Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye, 2009!

As we say goodbye to 2009, here are a few of my favorite highlights from the year:
  • Welcome new families! In state fiscal year 2009, Iowa gained 532 new foster and adoptive families! Thanks to those who made this decision to help Iowa kids in such a unique way. Iowa's need for more foster and adoptive families will continue to be ongoing as kids continue to enter foster care and families leave the system.

  • Adoption Support. We connected more families with post-adoption support services and appointed adoption champions throughout the state to help form support networks for adoptive parents. Another awesome highlight was the support retreats that were held in several service areas for adoptive families.

  • Lights, camera, action. We added video interviews to our web site of some of the children who are waiting to be adopted in Iowa. Go here to meet some of them.

  • Ballpark bash for National Foster Care Month. Families from across the state joined us for a night of baseball and fun at the Iowa Cubs to honor foster families and children during May's National Foster Care Month. Danielle, daughter of a foster and adoptive family, threw out the first pitch!

  • Family Connections. Iowa KidsNet received an exciting three-year federal grant as part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. This particular grant will fund intensive efforts to locate relatives and help reestablish relationships for children who are at risk of or on the verge of entering foster care. The goal is to increase extended family support for kids and avoid or reduce the need for them to stay in foster care.

  • Adoption Saturday. Adoption Saturday was a success across the state, with events held in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Ottumwa and Sioux City. Congratulations to all the families and children who finalized adoptions on this special day!

None of the good things that happened in 2009 could have been possible without many partners and the dedicated hearts of many Iowa families. We are so thankful for you! Here's wishing you a Happy New Year's and a brilliant and beautiful start to 2010.

What are some of things you were thankful for in 2009? Leave a comment, and let us know!


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