The Coffee County Department of Human Resources is happy to announce that it will still be celebrating National Adoption Day this year, just a little differently.
Coffee County DHR partnered with Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connection (APAC) and Heart Gallery of Alabama to host a drive-through National Adoption Day celebration. The Heart Gallery of Alabama will be providing special goodies for the children of families that have adopted during the 2020 fiscal year.
APAC and Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (AFAPA) will also be providing information for the families about what they have to offer for training, support and other needs they may have. The families will have a chance to drive through and not even have to get out of their cars. Representatives will go to their cars and provide them with the goody bags.
Once they are done, the families will have the opportunity to go to Johnny Henderson Park and have a photo taken of their family to celebrate finalizing adoptions and have a family photo. Coffee County DHR will also be providing additional guests that wish to obtain information about fostering and/or adopting with a packet of information about what it takes to become a foster/adoptive parent.
Coffee County DHR had seven children adopted in Coffee County alone, and due to COVID restrictions, the organization did not get to celebrate how it traditionally does, so the drive-through celebration was planne.
Coffee County DHR is in desperate need of foster and/or adoptive families and would like to spread the word about becoming a foster/adoptive parent.
The event will take place next Saturday, Nov. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.
In 2019, there were 731 foster children who achieved permanency through adoption compared to 710 in 2018; both years were record breakers as the previous record for foster care adoptions was 676 adoptions in 2009.
Heart Gallery Alabama is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding forever families for children in Alabama’s foster care system by raising awareness and educating the public. Volunteers and staff collaborate with the Alabama Department of Human Resources to create a photographic portrait exhibit of children in foster care, which travels to public venues across the state. The photographs serve as a compelling and authentic representation of children across Alabama who are searching for loving, permanent families.
Heart Gallery Alabama interviews each available child, and these interviews can be found on the child’s web page.
Heart Gallery Alabama recruits professional photographers to capture each child’s individual spirit in a moving photographic, multi-media and narrative journey – featured online and in public venues.
Heart Gallery Alabama responds to inquiring families with questions regarding foster care adoption and partners with local and statewide media resources to inform the public of the need for foster care adoption.
Since its founding in 2005 and with the support of its donors, child advocates and volunteers, Heart Gallery Alabama has helped find permanent homes for more than 65 percent of the children photographed.
APAC is a collaborative effort between Children's Aid Society and the Alabama Department of Human Resources and is a statewide program designed to empower adoptive families facing adoption challenges and to facilitate stronger bonds and interaction within all adoptive families.
APAC services are available to all adoptive family members, and some of services are available to foster family members, prospective adoptive families, kinship care families and professionals working with the foster/adoptive population. Services are provided through four locations in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile.
The mission of AFAPA is to provide education and support to foster and adoptive parents all across the state.
“Our vision is to see that you as foster and adoptive parents are successful in your endeavors,” the website reads. “Toward that end, we continuously search for educational activities along with other resources to make available to you.”
The AFPA goals are:
- To advocate on behalf of foster and adoptive parents
- To provide and promote quality training and education, ensuring the highest level of excellence in foster and adoptive care
- To promote the development of local foster and/or adoptive parent associations throughout the state
- To develop partnerships with other child advocacy agencies and organizations
- To actively participate in the recruitment and retention of foster and adoptive parents
- To inform membership of this association and others of the general public of current information pertaining to the well-being of children in care and their families
- To develop ways to track and increase membership
- To maintain a secure financial base to support association goals
- To develop a resource network for foster and adoptive parents