Still Much to Be Done

From January to May of this year, the South Carolina Heart Gallery photographed 81 children. It held over 150 photo exhibitions around the state, and it received and screened nearly 450 inquiries through the website.

 

Yet, there is still much to be done—as the demand to photograph children is only rising.

 

There are 660 children waiting to be adopted in the state of South Carolina. Thanks to the success of the S.C. Heart Gallery and the support of the S.C. Heart Gallery Foundation, more and more of these children are being photographed to be included in the Gallery.

 

Interest in our Greenville, S.C. photo shoot, for example, grew to include so many children that staff at the S.C. Heart Gallery decided to hold it over two days. Other upcoming photo sessions in Conway and Orangeburg are seeing similarly high demand.

 

Seeking Photographers

 

Obviously key to these photo shoots are the professional photographers who volunteer their time to capture these children’s portraits, which are then displayed in public venues around the state to raise public awareness of the need for adoptive families.

 

To continue to meet this increasing demand, the S.C. Heart Gallery is always looking to increase the number of photographers it can call upon to volunteer at these photo shoots.

 

Support Child Videos

 

In addition, at each upcoming photo shoot select children will also have the opportunity to appear on video, with the footage used to create their individual child profile video. All these videos are available on the S.C. Heart Gallery Foundation’s channel on Vimeo—allowing potential adoptive families to digitally “meet” these children and explore a deeper connection with them than that provided by still photography. Each of these individual child videos costs approximately $250 to produce and distribute.

 

How You Can Help

 

If you are a professional photographer who is interested in volunteering your time to help find forever homes for our state’s waiting children, please contact Millie Qualls, Program Coordinator of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, at mqualls@oepp.sc.gov.

 

If you would like to support the production of individual child videos, please click on the large blue “DONATE” button on our website.

 

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.

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.