LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A gallery will make a stop in Attica beginning this weekend to raise awareness about children in foster care in need of a forever home.
The Indiana Heart Gallery, an exhibit featuring portraits of children in need of adoptive families, will be on display at the Attica County Public Library beginning Saturday and running through March 2.
There are roughly 1,100 foster kids in the state who are eligible for adoption right now. Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) utilizes Heart Gallery in order to seek adoptive families for as many of these children as possible, our sister station WLFI reports.
"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," DCS Director John Ryan said. "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."
Professional photographers volunteered their time in order to capture the individual spirit and personality of each child. Heart Gallery photos can sometimes show shy kids wrapped in their security blankets, girls dressed up as princesses, boys hugging dogs and siblings laughing together.
But although each child has a unique character, one thing ties them all together: the need for unconditional love from a family.
More than 400,000 children are in foster care across the nation. More than 100,000 are legally available for adoption and in need of families. Many of these kids are older, in sibling groups that want to be adopted together or have special needs.
In 2013 roughly 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. For some foster kids, getting adopted can mean the difference between homelessness or incarceration and transitioning successfully to adulthood.
The Indiana Heart Gallery is displaying 12 large portraits daily, except Sundays, Feb. 9 through March 2 at the Attica Public Library, 305 South Perry St. in Attica.
Mondays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesdays - Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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