09/27/13 The Indiana Heart Gallery, a compelling exhibit featuring portraits of children in need of adoptive families, is stopping in Plymouth. The Gallery will be featured at the LifePlex Building Gym on Saturday, October 5. The Indiana Department of Child Services uses the Heart Gallery to help raise awareness about children in foster care in need of a forever home. There are approximately 1,100 foster kids in Indiana currently eligible for adoption and while many will be adopted by a relative or foster parent, DCS is actively seeking adoptive families for many of them.
“All children want a home filled with love and a family with whom they can share their birthdays and celebrate holidays. They want a room with their own toys, to have friends, play sports and participate in after-school activities. Most importantly, they want a loving, supportive family to be there for them as they grow up,” said DCS Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Rounds. “The children featured in the Heart Gallery are no exception. They just need a little help from all of us in finding that forever family.”
Using the talents of professional photographers who volunteer their time, the individual spirit and true personality of each child is captured. Heart Gallery photographs sometimes show shy children wrapped in their security blankets, girls dressed up as princesses, boys hugging dogs and siblings laughing together. The children all have one thing in common: they need families that will give them unconditional love.
Over 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States. More than 100,000 are legally available for adoption and in need of adoptive families. Many of these children are older, in sibling groups that want to be adopted together or have special needs.
This year, approximately 20,000 young people will leave the foster care system without lifelong families—most at age 18. On their own, these young adults must navigate a weakened economy offering fewer jobs and less support for vital services such as housing. They deserve caring adults who love and support them. For some foster kids, getting adopted can mean the difference between homelessness or incarceration and transitioning successfully to adulthood.
The Indiana Heart Gallery will display a dozen portraits one day only—Saturday, Oct. 5—at the Lifeplex Building Gym, 2855 Miller Drive in Plymouth. The Gallery will be part of the northern autism expo. Gallery viewing is available from 10 am to 1 pm that day. There is no charge to see the exhibit.
About Indiana Heart Gallery:
Indiana’s Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit the Indiana Dept. of Child Services created in 2007 to help find forever families for children in foster care. It travels to various public exhibition spaces across the state over 50 times annually. Venues generally include hospitals, libraries, museums and churches. There are more than 120 Heart Galleries across the United States and the exhibits have resulted in 5,000 children around the country finding adoptive families. A record 1,790 Hoosier foster kids found forever homes in 2011, in part because of the Indiana Heart Gallery.
About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. It also manages the child support bureau. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556. www.in.gov/dcs