‘We aren’t looking for a cookie cutter family’: 700 children can be adopted in Virginia

Thousands of children are waiting for a permanent family to call their own instead of living in foster care

Thousands of children are waiting for a permanent family to call their own instead of living in foster care

ROANOKE, Va. – Every child deserves to feel safe and loved. But thousands of children in Virginia are waiting for a permanent family to call their own instead of living in foster care.

This is the 4th year for 30 Days of Hope. Every year, 10 News highlights 30 children.

Right now, there are more than 700 children that can be adopted in Virginia.

“Roughly 500 to 600 kids age out of the foster care system each year without a permanent placement meaning they don’t have a family to go home to on Christmas, they don’t have somebody that’s going to teach them how to balance their checkbook or pay their bills,” said Emily Moore, DePaul Community Resources Regional Recruiter. “The outcomes for those kids typically result in homelessness, incarceration, teen pregnancy and that is a statistic we need to change.”

Some of the hardest children to place are teens and they’ve had an increase according to DePaul foster care specialist Sussi Walters.

“You’re going to be able to listen and just provide that space where you can help that teen get out to the world in a few years. When you foster, raise or parent a young child you have time to do some of that therapeutic work period a teen it’s different. You’re going to teach them some good life skills, being able to make good choices in life,” said Walters.

“We have a diverse group of children in foster care that need diverse foster families to meet their needs. We aren’t looking for a cookie cutter family we are just trying to find folks that have a desire to help children heal, that want to understand the needs of these kids and provide them with a safe loving place. Our job is to screen people in not screen people out,” said Moore.

The process is a little different this year. You fill out a form online and DePaul Community Resources will follow up with you referring you to the right person within DePaul or Department of Social Services.

“You don’t have to commit to become a foster parent on your first day when you reach out to us. We know that it is really a long game. It takes a lot of time to understand how it’s going to work in your family and what this could look like,” said Moore.

Many of the commonly asked questions are online so you can get more info right now. Every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. we’ll introduce you to a child or siblings that need a home.

If you have questions about foster care/adoption, contact DePaul Community Resources at https://www.depaulcr.org/30daysofhope/.

There are more than 700 children who are ready for foster to 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 at 6 a.m. and 6 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. 2020 marks the fourth year 10 News is doing this series.

About the Author:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m. She also leads our monthly Solutionaries Series, where we highlight the creative thinkers and doers working to make the world a better place.