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.

 

When Foster Care Isn’t Temporary

The U.S. foster care system was designed to be a temporary option for children whose parents were unable or unwilling to care for them. Unfortunately, the reality is that foster care is often much less temporary than intended; instead, it becomes a “holding pattern” until a child reaches age 18.

 

You’ve heard the typical story of a child in foster care: moving from placement to placement, school to school. These children are denied a stable emotional, social and educational foundation; years of intense and sustained stress take a toll on their cognitive and emotional development.

 

There is no question that adoption is the best outcome for these children. That is why the SC Heart Gallery Foundation is so important. We provide funding and resources to support the efforts of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, using photography and video to match families with our state’s waiting children.

 

We envision a time when there are no waiting children, when there is a family chosen for each and every child in foster care. But, sadly, we also recognize that we’re not quite there yet. Approximately 30,000 children “age out” of the American foster care system every year; they lose their chance at being adopted.

 

So what happens to them? Many foster youth are very resilient; by surviving day-to-day and placement-to-placement, they become strong, self-reliant and determined. Fortunately, other organizations exist to give them opportunities and support to attend college and reach their potential.

 

Meet Estakio Beltran Estakio

 

Estakio’s childhood was spent in more foster and group homes than he can remember, but he didn’t let it slow him down. He went on to attend Gonzaga University in Washington State on scholarship. He took advantage of every opportunity offered to him, including social service, leadership, and study abroad. After college, Estakio moved to Washington D.C., where he worked for seven years in the offices of Washington Senator Maria Cantwell and California Congressman Dennis Cardoza.

 

Today, Estakio is a Congressional candidate for the 4th District of his home state of Washington. Check out his campaign website.

 

Children in foster care have so much to offer. They just need the support and opportunities to reach their potential.

 

The SC Heart Gallery Foundation provides funding and resources to support the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.