Join us for Foster Hope Day on Wednesday, November 3rd for a fun, virtual day of giving to benefit children impacted by foster care. This year, we’re ramping up the fun with a game show theme!
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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.
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From the Front Lines of Child Advocacy
How 30 Days to Family® Helped Tristan Find a Forever Home with His Fifth Cousin
Tristan came into care due to prenatal drug exposure. Scared and unsure of what to do next for their little boy, his parents left him at the hospital. He was there for weeks without visitors and upon discharge was placed in a traditional foster home.
Tristan’s two older brothers, Trevor and Bryant, had come into foster care several years ago and were subsequently adopted by different families. Neither family was able to take Tristan into their homes.
Tristan’s case manager referred him to the Coalition’s 30 Day to Family® program, and Teara was assigned to the case.
Teara searched for family members who might be interested in a connection with Tristan. Several were upset when they were contacted because of their estranged relationship with Tristan’s mom and dad. Tristan’s maternal grandmother and paternal aunt could not provide placement, either.
During her search, Teara found 271 family members to add to Tristan’s family tree. Finally, when Teara called Tristan’s fifth cousin, Maleka, there was no hesitation before she said, “Yes!” She and her partner, Callie, had recently discussed becoming foster parents. Maleka had been contacted years prior when Trevor and Bryant came into care, but she wasn’t at a point in her life to take them into her home. That decision haunted her.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, Teara completed a safety walk-through of the home virtually via Zoom. She found the home to be more than suitable for Tristan. They live near Maleka’s sister and nieces and nephews, so not only would the family have support, but Tristan would get to grow up with some of his relatives. On top of that, Maleka works at a daycare that Tristan would be able to attend with her during the day.
After Tristan moved into the home, Teara referred Maleka and Callie to the Coalition’s Families United program for licensing. Anne was assigned to the case and was quickly able to build rapport with the family, even though it was a virtual relationship. She enrolled the couple in virtual training through the Coalition and supported them throughout the licensure process. They were so eager to become Tristan’s caregivers that they completed everything in record time. They were new to foster parenting, so Anne spent a lot of time helping them understand the child welfare system and their role on Tristan’s team of professionals.
Maleka and Callie were hesitant to reach out to the family members identified by Teara because of their complicated history, and their worry the experience with others would be the same. Anne spoke to them in-depth about the importance of familial connections, especially for youth in foster care. Anne’s encouragement and guidance helped them contact family members, including maternal grandma and paternal aunt who initially reached out. They continue to speak regularly to Tristan’s family as well as send pictures and updates.
Maleka and Callie love Tristan so much. They are amazing advocates and proactive about his growth and development. Tristan has completely integrated into their family and is thriving. His case plan has changed from reunification to adoption.
Maleka and Callie look forward to their future with Tristan, and they remain committed to ensuring that he stays connected to his relatives.