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For Every Child . . . A Place to Call Home
The Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition
We learned from the pandemic that connection is everything. But for children in foster care, isolation and loneliness are nothing new. A stable family has the power to support, comfort, and heal – even through a crisis. Our work won’t be done until every child’s most basic need is met: the need for family.
Our partnerships and groundbreaking programs make the Coalition the region’s most successful recruiter of foster and adoptive families.
98% of families served by the Coalition maintain their foster/adopt status, and 88% of children in crisis remain in their homes with the help of our support programs.
From the Front Lines of Child Advocacy
A Great Aunt Beat Breast Cancer and Adopted Her Nephew With Autism
My great nephew Kylen came to me in 2013 when he was three years old. With his autism diagnosis and all his needs, it was clear he wouldn’t be able to go back to his mom.
He stayed with me for ten months, but then I had to move out of state for work. Kylen was placed with a cousin, but the placement fell through. There was no other choice but to put him in the home of strangers. When my job didn’t work out, I moved back to St. Louis and requested to have Kylen placed with me again. That’s when Kylen’s team told me they wanted to keep him in his foster placement.
I was devastated. No one wants their kin to grow up in a stranger’s home. Would you? But there was nothing I could do. And then in 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My focus had to turn to taking care of myself and surviving.
In 2019, when Edna Green with the Coalition’s Extreme Recruitment® Program called me, I was excited to meet someone who valued family like I did. Someone who knew the power of a permanent home. Edna gave me hope that Kylen would finally get the home he deserved.
Edna and her team found so many family members, but one by one they told us no. Every no broke my heart. One thing I always say is, “Kylen has autism, but autism does not have Kylen.” He deserves to live his best life. Well, it became obvious pretty quickly that if Kylen was going to be with family, he was going to have to be with me.
After successfully beating breast cancer, I was in remission and approved by my physician to adopt Kylen. I will admit I was nervous. But with Edna’s encouragement and the support of the Coalition, I started to feel I was capable of anything.
The Coalition’s Families United team worked with Kylen’s doctor to help get me licensed as a special medical home. That opened up a world of resources and support. Their Educational Advocates met with Kylen’s school so he could reach his full potential as a student. Their STEPS team helped me navigate the Department of Mental Health so Kylen could get special services for his autism. Edna helped me find a specialized daycare and even arranged for the bus to get him to and from school.
Kylen came home to me on February 14th, 2020. I’ll tell you that everyone in his life noticed the difference immediately. He came out of his shell. His demeanor at school changed completely. By mid-June he no longer needed behavioral therapy for aggression and was off most of his unnecessary medications. I can’t thank Edna Green and the Coalition enough. They gave Kylen his family back. They brought him home to me where he belongs.
– Margaret, Adoptive Parent