|By Marketwire .||
|October 17, 2012 11:38 AM EDT||
GUELPH, ON -- (Marketwire) -- 10/17/12 -- The Adoption Council of Canada, in partnership with Family & Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington County and Dean Palmer Photography, is launching an innovative program, Heart Gallery Guelph Wellington, to find homes for children and youth in foster care who need permanent families.
The Heart Gallery's mission is to use the power of photography to capture the individuality and dignity of waiting children, to raise public awareness about their needs, to obtain support to meet those needs, and to find permanent homes for them. Our hope is that potential adoptive parents who see the portraits of these waiting children and youth will contact Family & Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington County to learn about how they can begin the adoption process.
We are launching Heart Gallery Guelph Wellington in the Atrium of the River Run Centre on Wednesday, October 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. As space is limited, RSVP is required. Deadline to reserve your spot is Monday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. For more information, please contact:
Barb Peeren at Barb.Peeren@fcsgw.org or 519-824-2410 ext. 4430.
The Heart Gallery Guelph Wellington launch will feature a panel of former and current youth in care. They will talk about what it's like to be in foster care and why it's important to find families for children and youth of all ages.
"I was adopted by my foster parents when I was four years old. Now I will always have a family. My kids will have grandparents and aunts and uncles. I will always have someone to call in the middle of the night, when I need to talk, even when I'm 19 or 25 or 30. I'll be able to come home for the holidays... I can pass on favourite recipes and family traditions... Most of all, I will always belong. If I hadn't been adopted, I wouldn't be able to say that." - Amanda, Youth Leaving Care Hearings, Toronto, ON, Nov. 18, 2011.
Following the launch, the Heart Gallery portraits will be touring around Guelph and Wellington County, beginning with The Co-operators' office in Guelph.
The first Heart Gallery in Canada, launched in Ottawa in 2010, has toured in federal government buildings, call centres, restaurants, municipal buildings and gala events. In the US, Heart Galleries have also toured in libraries, shopping malls, train stations, Times Square, and Capitol Hill.
"We have as many as 30,000 children and teens in foster care across Canada who are eligible for adoption but don't have the love, commitment and security that a permanent family can give them forever. The Heart Gallery is one way we can make this situation real for local communities, by featuring their children who need permanent homes," says Laura Eggertson, president of the Adoption Council of Canada.
Daniel Moore, Executive Director of Family & Children's Services of Guelph and Wellington County adds: "Family & Children's Services are aware of the lifetime of benefits for children and youth who find permanency through adoption. Growing up in CAS care brings with it many limitations when compared to being raised in a permanent loving family. We are excited to partner with the Adoption Council of Canada to bring Heart Gallery to the Guelph Wellington Community."
Heart Gallery Guelph Wellington is made possible through the following support: