We are known for hosting matching events to assist youth in foster care in finding their forever families. For more than 25 years, these events have been a core service we offer in the tri-state area of Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. We host match events designed for specifically for the youth we are serving at that time; for example, we have held events for teens only and for sibling groups only.
Until recently, our events have been face to face, providing the opportunity for interaction between youth, families and workers. What we have learned from our experience hosting these events is that everyone is not appropriate to attend (this includes youth and families). Some youth are quiet and reserved and don't take well to the socializing that comes with an event. Some youth are not physically able to attend, like some of the youth we work with who are medically fragile. The term "medically fragile" means that the youth has a disability, is in stable condition, but is dependent on life sustaining medications, treatments, equipment and has need for assistance with activities of daily living. The disabilities may be due to an accident, illness, congenital disorder, abuse or neglect.
We believe that "there are no unwanted children...just unfound families" and that all children deserve recruitment opportunities. One way that we have been able to include all youth in the match event process is by participating in online match events. Crystal, one of our Adoption Coordinators, recently participated in one of these parties, presenting six youth from her caseload. Via a webinar format, she shared photos, fun facts and personal stories about each youth. One youth who was featured was Rashawn, pictured above.
Rashawn, or Ra Ra as he is affectionately known, is a handsome and rapidly growing teenager. Ra Ra is nonverbal and legally blind but he is good at distinguishing different sounds and can recognize people by their voices. Ra Ra is affectionate, friendly and loves attention. He can be quite charming and is known for getting his way by batting his eyes and smiling.
Ra Ra had a traumatic brain injury as a baby. He requires assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, feeding, dressing and toileting. Ra Ra resides at a pediatric medical facility and attends a special education school.
Ra Ra uses a wheelchair but he prefers to crawl about on his own. He enjoys pet therapy and especially likes dogs. Ra Ra has a feeding tube but takes most of his meals orally, eating pureed food. While at school, Ra Ra is learning to feed himself using a special spoon.
An ideal family for Rashawn is one with a medical background or an interest in learning how to provide for his medical care.
To know more about Rashawn, contact Crystal by phone at: 267-443-1867 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.