Every child deserves to grow up in a safe and loving household. Yet according to a 2021 report from the National Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 114,000 children across the U.S. remained at risk of aging out of the foster care system without permanent family connections. Of these, 22% were between 13 and 17 years of age, which means that 25,000 teens are facing an adoption crisis right now.
To raise awareness about adoption issues, The Children’s Bureau designated November as National Adoption Month, recognized by President Clinton in 1995. It’s a time when we spotlight the need for adoptive families for teens in the foster system and emphasize the value of youth engagement.
Each year, the Bureau’s outreach efforts focus on a theme, and the theme for the coming year is “Small Steps Open Doors.” The road to permanency can be long, but small steps soon add up to miles. The truth is, there are things we can do in our own communities to help build connections with these young people. Yes, they have a lot of questions, but they also know their own emotional landscapes. By taking the time to talk (and listen!) to youth within the foster system, we can help them become more engaged in their permanency planning.
At Key Assets Kentucky, we’ve found that adoptive care is community care. That is, when children in need are matched with caring adoptive families, the positive effects may surprise you.
As of April 2021, there were just under 10,000 children in foster care here in Kentucky, and the numbers show no sign of dropping. An amazing non-profit organization called Thursday’s Child has worked enthusiastically since 1989 to support children awaiting adoption through the Kentucky Adoption Profile Exchange (KAPE), as well as to support adoptive families by providing services not covered by the state. Thursday’s Child sponsors picnics and other matching events to help children and prospective adoptive families connect.
They also sponsor other events and programs, including:
For the last three decades, the partnership efforts among Thursday’s Child, Kentucky’s Special Needs Adoption Program, and LEX18 have resulted in over 2,000 successful adoptions!
At Key Assets Kentucky, we have a very special commitment to supporting Kentucky’s adoptive families and the children still awaiting permanency through KAPE. Thursday’s Child is one of only two charitable organizations we support, and we have done so proudly for the past 8 years.
Two of Key Assets Kentucky’s leadership team members—Tiffany Dail and Carrie Price—serve on Thursday’s Child all-volunteer board along with other prominent community leaders.
“I have served on the Board of Directors for Thursday’s Child since 2002 and am very passionate about the work we do in supporting children awaiting adoption. I have two siblings adopted from foster care and my family’s experience led me to become a social worker and board member. I love that we are able to provide extra support to these youth and families to reduce the financial stress of foster care and adoption to ensure that every child has a forever family,” said Carrie Price, Director, Children in Community Care program.
At Key Assets Kentucky, we believe that supporting adoptive families and the children isn’t just helpful to the community, it’s also good medicine.
Tiffany Dail, Key Assets’ Clinical Director, said “Supporting children in out-of-home care and foster parents have been a passion of mine for many years. So, when I attended my first Thursday’s Child Night with the Stars I was deeply touched by the work the non-profit board members were doing. Now it is my pleasure to serve on the board alongside many of those same individuals and support the needs of the children in Kentucky awaiting adoption. It has truly been a life-changing experience to support the mission of Thursday‘s Child – every child deserves to live and grow in a family where they are loved.”
If you have questions about adoption issues or the foster care system here in Kentucky, contact us! We’ll be happy to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can.
As a service to our community, we’ve listed links to some adoption resources here in Kentucky. We hope you find them helpful.
Adoption Support for Kentucky (ASK / University of Kentucky School of Social Work)
KY Faces (ky.org, KAPE)
Kentucky Foster and Adoptive Care Association
Kentucky Foster and Adoptive Parent Training Network (Murray State University)