Children deserve permanent family

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Dear Editor,

Today in America, children in foster care wait an average offive years to be adopted. To a child, five years is a lifetime.

There are 126,000 U.S. children in the foster care systemwaiting to be adopted including 327 in Mississippi. This is partlybecause social workers do not have enough time to ensure both thesafety of children under their care and actively recruit adoptivefamilies.

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A new program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption,Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, will dramatically improve opportunities forchildren to move through the process more quickly. It providesfunding, through grants, to adoption agencies, for full-timerecruiters who aggressively find families for waiting children.

The program model focuses on child-specific recruitment, aprocess that involves carefully identifying each child’s needs andmatching him or her with a family who can best meet them to ensurethe most successful results.

We know that 40 percent of Americans have at some pointconsidered adoption. That translates into more than 80 millionadults. If only a small percentage of those thinking about adoptionmove from thought to action, every foster child will grow up with apermanent family.

To learn more about foster care adoption, call Keisha Elmore,Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter at (601) 360-0591 or1-800-241-KIDS.

Keisha V. Elmore,

MS Families for Kids,