30 Days of Hope leads to five children being placed in adoptive homes

Officials say over half of Virginia’s foster kid adoptions in 2021 came from WSLS 10′s viewing area

ROANOKE, Va. – More good news about 30 Days of Hope! We’re excited to share that several of the kids we featured in November are now in homes and the good news doesn’t end there!

“The 30 Days of Hope campaign has gone really well this year,” said Juliet Baldwin, VDSS Adoption Recruitment Coordinator.

32 kids featured over 30 days. They are just some of the more than 600 kids across Virginia, waiting to be adopted.

“Without the 30 Days of Hope campaign and WSLS News bringing awareness to some of our foster youth available for adoption, some of these children might not have a forever family right now. We already have some placed with families and they’re on their way to being adopted,” said Baldwin, who helped coordinate 30 Days of Hope as our partner with the Virginia Department of Social Services.

She also answered many emails from you. They had far more inquiries than they expected, at nearly 800! Right now, of the 32 kids we featured in November, five are already placed in adoptive homes!

“These children need permanency. They don’t get it while they’re in foster care. They never know where they’re going to be from one season to the next,” said Kathy McElroy, who knows the need well as a Bedford County DSS foster care, adoption supervisor. “It’s heartbreaking because they know they’re different. They don’t have any visitors, they don’t have anyone to call, they don’t have people to remember their birthdays or provide Christmas for them. We need foster and adoptive families desperately.”

As more people sign up, we can see more life-changing placements, that lead to even more adoptions.

Baldwin says there were 845 adoptions in 2021 and those show five years of WSLS 10′s 30 Days of Hope is working.

“Over half of the adoptions in Virginia last year for our foster children came from this viewing area,” said Baldwin, who says this partnership and WSLS 10 News highlighting the need for foster care and adoption over the years is making a difference.

“I think this makes a huge impact and brings awareness where maybe there wasn’t one. Families will look at your broadcast and they’ll see and connect and they’ll want to be involved and they want to be engaged,” said Baldwin.

We also told you about the local family who saw 30 Days of Hope in previous years and was called to foster children in their homes. That decision spurred two other families to take in foster children.

Three children now have a permanent family, after being adopted by loving parents who were inspired by our 30 Days of Hope initiative.

“It’s a multi-generational thing, it’s really cool,” said Ryan Downey, with DePaul Community Resources, who said these families could adopt more children and it’s all because of 30 Days of Hope. “We are in it for hope and belonging. If we can bring hope and belonging to the kids in our care, that’s the ultimate goal. We want to find them permanency and when that’s permanency through adoption that’s like the ultimate goal of why I got into this career to start with. It’s the biggest thing to celebrate, it’s the greatest level of success.”

All it takes is a phone call or email to get more info. If you have questions about foster care/adoption, contact VDSS Division of Family Services, Juliet Baldwin, Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at adoptioninquiries@dss.virginia.gov.

To see other 30 Days of Hope stories visit us here.

We also have a list of frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption including the cost, training, etc in this link.

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.