Families sought during Novembers Adoption Awareness Month
SPRINGFIELDIllinois is a nationally-recognized leader in locating homes for adoptable children, but on any given day, approximately 500 children in Illinois are still waiting to be adopted.
Noting that November is Adoption Awareness Month in Illinois, Jess McDonald, director of the Department of Children and Family Services, encourages families across the state to consider adopting a waiting child.
Nearly 35,000 foster children have moved into permanent adoptive and subsidized guardianship homes since 1997, said McDonald. The number of children in foster care has been cut by more than half. Yet, there is always a constant demand to find homes for waiting children, and theres no better time than Adoption Awareness Month to get the message out that these children need families willing to open their hearts and their homes.
McDonald also asked individuals and organizations to help promote the Adopt Illinois Kids campaign. Launched by DCFS, the campaign aims to spread awareness to increase the number of parents willing to adopt children with special needsteenagers, children of color or children with physical, emotional, behavioral or learning challenges. Some waiting children have been neglected, abandoned, abused and/or exposed to drugs and alcohol. Others are brothers and sisters who want to grow up together. Each and every child with special needs, however, shares a common bond-they are waiting for parents to make a difference in their lives. They need love, guidance, and a sense of belonging that only a family can provide.
The child welfare system was never meant to be a permanent home for the 22,000 children in substitute care in Illinois, said McDonald. It is only a temporary placement until a child is either returned home, adopted, or otherwise transitioned into a permanent home. Adoption is often the best option for many children. And that means we need more families who are willing to make a lifelong commitment to a waiting child.
Last year, 3,339 foster children in Illinois were adopted, and another 1,081 children moved into permanent homes through the Departments subsidized guardianship program. More than 3,000 children are expected to be eligible for adoption this year.
Financial and technical adoption assistance may be available both before and after a child in DCFS care is adopted. For more information and assistance call 987-7200. On November 16th, DCFS along with other local adoption agencies are providing interested parties to learn more about the children that are available for adoption. The presentation is at the Assembly of God Church from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00. Call 987-7200 for more details.