National Adoption Month Twitter Chat Wednesday

Did you know November is National Adoption Month? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau is partnering with AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council to educate potential adoptive parents on the benefits of adoption from foster care.

According to the U.S. Children’s Bureau Preliminary 2010 Trends in Foster Care Report, there are more than 408,000 children in the foster care system in the United States; 115,000 of these children are available for adoption right now.

We have partnered with AdoptUSKids in the past, but this year our focus is specifically on the plight of preteens in foster care, children who are ages 8-12.   There are more than 26,000 preteens presently available for adoption, and this year’s campaign is an effort to raise awareness about that. Children’s Bureau data shows that the older a child gets, the more difficult it is for them to find a permanent home. For those families who adopt preteens, they are giving these children the opportunity to thrive, reach their full potential, and grow through the loving and stable foundation of a family.

Please help us spread the word about the 26,000 preteens available for adoption. National Adoption Month is an opportunity to shed light on the facts about adoption, specifically those that affect the preteens in foster care waiting for their forever family.

Help us share the message about adoption from foster care by joining us for the…

AdoptUSKids Twitter Chat

When: Wednesday, November 2nd from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET

Where: #AdoptUSKids

How: Follow host @ResourcefulMom and @AdoptUSKids

There will be prizes awarded at random to participants.  More information to follow.

Special Guest – Kathy Ledesma

Kathy Ledesma is the National Project Director for AdoptUsKids, which is administered by the Adoption Exchange Association (AEA) through a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau.  The objectives of the AdoptUsKids project are to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive parents for children in the U.S. public child welfare system, and to assist U.S. States, Territories and Tribes in their efforts to recruit, retain and connect prospective foster and adoptive parents with children needing care.

Prior to coming to AdoptUsKids in June 2008, Kathy worked for 20 years for the public child welfare system in the State of Oregon.  She served as Oregon’s statewide Adoption Manager for seven of those years and was on loan to the Children’s Bureau as the Acting National Adoption Specialist from 2005 to 2007.

Kathy’s professional work in child welfare dates back to 1973.  It includes seven years with the State of Washington, 17 years with the State of Oregon, positions with two private adoption agencies, and two years as the onsite director for a 100-bed facility in Chiapas, Mexico, for orphaned, abandoned, abused and neglected children and youth.

Kathy has served as President of the National Association of State Adoption Program Managers (NASAP) and on the Executive Committee of the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (AAICAMA).  She received her BA from Kalamazoo College and her MSW from Portland State University.

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