Meeting the needs of Tennessee children in foster care – together

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.

Our Kids

Our state has well over 6,000 children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own. Of these children, on any given day nearly 400 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.

The Solution

The solution to this issue?

You.

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 Tennessee’s 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 Tennessee, 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:

The TNFosters Campaign

America’s Kids Belong served as the spearheading partner in the launch of the TNFosters Campaign alongside Governor Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam and The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, and other community partners.

The TNFosters Campaign’s goal is to recruit more foster and foster-to-adopt families, as well as support for these families.

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 Tennessee chapter of  the I Belong Project™ in June of 2016, together with The Department of Children’s Services and Heart Gallery of Tennessee, we have created individualized videos for over 80 Tennessee children who are legally free for adoption and waiting for their forever family.

*These videos represent just a sample of the amazing Tennessee kids we’ve had the honor of working with. We’re happy to report that some of these children have already found adoptive placements, but for videos of children who are currently available, please visit HeartGalleryofTN.com.

Wrap Around Ministry

Our Wrap Around Ministry model gives everyone the opportunity to say “Yes” to serving children in foster care. From dropping off a meal to providing lawn care or tutoring, there are countless ways to help support a foster or adoptive family. The Wrap Around Model was launched earlier this year in Tennessee and has since grown to serve as a template for other church ministries and groups.

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.

Select Your Sphere of Influence:

Faith

  • 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

Government

  • Get involved in the TNFosters Campaign (www.tnfosters.gov)
  • Champion legislation that improves outcomes for children in foster care
  • Partner with the child welfare system to improve outcomes for children in foster care

Business

  • 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 Tennessee

Creative

  • 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 (via America’s Kids Belong) and help spread the word

Prospective Parents

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. Call The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services 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.

Click here for an overview on How to Become a DCS Foster Parent

For more information or to fill out an inquiry form, visit TNFosters.gov today!

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?

Tennessee Kids Belong is the State Chapter to parent organization