March 10, 2015

Outreach and Information is Key in Finding Homes for Children in Foster Care

Posted in Adoption, DCF, Employees, Events, Foster Care Program, Project Family tagged , , , , , , at 3:13 pm by Lund

February 21, 2015: Ashley Sargent, Lund’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter set up an informational booth at the University Mall in South Burlington as part of NFI’s 4th Annual Youth and Parent Expo.  This event provides information and resources to families as well as lots of hands on activities and fun.  Ashley’s main goal was to inform the public about children in foster care waiting for forever families and encourage people to learn more about foster care. “I believe it is important for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and Project Family (Lund’s partnership with DCF to find homes for older children in foster care) to have a presence there to help inform individuals that every child deserves a loving and nurturing family that will support them. Every child is adoptable and it is important to provide recruitment and informational events to educate families. On any given day there are about 60 children in foster care that are waiting for families to adopt them. The youth on my caseload are typically over the age of 8 years old and individuals need to be aware that even older youth need families.”

 

Ashley at the Expo

Ashley at the Expo

Ashley works as part of Lund’s partnership with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids which is a program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.  The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids website gives this description of Ashley’s work and that of the other 203 recruiters across the U.S. and Canada – “These professionals, known as Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters, work on caseloads of children the system has forgotten, ensuring they have the time and resources to give each child as much attention as he or she deserves. These recruiters employ aggressive practices and proven tactics focused on finding the best home for a child through the starting points of familiar circles of family, friends and neighbors, and then reaching out to the communities in which they live.” (www.davethomasfoundation.org)

Many people just don’t know that there are older children in foster care in need of permanent homes and forever families.  Events like this one allow people a chance to learn more and to find out what they could do to help.   “During the event people were most interested in speaking about how they wish they could help the youth; but that they were currently unable to. I was able to refocus them on seeing if they have any friends, family, etc, that would open their heart and home to the youth,” says Ashley.   Families are created in many different way and families find each other in many different ways so every outreach event has the potential to start a chain of action or open up a door for a youth currently in foster care.

To learn more about Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and their child centered recruitment, check out this video.

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