Our state has around 7000 children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own. Of these children, on any given day nearly 500 are legally-free for adoption and are waiting for their forever family. The rest of the children need a loving, safe, and supportive foster family to care for them while they wait to go home to their biological families.
When children age-out of the system at 18 without a family, they are significantly more likely to experience homelessness, crisis pregnancy, unemployment, incarceration, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Trafficking.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF KANSAS CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
You’re probably wondering if a problem so large is really SOLVABLE.
We’ve been there, too.
But we’re happy to tell you that with two proven models and a first-of-its-kind solution, the answer is YES. Regardless of your occupation, skillset, and life stage, you have the unique ability & opportunity to impact the lives of children in foster care.
The Solution Is…
It takes a village. Countless influencers from different backgrounds, with unique strengths and passions all in the same boat, and all rowing in the same direction.
Together we can give Kansas’ children a face, a voice, and a pathway to belonging – through reunification with their birth families, and when that’s not possible – adoption through foster care.
HOW IT WORKS
With a wide-variety of influencers on board, we can combine a number of our proven methods to help meet needs within the foster care system. Since beginning work in Kansas, alongside numerous faith leaders, government workers, foster advocates, artists & creatives, as well as a host of generous donors, we’ve already seen amazing things happen:
I Belong Project
One of America’s Kids Belong’s signature programs is The I Belong Project™, which uses high quality videography to give children in foster care a face and a voice. These videos serve as individual recruitment tools for foster children who are legally-free for adoption and are waiting for their forever family.
Since launching the Kansas chapter of The I Belong Project™ in June of 2016, together with the Department of Children and Families and Adopt Kansas Kids, we have created individualized videos for dozens of Kansas’ children who are legally free for adoption and waiting for their forever family. To see more videos go to the Adopt Kansas Kids Page.
Dream Makers Project
Over 26,000 teens age out of foster care each year in the United States. In 2015 America’s Kids Belong Colorado launched Dream Makers as a way to inspire and empower teens by giving them an opportunity to dream about their future. This program started in Colorado and is now operating in multiple states. These dreams may be an internship that connects them with an opportunity for the future, a practical gift to launch them towards their next step, a gift to learn a new skill, or an experience to gain confidence. In any case, it’s their dream, and we want to inspire these kids to dream big!
Dream Makers connects businesses, groups, and individuals to care for these kids needs and their dreams. When you become a Dream Maker, you have the opportunity to let one of these teenagers know that someone cares and they are not alone. Your support can give them the confidence they need to change their future. Learn more DreamMakersProject.org.
DISCOVER YOUR ROLE
Discover Your Role Today!
Not everyone is called to foster or adopt. But everyone can make a difference in the life of a child in foster care.
What is Your Sphere of Influence?
- Dedicate a sermon or sermon series to educate & engage your congregation around the needs of foster care
- Host a “Next Steps” Dinner and Foster Certification classes at your church for prospective foster parents
- Start a “Wrap Around” ministry to equip your church in serving foster families
- Get involved in the Kansas Fosters Campaign CLICK HERE
- Champion legislation that improves outcomes for children in foster care
- Partner with the child welfare system to improve outcomes for children in foster care
- Engage your workplace in the movement
- Make your business “foster friendly” (think Military Discounts for Foster Families!)
- Donate to help us reach the unique needs of every child in Kansas
- Use your unique voice and platform to create awareness and serve as an advocate for children in foster care
- Partner with us in writing stories, creating films, or be a part of a benefit concert, recruitment event, etc. to help us bring this issue to light
- Follow and share our stuff on social media and help spread the word
Every day we meet more individuals and families who are considering taking the leap to become foster parents. We know you probably have a lot of questions and would need more answers before committing. That’s normal.
Just don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from moving forward. Contact The Kansas Department of Children and Families today. They will walk you through the process, help answer any of your questions along the way, and assist you in determining if becoming a foster parent is a fit for you.
Together we can give every child a face and a voice.
Together we can show each child that they are precious, seen, and worthy of belonging.
Will You Join Us?
Kansas Kids Belong is the State Chapter to parent organization