Foster Youth and Alumni
Adoption Network Cleveland is committed to youth in foster care. Currently there are approximately 2,000 children and youth in foster care in Cuyahoga County. Many of those children and youth will be reunited with their families, but over 600 are in the permanent custody of the county and available for adoption. (Click here to see profiles of some of the youth available for adoption.) Adoption Network Cleveland works in partnership with the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services to focus on the 200-250 children in permanent custody for whom no adoptive family has yet been identified. These youth are at the highest risk of aging out of the foster care system without a permanent family.
As lead agency for the Adopt Cuyahoga Kids Initiative, Adoption Network Cleveland developed a new methodology, Child Centered Recruitment to identify adoptive families for youth who have been stuck in care and are at high risk to age our without a permanent family. Through Child Centered Recruitment, families have been found for more than 420 youth since 2004, one of the significant successes we have achieved as part of the Kids Initiative. We continue to help others replicate our successes through consulting services.
The youth we work with are encouraged to participate in Get Real, which is a peer support group for youth in foster care. They may also be matched with a mentor through the Permanency Champions Mentoring Program. The youth have formed a Youth Advisory Council to give voice to their experience and develop themselves as leaders.
For foster care alumni—adults who experienced foster care in childhood or “aged out” at 18—Adoption Network Cleveland invites you to participate in our General Support and Discussion Groups or to help youth who are currently in foster care by volunteering with our organization.
By becoming a member of Adoption Network Cleveland, you support programs and services we offer to youth in foster care and strengthen our voice in Ohio public policy issues affecting foster care and adoption.
For more information about any of these programs or community resources available for foster care alumni, call our Helpline at (216) 325-1000.
If you are interested in impacting the life of a youth in foster care, consider becoming a Permanency Champion through our mentoring program or learn more about becoming an adoptive parent.