November is National Adoption Month, an initiative to increase awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children of all ages in the foster care system.
As of May 2017, about 8,000 Hoosier children were in a relative’s care, 7,200 were in foster care and about 1,000 children were in residential care, or group homes, in Indiana. The average child in the foster care system is 8-years-old and will spend more than three years in foster care. Unfortunately, 22,000 children nationwide age out of foster care, leaving them with no stable support system and putting them at a higher risk for negative outcomes.
In Indiana, the demand for families looking to adopt is growing. According to the Indiana Department of Child Services, about 150 Hoosier children are available for adoption at any given time. The Indiana Adoption Program, also known as the Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP), seeks to find forever homes for Indiana’s children and older youth.
The Indiana Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit that features children in foster care in need of a loving home. The display was started by the DCS to allow these children to tell their stories and remind Hoosier families that adoption can change lives.
There are many statewide efforts to recognize adoptive families and promote adoption. Indiana courts are celebrating National Adoption Month by allowing photos and video recording in adoption proceedings. The courts will welcome approximately 220 children and their new families. Click here for a list of participating counties.
Stay tuned to learn about our upcoming partnership to help raise awareness about Indiana’s foster care needs on Organization Day, Nov. 21! #FosterHopeIndiana