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Open Communication with Youth

One of the greatest struggles adoption workers can experience when working with their youth is the ability for the youth to be open and honest about the situations and problems they face. Youth tend to read workers very easily and know if the visiting worker has interest in who they are and what they are experiencing. When I visit my youth monthly, and sometimes bi-monthly, I make them the number one priority when they are in the room with me. I make sure they feel safe and that they can be vulnerable is of utmost importance.

Constant Improvement

The Adoption Center will host a visitor from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption this month! Andrea, our program manager, will come to meet with the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters, Jason, (Delaware) and Anna (Southern New Jersey) and me, as I supervise their work. We look forward to the Foundation visits as we always learn how we might improve the work of finding permanent homes for the children we serve. This is quality time spent with Andrea as together we review our successes and look at our challenges.

Picture Day

Do you remember picture day at school? I do. I would beg my mom to take her time with my hair and I was sure to pick out the prettiest outfit I could find in my closet. Unfortunately, some of the youth in foster care aren’t able to have the same experience as I did. This could be due to a number of things, their living arrangements, the way their school is set up, some may not want their photos taken, etc. This experience is even tougher to create for youth with advanced medical needs.

Strong Kid of the Game

The Philadelphia 76ers just selected two of our children to be a Strong Kid of the Game! Muhammad and Patrick will get the experience of a lifetime and will each receive: 4 lower-level tickets to a game, free parking, a tour of exclusive areas of the Wells Fargo Center, watch pregame warm-ups courtside, have photos taken in the press conference area, a custom jersey, have a photo taken with a player and receive on-court recognition!

Phillies & Wednesday's Child Hit a Home Run!

We recently had an extra-special Wednesday’s Child taping. One of the children we work with, "Tommy", really loves the Phillies, so we reached out to see if they would be interested in hosting a taping. They welcomed the Wednesday’s Child crew and Tommy with open arms! The first place we went was the clubhouse. Tommy was able to walk around the room and see each player's locker space -a great way to imagine what it’s like to get ready for a game. We then walked the same path the players walk out to the field. Since it was not a gameday, the Park was ours.

Fore!

Fore! This past Monday was the National Adoption Center’s annual golf tournament. Equal parts fundraising and friend raising, it was an enjoyable afternoon for a very meaningful cause. Nearly 100 players enjoyed spectacular weather on a terrific suburban Philadelphia course. Despite the craziness of the Pope being in town, the tournament itself raised almost $50,000 for the Center’s programs. Board member and committee chair Chris Noyes did a wonderful job explaining how important it is to be able to find adoptive homes for so many children who are languishing in foster care.

Serving the LGBT Community

A disproportionately high number of LGBT youth are in foster care, many having been abandoned by their families due to their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. These youth continue to struggle as they enter the child welfare system, where agency staff members often lack the skills and knowledge to provide them with the services they need and deserve.

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