There are more than 6,000 children in Tennessee's foster care system. Each is unique and carries with them their own story, but they have a few things in common: resilience, big dreams and even greater potential.
What they need is a loving, patient and supportive family to help them thrive.
Already, our state has thousands of amazing foster families, but we are always looking for more.
Which is why we are launching the TNFosters campaign.
The majority of Tennessee’s children in foster care have the goal of reunification with their birth family and they each need a loving foster family while they wait. Several hundred children a year, however, cannot return home and need a foster family who is open to the possibility of adoption. Additionally, all foster and adoptive families, as well as birth families and at-risk families need your support.
Only some people are called to foster or adopt, but we all have the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child in foster care and families in their lives.
Tennessee is strengthening its already deep connections to the faith-based community, creative leaders, non-profits and the business world in a new effort to support children in the state foster care system.
TNFosters is a collaboration with non-governmental organizations that will encourage Tennesseans to become foster parents. TNFosters also recognizes that not everyone can become a foster parent, so for those who wish to serve, it will offer a variety of proven opportunities to help.
"Every child has the right to a loving family,'' said Governor Bill Haslam. "Tennessee currently has well over 6,000 children in foster care, through no fault of their own. Over 4,000 incredible foster parents have stepped up to provide a safe and supportive environment to these children. At the same time, we are looking for more foster families to help us get these children safe, healthy and back on track."
"We are launching the TNFosters campaign to find more amazing foster parents and recruit additional support into the system,” said First Lady Crissy Haslam. “There are countless ways to help these foster parents and children."
Among the TNFosters participants are DCS, America's Kids Belong, the Tennessee Alliance for Children and Families and the Tennessee Alliance for Kids. Already, they are working with organizations and congregations across the state to continue to strengthen and embrace the foster-care community.
There are countless ways to play a part – and together we can help every child reach their full potential.
TNFosters Goals for 2017
- Recruit a minimum of 100 forever homes for the population of children free for adoption who don’t have a family identified.
- Recruit and license 10 percent more foster homes than the number voluntarily closed in calendar year 2016.
- We intend to begin recruitment initiatives that result in no less than 5 percent of the churches in a county committing to be a part of this faith-based Initiative.