Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Finding forever families for children in foster care.

Posts tagged child welfare

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By Rita Soronen
President and CEO

As we work to raise awareness about adoption from foster care, we frequently share stories of amazing families formed through adoption. We do this to show that families built this way are just as viable as those formed biologically. By showing success, we encourage participation. Others who see a family brought together by foster care adoption may believe, “If they can do it, I can too!”

But we get so caught up in the remarkable stories we hear that we may occasionally overlook the reasons these children came into care, and the impact it has on their lives and the lives of the family members that have joined once an adoption has been finalized. When Nia Vardalos talked about her adoption during her nationwide book tour, adoptive moms made it loud and clear that raising an adopted son or daughter is not all roses and sunshine.

Children who experience or witness violence, face traumatic loss or grief, or live with extreme instability in foster care, also may experience painful mental or physical health effects. In fact, one study of foster care alumni showed that they experienced post-traumatic stress disorder at two times the rate of U.S. war veterans. Understanding the trauma a child has experienced, and the challenges families may encounter post-adoption, can help assure that families formed through the foster care system stay intact and thrive.

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Filed under adoption foster care post adoption trauma childhood development child welfare

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Giving Tuesday

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is an official partner for the first-ever national day of giving, Giving Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, the collective power of charities, families, businesses and individuals will transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. Giving Tuesday will create a national moment around the holidays dedicated to giving, similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday are synonymous with holiday shopping.

Our goal, and the goal of many others, is to push Giving Tuesday to the forefront of the holiday season in November, rather than making it an afterthought in December or the New Year.

Please join us Nov. 27 to help make this the biggest season of giving yet. By giving to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption this year we can help make the lives of children in foster care so much better by giving them the greatest gift of all — a family to call their own, forever.

Filed under fundraising charities dave thomas foundation givingtuesday Giving Tuesday foster care children Child welfare parenting

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2 easy ways to you can help get more children adopted

By Rita Soronen | CEO and President

We are in the thick of political debates, fiscal cliffs and sequestration. Meanwhile, children who have no voice in any of these discussions continue to linger in foster care, age out, and wonder when we adults will get a grip and work harder and smarter on their behalf.

There are some significant policy efforts circling now that can positively impact children and families in the child welfare system, for example:

Adoption Tax Credit / Making Adoption Affordable Act (H.R. 4373) and Senate Adoption Tax Credit Bill (S. 3616)

In 1997, Dave Thomas advocated for the original adoption tax credit legislation, to help offset the expenses related to adoption and to support families who stepped forward to adopt from foster care.  Since the original legislation, adoption tax credit efforts have been a non-partisan issue, widely supported by Congress, but subject to extensions, changes and rotating authority – from the Small Business Act of 1996 to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 and currently the Tax Relief Act at the end of 2010. During this time, tax credits have ranged from $5,000 to $13,170. It has applied to special needs and non-special needs adoptions, has been indexed for inflation, has allowed “carry-forward” credits, and for a period was fully refundable.

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Filed under foster care adoption adoption tax credit taxes Child welfare children parenting postage stamp legislation

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Help pass the Families for Foster Care Stamp Act

We need your help. The U.S. Senate has introduced a bill (S. 3231) - the Families for Foster Youth Stamp Act. The bill would create a semipostal stamp to raise funds for effective programs to improve outcomes for youth in foster care. 

Half of the funds would go towards finding permanent homes through adoption, kinship care or guardianship. The other half would go to the State Court Improvement Program to improve the ability of courts to aid children in the child welfare system.

Call your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor Senate Bill 3231. It adds no costs to the federal budget and is a creative way to help more kids in foster care. 

Please share this with your friends so we can get as many as possible to aid in this worthwhile cause.

Filed under foster care postage stamp children Child welfare courts U.S. Senate bill

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When did we stop caring about children?

There is a staggering amount of chatter hitting each of us from all sides – social media, network news, community forums, Super PAC advertising – about how to improve the economy, guide policy, elect someone from the “home team.” But to a child, the talk must seem like a prolonged playground brawl with bullies. There is no end to the scuffle until someone wins, and that inevitably means the loser walks away with a black eye.

What is the message to our children who watch us brawl (um, debate) in Nebraska for example, and within the same political party, whether illegal immigrants should be offered the humanity of prenatal care? And in states like Missouri, where a poor economy is driving more children into the state’s foster care system and whether lawmakers should cut nearly $13.6 million from the foster care budget and eliminate dozens of child protection jobs? And in Georgia, where police took a kindergarten child away from school in handcuffs in a patrol car during an uncontrolled tantrum, and whether that is good practice for handling 6-year-old children. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that these are just a few of the many examples of how we are failing our youth. When did we stop caring about children?

In this year of elections and winning, we simply must drive a conversation that puts children and families first on the agenda and with information that is always drawn back to - what is best for children, particularly those most vulnerable – homeless, hungry, under-educated or abused. How can we assure a safe and thriving community that demands each child has a viable future in this country, no matter where or under what circumstances they are born? How can we insist that we raise our children, all children, in an environment of hope, rather than despair? What needs to happen to make this a nation that cherishes childhood?

Ask your local, state or national candidate, from school board to presidential, “When elected, what you will do for children?” And then ask them to be specific about programs and services that they will support with passion, commitment and cash. And keep asking. The more we ask, the better chance there is that the children watching us this year will believe that we do actually care about them.

(Source: davethomasfoundation.org)

Filed under child welfare abuse neglect children