GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Bethany Christian Services, the leading global family preservation and child welfare agency, believes the more than 102,000 foster care children eligible for adoption in the United States deserve to know the love of a forever family. Building on the successful 2013 launch of its No One Without (N.O.W.) campaign in eight states, Bethany is introducing the N.O.W. initiative in eight additional states in 2014, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia.
Historically, placing foster care children from one state with a family in another state has been a major hurdle due to regulations and restrictions that differ from state to state – a hurdle that often prevents eligible children from being adopted. As a part of the 2013 launch, Bethany created a national database of prospective adoptive families and eligible foster care children, allowing it to match children with couples across the country.
"More than 23,000 kids age out of the foster care system each year. To Bethany, that is simply unacceptable and we are doing everything in our power to prevent that from continuing to happen," said Bill Blacquiere, president and CEO of Bethany. "This database system should have been introduced many years ago and we urge other adoption agencies throughout the United States to join us in developing a similar resource. The number of vulnerable children is large, but so too is the number of couples looking to open their hearts and homes, no matter how many states may separate them geographically."
With the new system in place in 2013, Bethany was able to register 80 children and match 20 with forever families by navigating interstate agreements and regulations, and coordinating visitation, placement, and post-adoption supervision.
"While the number of children registered and placed thus far may not seem significant, even if we had placed only one child with a loving forever family the N.O.W. campaign would have been successful," Blacquiere continued. "The fact that we matched 20 vulnerable children in the first year of the campaign demonstrates the potential impact we can have by tearing geographical walls down. As we continue to roll the initiative out across the country, we expect to see these numbers to rise dramatically over the next several years."
The N.O.W. campaign was launched in 2013 in Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. For more information on Bethany's N.O.W. campaign, please call 1.855.485.NOW1, email us at NOW1@bethany.org or visit www.bethany.org/now.
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