Introducing: Child Profile Videos!

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation is excited to announce that it will be rolling out a series of new videos over 2014 that will feature children waiting in foster care to encourage families to consider adoption.

 

Watch some of them here; they are sure to touch your heart.

 

The end of 2013 marked approximately one year since the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation has used a dedicated media campaign to support the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery and helping find forever homes for children in foster care in South Carolina.

 

Thanks to a series of TV and online advertising and awareness campaigns, the Foundation’s impact on the Heart Gallery’s activities has been significant and incredibly exciting. Check out these numbers:

 

2012

2013

Unique visitors to the SC Heart Gallery website

70,777

109,360

Inquiries from individuals or families interested in adopting

982

1222

New SC families who initiated the adoption application process thru the SC Heart Gallery

36

73

 

Millie Qualls, Program Coordinator of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, says that the impact of the Foundation’s media campaign so far has been incredible but that she is looking forward to what will come out of 2014.

 

“In the past, advertisements funded by the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation have been designed for general awareness about adoption from foster care. But starting this year, the Foundation will be producing videos of individual children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted,” Qualls said.

 

“This is a platform for some of our waiting children to really tell South Carolina what they are looking for in an adoptive family. It will be exciting to see what kind of impact these videos have.”

 

Today, there are approximately 3,000 children in foster care. 660 are legally free for adoption and waiting to be matched with permanent families.

 

Check out some of these new individual child videos on the South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation’s website or Vimeo here.

 

In addition, you’re invited to make a donation to support the production of these videos; each video costs approximately $250 to produce and distribute. Donations can be made by clicking the blue donate button here.

 

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Children’s Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

New Study on the Well-Being of Children Adopted From Foster Care

A recent article in Children and Youth Services Review titled “Health and Well-being of Children Adopted From Foster Care” discusses a study by Nicholas Zill and Matthew Branlett that compares the life situations and well-being of children adopted from foster care with those who remain in foster care.

 

As discussed in the article, there is currently a preference in the child welfare system for placing children in foster care with relatives, even when the relative is reluctant to adopt and has limited financial resources.

 

The article explains, “This preference for relative adoption from foster care has developed without the benefit of statistically reliable comparisons of how children fare if they are adopted from foster care as opposed to remaining in foster care or being reunited with their birth parents.”

 

The study uses data from the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and conducted by HHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Some of its findings follow:

 

·      Children adopted from foster care have more favorable home environments than children remaining in foster care.

 

·      Adopted children are more likely to have consistent health insurance coverage.

 

·      Finding adoptive homes for children in foster care is less costly to the public than having children remain in foster care or returning them to high-risk birth families.

 

·      However, the favorable home environments for adopted children are not necessarily associated with fewer child health, achievement, or behavior problems than for children who remain in foster care.

 

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

 

NOTE: “Health and Well-Being of Children Adopted From Foster Care” by Nicholas Zill and Matthew Bramlett, Children and Youth Services Review, 40, is available for purchase at ScienceDirect.com here.

 

Busting Adoption Myths

There are a lot of misconceptions floating around out there about adopting from foster care. We hear them all the time—but now it’s time to debunk the myths. Following are a few of the most common, courtesy of Adopt US Kids.

 

MYTH: Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.

 

FACT: Actually, adopting children from foster care can be virtually free. Many agencies do not charge for services they provide to families who are adopting from foster care. In addition, a growing number of companies and government agencies offer adoption assistance as part of their employee benefits packages, including time off for maternity/paternity leave, financial incentives, and other benefits.

Congress has also made federal tax credits available for foster care adoptions to help offset required fees, court costs, and legal and travel expenses. In 2012, the maximum federal tax credit for qualifying expenses was $12,170.

MYTH: All children in foster care have special needs and require special education.

 

FACT: Many children are in foster care because their birth parents weren’t protective and nurturing caretakers—not because the children did anything wrong or because there is something wrong with them.

Sometimes “special needs” is used to describe children in foster care, but this term simply refers to children who qualify for adoption assistance due to specific factors or conditions such as:

- Being an older child
- Having a particular racial or ethnic background
- Being part of a sibling group that needs to be placed together as one unit
- Medical conditions
- Physical, mental, or emotional handicaps

A child with special needs should not be confused with a child who requires special education.

MYTH: It’s easier and faster to adopt internationally than from U.S. foster care.

 

FACT: In 2011, there were 51,000 children adopted through U.S. foster care, while only 9,320 children were adopted by U.S. citizens from all international sources combined.

New regulations governing international adoptions have made adoption from other countries more challenging for U.S. citizens.

MYTH: You need a lot of money and to own a house to adopt from foster care.

 

FACT: You don’t need to own your own home, be wealthy, have children already, or be a stay-at-home parent to adopt. Most adoptions from U.S. foster care are free and any minimal costs associated with them are often reimbursable. In addition, there are many different types of resources available, such as medical assistance and financial adoption assistance, to help support and sustain adoptions from the U.S. foster care system.

MYTH: Only married couples with a stay-at-home parent can adopt children from foster care.

 

FACT: In most instances, a person’s marital status, age, income, or sexual orientation do not automatically disqualify them from eligibility to adopt. You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy, or a stay-at-home parent.

In 2011, 32 percent of children adopted from foster care were matched with either a single-parent household or unmarried couple. This includes adoptions by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families.

 

MYTH: Each child has to have a room of their own.

 

FACT: Each child needs a bed of their own, not a room of their own. In addition, children of the opposite sex may share a room if they are under an age specified by the state (usually around 6 years old). In some instances, however, there may be child-to-square-feet requirements or behavioral concerns that will prevent children from being able to share a room.

MYTH: You can’t adopt a child or sibling group from another state.

 

FACT: More than 100,000 children in U.S. foster care are available for adoption. Families adopt children from outside their state all the time. Sometimes these adoptions can take a little longer because of the process involved with moving a child from one State to another. However, the wait is worth it in the end.

 

Source: http://adoptuskids.org/for-families/how-to-adopt/common-myths-about-adoption