There are more than 700 children who are ready for adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a permanent and loving forever family. 10 News is profiling one child who needs a home every day during the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. in 30 Days of Hope. The children are all ages and races and were put into foster care due to no fault of their own. 2022 marks the sixth year 10 News is doing this series.
WSLS 10 worked with the Virginia Department of Social Services to highlight the need for more foster and adoptive families, by telling just a handful of stories of the more than 700 children who can be adopted in the Commonwealth.
During 30 Days of Hope, we showed you the stories of 35 children in November. Because the need is so great, we continued to share the stories of children who can be adopted in December.
“The notoriety that 30 Days of Hope gives for the children, the viewing area that it reaches, the numbers, I was astonished at how quickly the inquiry started coming in and how major the change was,” said Vernee Mason, the VDSS Adoption program supervisor, who said more than 600 people are interested in foster care and adoption.
Many of you also shared the stories on social media, helping reach more than half a million people and increasing the likelihood of these children finding a permanent family and support system.
Mason talked about some of the messages VDSS is getting, thanks to 30 Days of Hope. “I didn’t realize there were so many children out there, this is a great initiative going on. This is a great thing that you’re doing and we’re getting if they can’t foster or they’re not in a place to foster, how can we help which is always a great thing, how can we help? And I’m always more than willing to point them in a direction.”
She says there were 250 adoptions in this region two years ago and last year that number grew to 266.
“It’s growing more and more because people are seeing the need for it. People are viewing 30 Days of Hope,” said Mason.
There have been adoptions and incredible success stories to come out of this WSLS initiative.
“The Roanoke Valley is really fortunate to have 30 Days of Hope. No other region has such an impactful program that highlights adoptable kids every year,” said Benjamin Jones, Roanoke County Department of Social Services Supervisor of Foster Care, Adoptions & Resources.
Other families are fostering children they never would have thought about.
Families who are fostering teenagers because of the need they’ve seen, giving Christmas presents to kids we’ve featured, or signing up to support foster families through programs like CarePortal.
“There is always a surge of inquiries about foster and adoption following the annual 30 Days of Hope roll out. It’s really amazing and again, other regions don’t have the same highlight and push and advocacy that we do and we’re really lucky,” said Jones.
WSLS 10 News will continue covering these stories over the next year and in 30 Days of Hope for November 2023.
If you have questions about foster care/adoption, contact VDSS Division of Family Services Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see other 30 Days of Hope stories visit us here.
We also have a list of frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption including the qualifications, cost, and training required in this link.
Source: WSLS News 10