Do you remember a national public service announcement from years ago, usually aired before the late local news, with the message, “It’s 11 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” It was a not-so-subtle curfew reminder for parents, encouraging them to take care of their children, to get them off the streets and into the safety of home.
At the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, we have taken that somewhat quaint question a step further. Today we ask you: Do you know where the children of your community are? Do you know how many are in foster care and waiting to be adopted? Do you know that last year we lost track of too many of our children, allowing them to turn 18 and leave foster care without a family to look after them, to bring them home, to keep them safe? Do you believe, as we do, Dave Thomas’s assertion that “these children are not someone else’s responsibility—they are our responsibility”?
This year we invite you to join us as we elevate our commitment to every child waiting to be adopted and as we do our very best to bring them home. To that end, you will notice some changes in our look and in our sense of urgency. First, the look: If you were familiar with our previous website, you have already discovered what we think is an exciting and refreshed online presence that communicates the urgency and the scope of this cause. We hope the site makes it easier for you to find what you need and helps to inspire you, too.
We have infused our new look into all of our free resources: the Guide to Adoption, posters that speak for the children we serve, and public service announcements highlighting misperceptions about children in foster care. Most of these are now available to you in two forms—as hard copies that you can request free of charge through the mail, or as downloadable versions for your instant use.
Second, this year and moving forward, we are keenly focused on leaping the hurdles of bureaucratic excuses, financial barriers, and system challenges that are thrown in front of our children, keeping them from the families and safety that they deserve. We intend to speak up more loudly on their behalf, to use our resources more effectively for innovative efforts that work, and to disseminate more broadly the ideas and messages that move children out of foster care and into permanent adoptive homes.
We know where the children are. Now we need to find the adults willing to help. Please join us.