Fostering Louisiana: Louisiana sees record year for foster care adoption

State News
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There are currently over 4,700 kids in foster care in Louisiana. While some of those kids are in the system until things improve so they can return home or to another family member, 350 of those children are currently looking for adoptive families.

For the second year in a row, Louisiana broke a record for foster care adoptions. That’s something the state’s Department of Children and Family Services Assistant Secretary for Child Welfare Rhenda Hodnett said she would like to see continue.

“We did have a record year this past year. As much as records are great, it really just ties to results period and making sure children find permanency whether it’s in their own home or through adoption,” Hodnett said.

The department is not alone in this effort. Claudia Berry, the executive director of HP Serve, works hand-in-hand with the department to get the community involved. One way of doing so is through the Louisiana Heart Gallery.

“Louisiana Heart Gallery is a set up that is portable and it has pictures and biographies of all the kids in care,” Berry said. 

The Gallery moves around the state, showing people pictures and information about kids looking for a forever home. The Louisiana Heart Gallery website also features videos of kids up for adoption.

“They just want somebody going to their ball games. They want somebody involved in their lives. When we interview the kids for the videos, a lot of times they’ll ask them what do you want. And many times they just say I want a family that’s mine, a family forever,” Berry said.

Berry said dozens of kids have been adopted, thanks to the help of the Louisiana Heart Gallery. To see more from the Louisiana Heart Gallery, visit the website.

This is the fourth part of a special report series “Fostering Louisiana.” Catch part one here, part two here, and part three here.

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