|"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|
New Exhibit Raising Awareness About Teens in Foster Care Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco is debuting its newest traveling exhibit at the Gulfport Library, Tuesday, September 26. In celebration of the exhibit, there will be a small opening reception at the library located at, 5501 28th Ave. S, Gulfport, from 10-11 a.m. Light refreshments will be served. The ‘Can You’ collection, is a traveling exhibit comprised of six large canvases posing questions to raise awareness about how teens in foster care can benefit from being adopted by a loving family. With the increasing number of teens entering the foster care system, the Heart Gallery created this campaign to help recruit families through educating the community. The ‘Can You’ exhibit will remain at the Gulfport Library through the month of October before moving to the Pasco County Judicial Center for National Adoption Month in November.
Westchester County Department of Social Services in collaboration with Orange County Department of Social Services will display - A “Heart Gallery” at the Greenburgh Library - a traveling showcase of portraits of children in need of permanent, loving, forever, adoptive families. 3 DAYS ONLY October 18th, 19th, 20th at 2:00PM - 4:00PM Many of the children in the “Heart Gallery” are older and have special needs. They need that “forever” home as much as younger children. No child should grow up without being part of a family. Every child needs to feel love and belonging, and know that it is permanent and forever. For further Information, contact (914) 721-8200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Heart Gallery Alabama is celebrating 12 years of finding forever families! We are hosting our third annual Heart Gallery Heroes fundraiser on Friday, October 20th. This event will include an auction of unique items, live music, wine pull, raffle, food and drink and an awards presentation. Heart Gallery Alabama (HGA) is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to promote adoption of children in Alabama’s foster care system. We do this by recruiting professional photographers, videographers and using our own social worker to help tell each child’s unique story. These children’s images are placed in a travel exhibit and on our website where potential adoptive families can learn more about them. Since 2005 we have helped find families for over 600 children!
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!
Open your heart. Open your home. That's the message Children Awaiting Parents (CAP) seeks to impart at The Judge Wagner 2017 Heart Gallery, a display of more than 20 photographs of children in need of adoptive families, on view at The Strong museum from November 1 through 30, 2017 during National Adoption Month. Area photographers volunteered to take the pictures on display in The Judge Wagner 2017 Heart Gallery, and the resulting portraits capture each child’s unique personality. "It is because of partners like The Strong that we are able to connect to families in our area," says Charles Reaves, executive director of CAP. "Children Awaiting Parents is dedicated to finding adoptive families for children in foster care who are waiting for loving parents of their own. National Adoption Month celebrates the creation of families for all children. This gallery helps make those connections." The first Heart Gallery took place in New Mexico in 2001. Since then, the concept has been replicated across the country. The majority of the children in the program are age 10 or older; live in either residential care facilities or foster homes; and are in need of permanent families. Some of the children may be part of a sibling group.
Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association creates stability and permanence for abused and neglected children by empowering and advocating for foster and adoptive families in Central Missouri. November is National Adoption Awareness Month. To celebrate this, the event will also feature the Heart Gallery of Missouri exhibition of photographs of foster children awaiting adoption. The exhibit aims to increase the number of families willing to open their hearts and homes to children and youth in foster care. The ticket price for the evening is $40 per person and $70 for a couple.
Have you ever thought about adopting a child? Are you or someone you know thinking about starting or expanding your family? There are many children who absolutely deserve and want to be a part of a loving family. Invest a few hours of your time and let us show you how the adoption process works; all of the supports available both pre- and post-adoption; and the amazing rewards starting or growing your family through adoption. The Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Coalition Team (FAKCT) is bringing together foster care and adoption agencies from across Connecticut to kick off National Adoption Month.
In honor of National Adoption Month, the Heart Gallery of Tampa is teaming up with Soho Cycling in South Tampa to raise $50,000 for local foster children waiting for a place to call home. 50 local riders will spin their hearts out for 50 local foster children on Sat., Nov. 4th at Soho Cycling. 100% of donations raised support the good work of the Heart Gallery of Tampa, as they find forever families for local foster children.
Every year Melissa Montana hosts the Adoption Celebration and she makes it unique each time. Our 19th annual Adoption Celebration will be Saturday, November 4th, from 3pm – 5pm. It's at Central Ministries on Schwartz Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's a beautiful church and location for this event. Booths open at 3pm. The adoption celebration is for adoptive families who have adopted or want to learn more.
The Heart Gallery of Sacramento invites you to attend its annual November Gala and silent auction fundraiser. Proceeds from this event help create photographic portraits of foster children and youth waiting for forever families in the Sacramento region. These portraits capture the spirit and personality of each child and are displayed within the Sacramento community at various venues, raising awareness about adoption and foster care. The evening includes viewing the Heart Gallery's children and youth portraits, renditions of archived Heart Gallery images, a highly popular silent auction and Hors d'oeuvres by Evan's Catering. Please bring an unwrapped toy for a boy or a girl, that will be distributed to the children at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. Semi-formal dress attire.Location: Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California 7th Floor Board Room 2425 Stockton Blvd. Sacramento, CA 95817
Do you have a heart for kids in crisis? Orphan care is the topic of a Lunch & Learn event open to the public Sunday, Nov. 5, at 12:30 p.m. at Batesville Christian Church, 1294 Columbus Ave. Area representatives will discuss foster care, domestic and international adoption, Court-Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children, support for foster and adoptive families and the effect of foster children on biological children. The event is sponsored by the Indiana Department of Child Services, National Youth Advocate Program, CASA of Franklin County, Indiana Heart Gallery and The Villages, Indianapolis. Lunch and child care will be provided. To RVSP by Oct. 29: www.batesvillechristianchurch.org or 812-934-5147.
The Women's Bar Section of the Hidalgo County Bar Association invites you to the 9th Annual Heart Gallery of Hidalgo County. The purpose of the HEART GALLERY OF HIDALGO COUNTY is to promote awareness, understanding, and ADOPTION of children in the foster care program. The Heart Gallery accomplishes this by coordinating a traveling photographic exhibit designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our South Texas community. This year, the Heart Gallery exhibit will include twenty-three portraits of children and/or sibling groups currently available for adoption in the South Texas area.
Please be our guest at our 4th annual REVEAL, an event to celebrate the children in foster care waiting a forever family and the community that supports them. A program of Partnerships for Children, The Heart Gallery of Central Texas connects children available for adoption with loving families. Each day their are more than 850 children in Central Texas waiting for a family, a place to call home. We partner with local professional photographers, who donate their time, to bring awareness to the children in foster care awaiting adoption.
The Sellati Dance Studio Presents An Afternoon of Song and Dance. A concert to celebrate national adoption month. An event to celebrate foster and adoptive families and shed a light on foster care and adoption needs in Connecticut. Saturday, November 18, 3pm. Whitney Center, Cultural Arts Center, 200 Leeder Hill Drive, Hamden, Connecticut, 06517. Phone: 203-281-6745. Admissions are free and donations will gladly be accepted. Guest Speaker: Jacqueline Ford, MSW, Department of Children and Families Statewide Foster Care and Adoption Recruitment Specialist and Heart Gallery Coordinator.
"Adoption: Why not you? Children never outgrow the need for parents. We are proud to help host the 13th Annual Heart Gallery-Brownsville Adoption Gallery here at the Children's Museum of Brownsville. "Many community volunteers and child placing agency partners have come forward to assist Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to promote adoption and promote the adoption of individual children. " *Photographs in the Heart Galleries are for viewing only and may not be downloaded, used, or published without the express permission of DFPS and the photographers who took them.*
In Illinois, obtaining a foster care license is the first step in becoming a foster parent or an adoptive parent. This map is designed to allow you to find foster care licensing agencies close to your home. This map was designed by Let It Be Us to make this process easier. (If you are a licensing agency and are not listed on this map, please contact us and let us know.)
We LOVE adoption!
Foster Parenting Tweens and Teens A brother and sister in foster care in Tennessee, ages 12 and 14, wrote letters to their foster parents in the 10th week of living with them. The letters were a surprise. "This is one of the reasons we do what we do," a DCS staff member said after reading the letters.
In this section, you will find free tools and tips to help you effectively spread the message about National Adoption Month in your community and raise awareness about the need for adoptive families for teens in foster care all year long. These free tools are ready for you to adapt and use in your promotional, outreach, and social media efforts as you help contribute to the success of this year’s initiative.
Heart Gallery of Georgia recently announced that Royal Family Kids Camp will be coming to the community in the summer of 2018. Royal Family Kids Camp is a national organization specializing in therapeutic, trauma informed summer camp programs for children ages 6-12 in the foster care system. On Oct. 1, a vision casting was held at Ziggy Mahoney’s to get the community excited and on board. The local chapter will seek to serve children south of Macon in the hopes of changing lives. For more information, visit the website Heartgalleryofga.org or contact us at 912-399-7866. Pictured are Ally Christianson, from left, Susan Crain, Amy Houston, Amy Fritchman, Beth Stanfield and Michael Christianson.
Hundreds of kids in Franklin County are waiting. These are kids who, through no fault of their own, are in need of a safe and loving home. They’re waiting for YOU. Become a Franklin County foster parent. Anyone over 21 with a stable source of income can apply. You just have to be willing.
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.
An Ohio courtroom was filled with joy on the morning of September 27. Emily Amlin added two new additions to her family. The adoption of Adrian, 4, and Adrianna, 7, was finalized by Hamilton County Probate Court Judge Ralph "Ted" Winkler. The family was surrounded by their closest friends. Their new big sister Elly, 9, told the judge, "I'm happy they can be with us." Emily is a single mom and third grade teacher at C.O. Harrison Elementary School. As a resident of Delhi Township she has been an active foster parent for over ten years. She adopted Kaley, 16, and Chloe, 14, in 2007 from foster care. Later she adopted Elly and Grace, who were 5 at the time. Amlin always felt she had the time, energy, and resources to help children on a more permanent level. "I believe we should all have some purpose here beyond ourselves," she said. "My purpose involves taking care of these special children."
It was 2:30 a.m. when we received the call. After months of training, house inspections, CPR certifications, and background checks, we were finally approved to be foster parents. Half asleep, my wife answered the phone. A five-year-old girl had been rescued from the hospital and was in need of a home, so we agreed to take her.
A Utah school's camera captured the emotional moment when an 11-year-old student learned that she was going to be adopted by her foster family. Tannah Butterfield leaped into the arms of her school's office manager, Jackie Alexander, after hearing the news. "All that excitement, joy and happiness that you see in Tannah went right through to me," Alexander, 45, told ABC News today. "We could not quit embracing. She just held me tight. It was pure joy at its finest."
Students in the grade 3-4 class at Susan Odell Taylor School may be short in stature, but they're big in heart. The lower school classroom came together last month for a packing party, the culmination of a fundraiser that began last year to benefit the nonprofit Together We Rise organization. They decorated sweet cases — duffel bags filled with supplies like hygiene kits, coloring books, teddy bears and blankets for foster children entering the system — and delivered them to Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth.
If you're looking to provide care for a child and make a difference in their life then you should consider becoming a foster parent.
Teenagers who come into foster care, or who have been in and out of the system, need unconditional acceptance, firm boundaries and a safe place to land so they can thrive. Could you be a foster parent to a teenager? Could you step up to one of the most rewarding, and possibly challenging, tasks you ever could be asked to do? “You can give them stability, life skills, a safe place to be,’’ said Tennessee foster parent J.P. Peach. Many inquiries to the Department of Children’s Services are from citizens who would like to become foster or adoptive parents to babies or young children. But, teenagers, ages 13 to 19, make up 43% of the caseload and child welfare agencies – public and private – are in need to families willing to work specifically with teenagers.
This is Ricardo. He is a 7-year-old boy. Ricardo is a loving, affectionate little boy who has lots of energy. He can be shy at first, but he warms up quickly and has a desire to please. He enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, swimming and being involved in community activities such as sports, music and art events. His favorite toys include big trucks and tractors as well as colors and art supplies. Ricardo attends therapy where he is learning to ask for the things he needs, directing his energy in positive ways and learning to regulate his behavior. At school, Ricardo benefits from an individualized education plan where he is learning to stay on task and follow directions.
Danielle Bartelli, president of KVC Kansas says “I lose a lot of sleep in this field because you worry as if they are your own children," she said. "I worry about my staff having to sleep in the office with these children. They know these kids so well it is hard for them to watch families denied placement of a child and they have to bring the child back to the office.” Bartelli says they need more foster parents. But if that sounds like a long term commitment that you can’t make she says you can still help. KVC Kansas has a program where you can assist existing foster parents. You could also volunteer to watch a child for a weekend or a few days. You could also volunteer to tutor or become a mentor. Bartelli says all of these volunteers go through background checks and training before interacting with a child.
This is absolutely not true as every foster parent must meet strict requirements for their own financial stability before they can be considered as a foster parent.
Larry Wilson has been running for most of his life. Wilson has lost count of the times he’s moved cities,and guesses he’s been in eight or nine group homes. He doesn’t know his biological mother or father. He was adopted once, but that dissipated when the adoptive mother abandoned him. The lone constant through the chaos? Football. If Wilson has been blessed with anything, it’s tremendous speed and vision on a football field, a combination that has made him a natural at running back since he first cradled a ball when he was 6 years old. Now 16 and a junior at Valley Center, Wilson is still sprinting past defenders and scoring touchdowns, but now his life away from football isn’t moving at the same speed. Wilson doesn’t wonder about the name of the next city he’ll move to or the awkward introductions or the new friends he’ll have to make.
For Kristin Dunn, serving as a foster parent is in her blood. Her mother and aunt had foster children over the years and now, she and her husband open their home to those in need. “I just knew that I was going to be able to honor that legacy and do something in honor of her life,” says Kristin. There’s a growing need for foster parents in the Carolinas. According to Chrysti Shain with the South Carolina Department of Social Services, Spartanburg County leads the state in both the number of children in foster care and the number of homes needed to care for those children.
Juan is an athletic twelve-year-old boy of Hispanic descent. Juan can have a competitive spirit and will gladly take on a challenge to a game of basketball! Juan also enjoys playing video games and outdoor sports, such as football and baseball. His favorite game is Uno. Juan is very involved in the community—he participates on a baseball team, basketball team, and is hoping to start lacrosse soon! Juan’s skills will continue to strengthen with the support of a family to watch his games and cheer him on. Additionally, Juan hopes that a potential family will like Spanish food, provide him with the opportunity to spend time with kids his age, have a basketball hoop, and have a dog.
Dreiling, who serves on the Tulsa Artists Coalition and Oklahoma Heart Gallery boards, began her judicial career in January 2007. She has presided over a family court docket since 2012 as well as guardianships, small civil cases and civil mental health dockets. Previously she served as a law clerk for the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, working for judges Jane Wiseman, Joe Taylor, Daniel Boudreaux and William Means. She is a graduate of Washburn University and the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Kids that grow up in the system, group homes, do not always have the opportunity to be taught or witness positive modeling of life skills the way children in the stable home environment do. They need help with job resumes, job applications, and need to be taught the importance of financial responsibility. I also assist my mentee by transporting him and supporting him during dental, doctor, and case management appointments. Mentoring with LIBU is just another way for me to be of service and hopefully make a small difference in the life of others. Children in the system need the type of support network that agencies like LIBU can provide. They need to know that there are people out there that listen to them, believe in them, and can encourage them to strive to be their best. LIBU Mentorship offers that.
Stiles is an engaging, confident young man full of life and laughter. He’s wicked smart and reads anything Stephen King writes. He’s a talented singer, and listens to music of all kinds. Stiles thinks it would be awesome to be a professional singer one day, or a motivational speaker. With his positive self-image and self-advocacy, we could all learn something from him! Stiles looks up to singer/songwriter Anna Clendening, for her ability to overcome obstacles in life and create success. If he could change one thing about this world it’d be the existence of racism and homophobia, and he’d really like to learn how to properly cook a chicken. Stiles would thrive in a supportive home as an only or youngest child, and he would like to be in an LGBT-home that enjoys quality time and has dogs.
Have you considered what need in foster care or adoption you can meet? Or are you like I was a few years ago? I really had no idea of what foster care really was. And my thoughts about adoption completely focused on me and my wish to have a child of my own. I naively thought that if I weren’t interested in fostering or adopting then it was of no concern to me. I had a shallow understanding of the needs of foster care and adoption. Seriously, because if you read more you will find a need you can and should meet. Looks like you are still here. I am glad! Here are the 5 Areas of Need in Foster Care and Adoption...
Ricky Powers has spent four years in Falcon Children’s Home, a sprawling foster care complex in northern Cumberland County that houses more than 90 children. Now 16, he arrived here after both of his parents died within a short time of each other. With long waiting lists and little demand for older children, chances are Ricky will age out of the state’s foster care system before someone adopts him. Ricky is one of more than 11,000 children in North Carolina living in foster care, a number that has ballooned 25 percent in just five years. It is an alarming indication that this state is not doing enough to prevent the types of problems that rip apart families and further strain an already burdened child welfare system, a Fayetteville Observer investigation found.
Kathy Ledesma, of Adopt U.S. Kids, and adopted teen Ashley Garcia discuss how a new initiative aims to change the number of children in foster care.
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.”
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.
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!
© 2017 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.