Turning Experience Into Action
Who is behind the Kindred Hearts Program?
Adoptive parents who believe adoptive families deserve quality post-adoption education, services and support. With backgrounds as adoptive parents, as well as working professionally in therapy, social work, foster care, social services and law, we set out to serve families of adoption in our community whose challenging needs are not being met by current programs.
Over the last five years, five hundred and twenty-four (524) children have been adopted from the Shasta County Foster Care System. This many children has a compounding effect on our community every year.
Research shows that while substance exposure and early childhood trauma can have negative effects on children adopted young, the older the child is when removed from birth parents and the longer they remain in foster care, the greater these negative effects become on developmental outcomes. Studies show that these children are at heightened risk of moderate to severe health problems, learning disabilities, developmental delays, physical impairments, and mental health struggles, which can be exceptionally costly to the family and local community.
Adoptive families —especially those who adopt children from foster care—often need extra support.
Post-adoption services are a necessary and vital support to families raising children with often serious, disruptive and unsafe issues. With support programs, parents are able to remain committed and effective as they raise their children with exceptional needs.
We then see an increase in child hospitalizations and children being placed in residential care, with whole families being traumatized and living with symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression. Families living under chronic stress results in extremely overwhelmed parents, which can lead to serious health issues, divorce, and disruptions for other children living in the home.
The Kindred Hearts Program's goals are to keep families together and to ensure children’s success by providing the greatly needed adoption support and services. These children grow up to be our community members, and it is the community that must support them in their success or pay the costs for drug and alcohol, mental health and chronic illness treatment, and the costs of law enforcement responses, illegal acts, incarcerations and homelessness. Helping these families is an investment in our community’s future.
Research shows sustainable and successful adoptions, where families receive competent post-adoption support services, saves money for our communities and keep our children, families, and communities safe.