|"All Children Deserve a Family"|
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 101,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 25,000 age out of foster care every year, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.
Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster? Or maybe you can start a Heart Gallery or volunteer for one?
Source: AFCARS 2014, for fiscal year 2013
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 120 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.
Now, in its fourteenth 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
|Video courtesy of Children’s Board Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay|
The Indiana RAPT conference is intended to provide an annual venue for Indiana State Department of Child Services Resource Parents to obtain current and up-to-date training on issues affecting families. It is also an opportunity for families to form informal networks of support not only at the plenary sessions but also in individual workshops. The RAPT conference is intended to provide an annual venue for the professionals who support Resource Parents to receive training, as well.
The Louisiana Department of Children and Fmaily Services and the City of Monroe invite you to participate in a WALK/RUN FOR A FOREVER HOME at Chennault Park in Monroe. John Godwin of A&E's Duck Dynasty will kick off the race! Register now by calling Wanda Washington at (318) 362-3446, or just be there on the day of the event!
On Friday, November 6, 2015 Children Awaiting Parents will be hosting our annual Heart Gallery at Rochester Museum and Science Center as part of our National Adoption Month Celebration. The Heart Gallery will showcase artistic photos of foster youth who are waiting to be adopted by permanent, loving families as well as successful adoptive family portraits. We invite you to join us in increasing awareness of the need for adoptive homes for the longest-waiting, older children in foster care. This year’s Heart Gallery will feature a luncheon with guest speaker, Dr. Michael Bradley, adolescent psychologist, award-winning author of teen parenting books and adoptive parent of a child from the foster care system.
Come join us for a session of learning how to become a foster or adoptive parent. You will learn more information about the many children in Shelby County who are currently waiting to be adopted. Some of these children will be present at the event. We will also feature an adoptive parent speaker to educate you on the adoption process. We will also show "In Our Own Words", videos by children currently awaiting adoption, and overall community awareness.
Twenty-five years ago, Janice Goldwater had a vision. As a social worker in Montgomery County, Goldwater saw the need for an organization to find adoptive families for hard-to-place children. She founded Adoptions Together (AT) to conquer the challenge of finding permanent homes for children regardless of their age, race or health issues. The motto of her organization is “Every child, every family, and every step of the way.”
There will be a special exhibit opening October 8th featuring portraits of West Virginia foster children who are eligible for adoption. The Heart Gallery is intended to touch hearts and find families for children waiting to be adopted. Photographers from across the state have volunteered their time and talent to create intimate, compelling portraits of children in West Virginia waiting to be adopted. The belief is that putting a “face” to the need, increases the chance that these children will find their forever families. You can find the exhibit at Kanawha County Public Library, Main Branch, 123 Capitol St., Charleston, WV
Traveling photographic exhibit, Heart Gallery will be stopping at the Greenburgh Public Library in Greenburgh. Here, County Executive Robert P. Astorino will also declare it “Adoption Awareness Day” in Westchester County.
A slideshow showcasing the many children in Michigan who are waiting for a forever family.
The Heart Gallery raises awareness of Tampa’s foster children and engages the community in their welfare and security. The Heart Gallery is a unique photographic exhibit created to find adoptive families, mentors or Birthday Buddies. Come and see the exhibit on Sundays in October in the cafeteria during Sunday Café. Representatives from the HEART GALLERY will be present with the exhibit on October 11th.
The Illinois Heart Gallery has opened on the brand new icap website... and invites Illinois residents to help out by hosting a Heart Gallery display -- at their church, business, or other location. October 1st is a pivotal day for iCAP. On this day, Adoptions Unlimited, Inc. officially becomes the Illinois Center for Adoption & Permanency (iCAP). Over the last year, we have explored many ways we need to change in order to be more effective in creating measurable, positive impact for the children of Illinois who are seeking permanency in their lives! As a result of those efforts, we have a new strategy for child-centered care, new opportunities for strategic partnerships, and a new website and name. This is the start of an exciting new era for our organization. Amidst all these changes, we carry forward the heart and soul of a 40+ year legacy: the belief that every child deserves a loving, forever family!
Jesse Opela hunched on a plastic chair in the "music room" at Central Juvenile Hall, a cramped space with no air conditioning, an old CD boombox, a keyboard and a bookshelf filled with aging bestsellers. Tears rolled down the sturdy 17-year-old's face as he apologized to his probation officer. "I messed up everything," Jesse said. "I had so many chances and I messed all of them up." Not too long ago, Jesse had dared to dream that he would be one of the lucky ones — not like most of the other kids in the probation-run foster care system. For some of the most troubled young wards of the state, the chance of being adopted, or even placed in a foster home, once they've broken the law is near zero. Jesse's chances looked even smaller.
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - He has lived in a group home for more than half of his young life and dreams about moving out one day soon. Social workers say 11-year-old Skyller has a good sense of humor and a lot of friends at school. But what he's missing, is a forever family to come to each day - a family to give him the unconditional love he has lived without for far too long. “He's living at a group home, he's been there for a very long time, about five years, and I know that, he really wants to leave the group home and be in a stable, loving home,” said protective services worker, Cynthia Partida. Moving out, topped Skyller's list when I asked what his three wishes would be,...
Janet Sandlin pulled wheeled luggage containing her important possessions over the cobblestones in the Meatpacking District last week, past posh clothing stores and charming eateries and under the High Line Park, to a patch of sidewalk near the West Side Highway. She stopped and pointed a borrowed Canon digital camera at the spot, and snapped a picture. “This is where I used to sleep,” said Ms. Sandlin, 54 years old, who was aimless and homeless in New York City for 15 years until May. Ms. Sandlin was accompanied last Tuesday by renowned photographer Deborah Feingold, portraitist of rock stars and world leaders, who mentors Ms. Sandlin in a program called Through the Eyes of the Homeless, sponsored by the nonprofit Heart Gallery NYC Inc. and the city’s Department of Homeless Services.
I don’t remember where I first heard about the South Carolina Heart Gallery. I think it was in a magazine. I do remember almost instantly going online to check it out. For me and my husband, becoming foster parents was a process of baby steps. The first step was going to the South Carolina Heart Gallery page and looking at the faces of children currently in foster care, awaiting adoption. A quick e-mail requesting information directed us to DSS. Within days we received a packet from them with information about licensing our home and family for foster care. Also in the mail that day was a copy of a local magazine, which featured the adoption story of a local family who started as foster parents.
Andy is an energetic 10-year-old Caucasian boy who would benefit from having an active family. He is currently playing baseball, but has played most sports in their seasons. He is said to be a talented basketball player and has expressed a desire to play hockey again. Andy is willing to try new activities and challenges, and like most boys his age, he loves playing video games. Andy also has a creative side and enjoys arts and crafts and listening to music, which he finds calming.
The Indiana Heart Gallery, a traveling exhibit featuring compelling portraits of children in need of adoptive families, is stopping in Indianapolis at Trinity Church, 9709 Allisonville Rd. Sept. 25 – Oct. 5. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) uses the Heart Gallery’s professional portraits and stories about foster children in Indiana to help put a face on a sometimes invisible need and remind families that adoption can change lives. There is no charge to see the Gallery. For more information, visit encountertrinity.com/. The gallery will be open Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sun. 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Opening night of the new Oklahoma Waiting Child Heart Gallery exhibit! What a humbling experience to meet these children in person! An amazing group of children, social workers, photographers and foster families all brought together under the thoughtful hand of Gay Larson who works many tireless hours to bring this exhibit to life! Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks as we unveil the latest photos and the new website!! Please contact DHS to inquire about any of the waiting children.
When a couple took in two young children, temporarily, they never thought they would actually become the children's forever family. That was five years ago. Today, they are just that, the forever family of 10-year-old Gilbert and 13-year-old Azeret!
Non-profit partner of CYFD, Heart Gallery of New Mexico was recently created and is working to support New Mexico's foster youth and will work to raise funds necessary to expand, approve and support the Heart Gallery of New Mexico as well as other New Mexico initiatives which encourage adoption through foster care.
Zeke is 17, a Hispanic teenager who enjoys going fishing and playing sports like baseball, basketball, football, and dodgeball. He hopes to be a police officer or firefighter when he is old enough. Zeke is an engaging young man and has developed strong relationships with the people in his life. He has a great sense of humor and is called kindhearted and fun-loving by those who know him best.
In Boone County, the only problem with good foster parents is that there aren’t enough of them to go around. On Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, the Boone County Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) hosted an adoption and foster care awareness event at the Fountain of Life Worship Center in Foster. “We are trying to recruit more foster parents in Boone County,” said Patty Ferrell, Child Protective Services Supervisor in Boone County. “There’s really only two things you need, and that is a home and love. If you have those two things, you can be a great foster parent.”
Looking for something to do on a rainy day or a night in? Curious about how adoption and foster care are depicted in the media?
There are many myths surrounding adopting from foster care. It is hard to do? Do the kids have all sorts of problems? How much does it cost? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Rita Soronen, President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. For more than 30 years, she has worked on behalf of abused, neglected and vulnerable children, providing leadership for local, state and national efforts.
Coffee County is in dire need of foster parents, according to Gwynne Alexander, foster parent support case manager for the Coffee County Department of Children’s Services (DCS). “Coffee County does have a lot of young people who come into custody,” she said. “We don’t have enough foster parents here to accommodate them and children end up having to go out of county.” DCS and Tullahoma First United Methodist Church will host “Fostering Hope,” an educational outreach event for those interested in becoming foster parents. First United Methodist Church is located at 208 W. Lauderdale St. and the event will take place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Fostermore has launched a third Heart Gallery in the greater Los Angeles area on their website, featuring five listings. Foster More is a foster-parenting resource for the Los Angeles area and provides a website with information about foster care in the United States.
Not one, two, three or four – but five children in foster care have just been adopted into one forever family. Our Kendra McNamara partners with the Heart Gallery of Northwest Texas each month to feature foster children in a story. Back in January, Kendra shared the story of this sibling group who were separated by the system. Their only wish was to all be adopted together. And we are pleased to announce that that wish has come true. Daniel, Quintana, Desiree, Reynaldo and Anthony have found their forever family together.
She has only five more years, before she turns 18 and ages out of the foster care system. Teyawna, 13, is optimistic she will find a loving home before then and asked to be featured on Adopt 8, hoping her future forever family is watching. In this Adopt 8, we check in with Teyawna, who was on Adopt 8 once before in 2010. Back then, she was a giggly seven-year-old second grader, who loved Science. Teyawna has since grown up to be a teenager and she celebrated her 13th birthday in July. She asked her social worker if she could be featured once again on adopt 8 for one more chance at finding a forever home.
PALO ALTO, California – The number of foster children in California who live in family-like placements, instead of shelters or group homes, has declined since 1998, according to the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. Children fare best in families. To preserve the wellbeing of children who enter the foster care system, out-of-home placements must be in the setting that most closely resembles family life. The same holds true for children in the child welfare system.
Foster children in southwest Missouri have started a non-profit charity to help other foster children.To date, they’ve served an estimated 1,000 children in eight counties in Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma. In the United States, nearly 400,000 children live without permanent families in the foster care system, according to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. More than 100,000 are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32 percent of those children will wait more than three years in foster care before being adopted.
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.