The Importance of Belonging: Using Photos to Cement Memories

The Importance of Belonging: Using Photos to Cement Memories

As of 2017, there were 123,437 kids waiting for adoption in the U.S., as confirmed in a report by the Children’s Bureau. A lot of these children have a history with foster care and come from difficult backgrounds – increasing their need for people with open hearts to take them in. Parents, in general, only ever want the best for the children that they welcome into their lives, no matter if they are birthed, adopted or fostered. Parenting is always challenging, and when new parents want their adopted kids to feel settled, it can be challenging to know what to do. Yet, what they may not realize is that something as simple as a photo can help bridge the gap their new child may feel in belonging.Photos and BelongingTo cultivate the security that children need to feel, you can tap into the power of cameras and a well-made picture collage. Kids can acclimatize better

Foster Care and Social Security Disability Benefits

Becoming a foster parent is one of the biggest and most rewarding decisions you can ever make in life. While you do receive supplemental income from fostering children, your family may be eligible for additional benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disability benefits for people with serious illnesses, or dependent family members of those with disabilities. There are a few ways children in foster care could be eligible for aid. If Your Foster Child Has a Disability Social Security disability benefits are available to people of all ages. Children will qualify for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits. SSI is only awarded to families in severe financial need, so if you or your spouse has a moderate income, your foster child will not be eligible for SSI benefits. For example, a single parent cannot earn more than $38,000 per year before taxes while having a child qualify for SSI.

Shop to Support Adoption and Foster Care

By Aurora
We all have the power to help children in foster care and families hoping to adopt, and it starts with our wallets. Giving back to foster care and adoption-related causes can be extra rewarding when you do so by shopping at these small businesses: Feather Refuge When you purchase a shirt from this adoptive parent’s shop, you can help fund the building of an orphanage and foster care and adoption services at Beech Acres parenting center Natalie Brenner Shop Adoptive mom Natalie Brenner’s shirts and prints support A Family for Every Child, Together We Rise, and Embrace Oregon. She has also funded some of her own adoptions with her shop sales. Just Really Joseph When she couldn’t find a relatable story about international adoption, Kayla Craig took matters into her own hands and turned her son Joseph’s adoption journey into a children’s book. Every penny of the proceeds from Just

Because Every Child Should Have A Best Friend

By Aurora
At A Family For Every Child we believe that every child deserves a family.  We believe that every child should have the chance to live their best life. Check out this video about what drives all of us at AFFEC.  In our 12 years as an organization, AFFEC has placed over 6,000 children into forever families.  We will be here until every child is loved, until every child has a best friend, until every child has a family.  Together with you, we can make a change! Thank you so much to Tim Garner who made this incredible video! We could not do it without our amazing community and supporters.  You can help in so many different ways, and from anywhere.  Whether it is volunteering or donating, you can make a difference in the lives of these amazing children. Will you join us in our mission to find

Their Stories: Two Adoptees Reflect on How Adoption Changed Their Lives

By Aurora
We asked adults who were adopted as children from foster care the question, “How has being adopted changed your life for the better?” Here is what two incredible individuals had to say: Ashli Carnicelli “I was adopted from the foster care system in the state of Massachusetts. I was placed with my parents in November of 1983 and my adoption was finalized on October 18, 1984 when I was almost 2 years old. To say that being adopted has changed my life for the better is an understatement. My parents were only 2 weeks into their classes and their dossier and they were on the list for an older child (up to 6 years old). My social worker wanted to find the perfect home for me, and she pulled their file. She said, “Sometimes you have to throw away the paperwork and go with your gut- this baby was meant

From Fostering to Adopting: Mallory Williams’ Journey

By Aurora
Photo courtesy of Mallory Williams We had the wonderful opportunity to interview Mallory Williams, who runs the Instagram account @five_2_and_under, and is a mom to Chase and Dylan, who she fostered before adopting, and triplets Avery. Emery, and Bradley. AFFEC: What influenced your decision to become a foster parent?  MW: Since my husband and I got together we’ve always had the dream of adopting. As a drug & alcohol therapist in a correctional setting, I witnessed firsthand some of the hardships that these children have to go through. We also thought it would be great to help the children in our immediate area, giving them the best life that they could have. AFFEC: What are some challenges/rewards of being a foster parent? MW: Some of the challenges we faced included the altering of our schedules on a whim, the unknown and the difficulties with the court

How To Afford Adoption

By Aurora
Your income level should never determine whether or not you can adopt a child, but figuring out how to afford the expenses can be daunting. The cost of foster care adoption generally only involves home study and adoption worker costs, and these fees can often be reimbursed thanks to federal adoption assistance. Title IV-E covers non-recurring adoption expenses in cases involving children that are more difficult to place. To see if you can qualify for financial assistance from your state visit https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-assistance/. While adoption from foster care can be relatively inexpensive, other avenues of adoption can cost up to $40,000 or more. Costs that come with adopting from private agencies may include but are not limited to social work services, court and legal fees, birth parent counseling and medical expenses, and adoptive parent training. International adoptions are the most costly option because they involve higher travel expenses, more fees, and sometimes more

#NationalFosterCareMonth: Why Children End Up in Foster Care

By Aurora
abuse neglect parents’ drug use incarceration loss of parents Parents’ illness (physical or mental)   May is Foster Care Awareness Month. While most people are, in fact, aware of foster care, not everyone knows exactly how it works, or more importantly, why it exists. A Family for Every Child works to place foster care children in forever homes if they cannot be reunited with their families. But how do the children we represent end up in foster care in the first place? Foster care becomes necessary when children are not receiving the best possible care in their own homes. There are numerous reasons why a social worker ? would feel that foster care is the safest place for a child. Below are a few of the top reasons children are placed in foster care, as identified on  adoption.com. 1. Abuse If it is discovered that a parent is physically or sexually abusing their child(ren) ?, the child

What We Do: Your Guide To A Family for Every Child’s Programs

By Aurora
A Family For Every Child is an adoption agency specializing in finding families for children in foster care and placing children with special needs in loving homes, but it is also so much more. Along with the Heart Gallery and various other events we host each year, AFFEC also provides matching assistance, home studies, a mentor program, resources for prospective parents, and family finding services. Matching Assistance Our matching assistance program aims to pair children with families that are right for them. The service lets families upload their biographies and photos and connects them to children who fit their profiles. The matching assistance program is only available to families who have completed an approved home study, but is open to families all across the United States. Home Studies Home studies are available through AFFEC to families in the local Eugene, Oregon area. During a home study, a family meets an adoption caseworker and

One Photo Can Make A Difference. So Can You

By Aurora
For today’s blog post, I want to talk about the Heart Gallery. The thing that started it all in 2006. The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibition of photos.  The children in these pictures live across the nation, and they are all looking for their forever families. The Heart Gallery is a bridge between these children and their forever families.  It is one thing to simply read about child, but it is another thing entirely to see that child, and to see their energy and their excitement.  The child becomes real, the need becomes real, and people are spurred into action! The Heart Gallery brings people to us.  Those who want to adopt, those who want to mentor, those who want to volunteer, and those who want to help, but don’t know what they can offer, they come because they saw a child in the Heart Gallery, and it sparked something inside