passed away. Angelica tells me, she has just one faint memory of the day long ago, when she was taken away from her biological family when she was 3 years old. "The only one thing that I remember was kicking the back of the car," she said. And though she knows, she was removed from her home to keep her safe, Angelica says growing up in the system, has had its ups and downs. "It's been hard but easy at the same time because I met people that I really loved and cared about me," Angelica said. A few years ago, Angelica was in the process of being adopted by her foster mom, but sadly, she died of cancer. That woman's friend, then decided to take in and adopt Angelica, but she too, became ill.
The Program Assistant will contribute to Ampersand Families’ mission by managing the Minnesota Heart Gallery, taking responsibility for all clerical and logistical aspects of our programs and providing administrative support to program staff. A successful candidate for this position will be someone who has extraordinarily strong organizational skills and a keen eye for details – the person others rely on to keep things moving smoothly ‘behind the scenes’. The Program Assistant keeps the administrative pieces under control, thus setting older youth from foster care and the families who adopt them up for success.
Using a cost-benefit analysis technique that averages together costs of various life outcomes (i.e. the average cost of a child born to a mother under 21, the average cost of detaining a prisoner, the average cost of medical fees for victims of abuse, etc.) to arrive at effective foster care costs for allowing those outcomes to occur, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative’s (JCYOI) 2013 estimates, it cost the United States roughly $300,000 per child that aged out of the foster care system. With the 26,000 children that aged out that year, the total expense for the nation was about $7.8 billion.
A new national survey is offering hope for American kids waiting to be adopted: More people than ever are becoming parents in nonbiological ways, according to the new report conducted by the Thomas Foundation. The results showed that among Americans looking to adopt, nearly 80 percent of the group would consider accepting a child for foster care as a first step toward adoption. That percentage has steadily increased over the last five years.
New York currently has approximately twenty-five hundred children waiting to be adopted. Two years ago a federal lawsuit was filed in the state on behalf of 19 children who were mistreated in foster care. The state’s child welfare system is in serious need of help. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is donating $7.5 million to the Administration for Children Services in New York to increase the number of city adoption recruiters from two to forty-three.
Adoption can be a daunting process, and it can be hard to gather all the facts about the process. Here are the answers to six adoption questions you may have been afraid to ask. Have you ever wanted more information about adoption but have been afraid to ask? Sometimes we feel as if our questions are insensitive. Other times we believe that if we start asking questions we’ll feel pressured to commit. I’m an adopted mom of seven kids, and I asked some of my friends to share their most pressing questions. Here are the most common ones...
Malik has a social nature and loves being around others! He enjoys having someone to talk to and appreciates the significance of having someone that he trusts nearby. Initially, Malik can appear shy, but over time and with trust he will open up and begin to value time with those he cares about and will offer a welcoming smile. A two-parent family in which Malik can be the oldest child is preferred; however, all family types will be considered. He would like to maintain contact with his sister following placement. Due to this connection, a family in OKLAHOMA or surrounding states is preferred. Financial assistance may be available for adoption-related services. For Oklahoma children, both homestudied and non-homestudied Oklahoma families are encouraged to inquire; only homestudied families from other states should do so.
Iowans for adoption will hold its first banquet at Glen Oaks Country Club in Des Moines 5-9pm September 28. Channel 13's Erin Kiernan will be one of the guest speakers.
Great Explorations Children’s Museum will open our newest exhibit, Home for All, on Wednesday, August 30 at 9:30 a.m. with a private ribbon cutting for sponsors, community partners and media. Home for All is brought to you by Heart Gallery of Pasco & Pinellas, Duke Energy, and Hobbs Foundation. It opens to the public at 10 a.m. The Home for All exhibit is an interactive wall of a village filled with tiny houses. Guest will be able to build families with wooden dolls of varying cultures and abilities. There will also be books about what makes a home a home, the makeup of your family, and foster care. “This is a great opportunity for children and families to learn about adoption and open a dialogue about the many diverse makeups of families,” Nance added. “We know the community is going to love this exhibit.”
Gabby, 16, has a strong faith, loves to play football and wants to spend the day riding roller coasters at Dollywood. She's goofy and smart and says an ideal family looks like this: "To be loved and accepted." To learn more about Gabby and inquire about adoption visit http://heartgalleryoftn.com/portfolio/gabby/ And, hey, maybe Dolly Parton would ride the roller coaster with Gabby? Please share this wonderful teen's story.
The number of children in foster care grew from 7,539 in 2012 to 8,295 in 2016, an increase of 756. During that same time, the number of foster care field staff in the department dropped 3.3 percent. So 47 percent of the caseworkers in 2016 were carrying much more than the recommended 10-case limit. During fiscal years 2012 through 2016, 85.4 percent of the children entered foster care in Louisiana because of neglect, 13 percent because of sexual abuse and 1.6 percent for other reasons.
See the most recently updated children who are waiting for adoption at the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange. Remember, children never outgrow the need for parents!
When it comes to the subjects of fostering and adoption, Newtown Congregational Church Associate Pastor Kristin Provost Switzer and her husband, Scott, walk the talk — and then some… and then some more. During a recent foster and adoption workshop she hosted in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the local clergy member and Newtown native explained why the calling for individuals and couples to take on young children facing a crisis at home is so intense right now. “Scott and I are first-time fosters,” she said, recalling that after the couple became qualified foster parents, “There was one weekend where we had nine calls for separate foster placements.”
Recruiters have seen a surge of interest in foster parenting since the Times-News this spring published a three-part series on Idaho’s severe shortage of foster parents. “It’s been hard to keep up with it all,” said Ellen Leavitt, who handles foster parent licensing for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Twin Falls office. Health and Welfare this spring was desperate for more local foster parents.
What happens to the kids who “age out” of the foster care system? Several months ago, CBS4 began looking into that question. The goal: to tell the stories of these young people facing daunting challenges, along with the stories of people all across Colorado working together to help them. Why is this so important? Because children who connect with a family are more likely to continue their education, get a good job, stay healthy, and raise thriving families of their own. Children who do not, sadly, are more likely to become homeless or get involved with drugs or prostitution, and/or end up in jail. That’s why solving this problem is so important to Colorado – we can create a better life for these children and in turn make our state even stronger.
Why does the State of Connecticut need foster homes? Do the children's parents visit in the foster home? Does the state pay foster parents? What about health insurance? Do I need to have an empty bedroom to take a foster child?...
Visit the Heart Gallery at the Chapel Hill Mall Food Court The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit of photographs of local children who are currently in foster care and awaiting adoption. The children are boys and girls of all ages who are waiting for a permanent family to love, care for, accept and make them feel safe and secure. The children dream of finding a forever family to be their own. The Heart Gallery will be on display throughout the year at various locations in Summit County. For more information on the Heart Gallery, please call (330) 379-2055.
Guests to City Hall will notice a digital screen flashing short videos and still photos of foster children with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) who are available for adoption. Surrounding the monitor are photo displays of families who have adopted some of the children. City of Las Cruces associates completed the installation on Aug. 22.
Curtis was born in September of 2002. He loves to play basketball, swim at the pool, play card games and play on his tablet. If Curtis was able to plan a day all about him he would do a variety of things. He would want to play cards, basketball, and on his tablet. He would want to perform magic tricks and go out to eat.
There are more children than usual at Jitters coffee shop in Eagle River. They hang on the walls in large black frames, surrounding patrons who sip their beverages and munch on treats. The professional pictures, taken by volunteers, highlight children in the Alaska foster care system who are legally free and available for adoption. Also included is information the children chose to share about themselves. Kenny, born in 2001, holds a lightsaber. Nathan, born in 2004, hopes he finds a family that will let him keep his pet guppies. Stone, born in 1999, wants to be an FBI agent. “People are all googly over animals when there are children who need homes,” says Stella Huffer, Jitters customer and resident of Eagle River, as she eyes the pictures.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to prepare for the arrival of a foster child is to educate yourself with as much background information and history as you can about the child. Do not be concerned if you have a large number of questions for your caseworker when you are first approached about of a placement of a child in your house. While the caseworker may not have all the answers, you will find valuable information by asking.
Back to school is an exciting time but it is sometimes the hardest part of the year for foster children. "The beginning of the school year is typically a struggle for our kids," said adoption caseworker Allison McGill. "For us, it's just really important for the kids to start off the first day with everything they need to feel like every other child," said Marcus Cantu, a community partners coordinator for Partnerships for Children. Cantu runs the "Rainbow Room," an outreach program of the non-profit Partnerships for Children. It's open 24/7 to caseworkers like McGill.
Rita Soronen, the President and CEO of the foundation talked with SPECTRUM about this issue. She says that 80 percent of Americans who consider adoption now consider adopting a foster child. This is a significant increase over the past five years. Foster children are often children taken away from birth parents by court orders for their safety. Instead, they are put in foster homes for their care. The study shows that four out of five children in foster care are there through no fault or actions of their own. “These children are just like any other child. They’ve simply had a rough start in life,” Soronen says. “But they are available for adoption and they deserve to find a permanent family and a safe home.”
In a span of less than 10 years, Jamie and Josh Procknow fostered more than 20 children. Today, they are the parents of 8, who range in age from 9 to 26, and Jamie is working as a foster parent recruiter. Jamie talked with us about her approach to parenting and her work finding families for children in care.
After being in and out of the foster care system for more than a decade, 18-year-old Carson Petersen recently found his forever home after he was adopted by his foster parents, Tex and Renee Petersen, last month. After “going down the wrong path,” as he put it, Carson was placed with the Petersen family in 2014 and he said his life began to turn around. His grades improved, he quit smoking and drinking, and he started training to become a firefighter, which he hopes to do after he graduates next year.
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.
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!
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