Stay Informed

August 19, 2016
           

Children's Bureau's Director of Adoption Recruitment and Retention Anna Wolak was featured in an RTV6 story about the Indiana Heart Gallery and its work to create awareness for special needs adoptions in the state.

May 26, 2016
           

These excerpts come courtesy of the Umps Care Charities newsletter that features our own CB employee, Cadence "Zoe" Cottom.

Do you have any advice for others who can relate to your journey?

Being in foster care and being adopted makes you different than other kids. But I never saw this as a bad thing. I matured at a very young age and learned how to be independent. My advice is to realize how amazing you are for making it through all of the things you've had to deal with. It isn't easy, and it isn't even our fault, but we're the ones that have to deal with it. So give yourself a break. Focus on getting through the struggle one day at a time. Because once you reach the other side, you're a better person because of what you've been through. This journey taught me empathy and compassion and that the best things in life aren't things, but the people you love most.

Your last semester has been spent working a full-time and in school full-time. What exactly are you doing and who are you working for? 

This semester has been very hard for me! I've juggled a 40 hour work week while taking 13 credit hours (5 classes). It started last semester when I interned at Children's Bureau, Inc. in Indianapolis for a class requirement. As my internship was ending in December, a position opened up. I was so excited to apply that I didn't even stop to think about how I'd manage school and work. I am now the recruitment coordinator for Indiana Adoption Program (contracted out of Children's Bureau, Inc.). My job has many facets but I'll name just a few. First, I work with Adoption Champions all over the state to set up educational events in their communities to recruit prospective parents to adopt waiting children in foster care. I also manage our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). And my favorite part of my job is organizing Adoption Meet & Greet Events. These events are designed to be fun and interactive for prospective families and children in the hopes of facilitating a match. For example, we have done bowling, basketball, and LEGO-themed events, to name a few. It's a really great aspect of our program because it allows prospective parents to meet 25-35 children in foster care at one time. It allows the prospective parents to go beyond just a photo and biography and actually meet the child. Getting to see a child and prospective parent connect is the most rewarding aspect of the job!

How did you decide to come full-circle and help other children in the foster care system?

Throughout middle school and high school I carried a lot of hostility and animosity. I couldn't understand why I had to endure all of the pain that I did. I set my mind to becoming nothing like my biological parents. So I started off my college career as a pharmacy student. I wanted to make a lot of money and be successful on my own. During my sophomore year I started to change mindsets and realized that I didn't want to have a job based on money. I wanted to do something to change lives. I initially thought about law school, but instead chose sociology because that was the closest thing Butler offered to social work. Giving back to the system has been a goal since I changed my major. I know that many people have negative feelings about "the system" and DCS, but it saved my life. And while I can never repay that, I can help teens and youth who are in the same place I was just ten years ago! Many people have the misconception that they can't change the lives of teens in foster care, but that couldn't be further from the truth. These teens not only want families, but can thrive with families. I wouldn't be who I am today if my mom hadn't taken a chance and adopted me at the age of 13.

Click here to read the entire interview.

 

May 12, 2016
           

Tina Cloer, CEO & president of Children's Bureau, participated in a live radio discussion today on No Limits, an award-winning local program from WFYI, Indianapolis' local NPR station. Host John Krull spoke with Cloer and two other panelists about the growing challenges in Indiana's foster care system.

"I believe there's always hope for the parents," Cloer said. "I've seen some amazing recoveries where having their children removed was when a family hit bottom and was the push they needed to change."

To listen to the context of this and other discussions, visit http://www.wfyi.org/programs/no-limits/radio/childrens-foster-care.

April 29, 2016
           

We were so pleased to receive a very creative special delivery today from Oaklandon Unitarian Universalist Church. 

Congregants focused specifically on women's health as a justice issue and spent a "Service Project Sundays" creating three dozen hygiene kits for teen girls staying in our shelter.  

Each bag contained an encouraging, handwritten note along with soap, shampoo/conditioner, a washcloth, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, feminine products, and more.

Messages included:

  • "I am who I want to be starting right now!" 
  • "Sexuality doesn't define you."
  • "You have worth."
  • "You are fabulous the way you are!"
April 19, 2016
           

Representatives of Children's Bureau and Walmart Foundation will celebrate the Foundation's generous grant of $50,000 for the children's shelter located at the Gene Glick Family Support Center. A check presentation will take place on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Walmart leaders and members of the press are invited to attend this informational celebration and tour of the shelter.

The children's shelter is unique, as the only shelter in Central Indiana providing emergency, temporary residential care for ages 0-17. More than 550 children are served each year. The children's shelter has experienced a steady rise in both the number of children in need of services and the average length of stay.

Walmart Foundation's grant will increase staffing and resources needed to provide more holistic services to children and their families before, during, and after their stay at the shelter.

"This grant from Walmart Foundation could not be more timely and necessary. Children's Bureau is diligently working with local officials to address the dramatic increase of children in need of a safe place to live," said Tina Cloer, President & CEO of Children's Bureau. "We are extremely grateful for the Foundation's generosity and look forward to partnering with them on this endeavor."

"At the Walmart Foundation, we understand that organizations like Children's Bureau are essential to strengthening our community. They share our values and are committed to helping Central Indiana children in need live better," said Walmart's Indianapolis market manager Chip Farris. "With this gift, the staff and volunteers of this shelter will work to make sure children in Indianapolis will find some relief here."

The celebration takes place Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at the Gene Glick Family Support Center, 1575 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.

About Children's Bureau, Inc.: Children's Bureau services focus on the prevention of child abuse and ne¬glect, preservation of families and placement for children who lack safe and healthy homes. Last year the agency served more than 40,000 children throughout Indiana. Learn more at childrensbureau.org.

About Philanthropy at Walmart: By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women's Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.