Kidsave: Helping Older Foster Kids Find Their Forever Home
“When people think about adopting, they typically think about adopting a baby. But every child deserves a family. At Kidsave, we specialize in finding forever homes for foster youth 9 to 18 years old,” says Randi Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Kidsave.
Although prospective parents can be hesitant to adopt older children, this group needs just as much help, support, and love as younger children – even the 18-year-olds. Without a family or support system, over half of children who age out of foster care will be homeless within 18 months.
“The older foster kids we serve have been abandoned by every other adult in their lives, and they have no one to help them navigate life. When they exit the foster care system, they are vulnerable to homelessness, drugs, gang violence, and human trafficking of every kind,” says Thompson. “At Kidsave we work to create connections between the kids and potential adoptive families or mentors. Former foster youth who can report that they have at least one adult to turn to for emotional support or advice are more likely to thrive.”
According to Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child, statistics surrounding foster children are grim. Only 58% will graduate high school by the age of 19 (compared to 87% of all 19-year-olds). By age 24, only half will be employed. 71% of young women are pregnant by age 21.
At the heart of the successful Kidsave model is building strong relationships. This starts before adoption – finding the right family for the right kid. Through programs such as Kidsave’s LA Weekend Miracles, families and foster youth come together for games and activities so potential pairings can get familiar with each other and consider moving forward with the adoption process.
“By the time they are recommended to Kidsave by their social workers, our kids have been in an average of seven different foster homes,” says Thompson. “So they might be hesitant about opening up to a new adult. At our events we are trying to build a relationship. Afterwards we’ll talk with the kids and ask: ‘What did you think? Is there someone you connected with?’”
Kidsave also operates programs in Houston, Colombia, Ukraine, and Sierra Leone. Since the Weekend Miracles program began, Kidsave has helped more than 800 kids find permanent families or lasting connections, giving them a chance at a better future.
Director of Development: Liz Crozer
Kidsave helps find forever families for older kids in foster care and orphanages so they can thrive in a home filled with love, support and encouragement.
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I am the evidence of the generational change that adoption brings. Without the adoption of my mother and the path it put her on, I wouldn’t be here. Adoption not only changes the life of the child and the family at the center of it, but it also creates these beautiful ripples that flow from it, and my family is proof of that. And that’s why I am so proud to support organizations like Kidsave who are creating life-changing ripples as champions for older kids in foster care.
Help Kidsave Find Loving Families for More Kids Before They Age Out of the System
Three out of four kids in Weekend Miracles have found adoptive families or a lifelong connection.
“Next year Kidsave will celebrate our 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, we are asking 25 local donors to give $1,000 or more. Each gift allows us to help even more children find forever families and get them the love and care they deserve,” says Randi Thompson, Kidsave CEO and co-founder.
Karey Burke and Michael Duggan
California Federation for
Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.
Fund of Boeing California
Leonard Green Foundation
Max and Karel Guefen
The Hicker Family
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Bob and Nita Hirsch
David and Janyce Hoyt
Audrey and Sydney Irmas
Thomas and Dorothy Leavey
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
M B Seretean Foundation Inc.
Dave Thomas Foundation
Venable Foundation, Inc.
Warner Bros. Television