Children Awaiting Parents, Inc. (CAP) is a national, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. For 40 years, we have been dedicated to finding adoptive homes for America's waiting children.
CAP's mission is to recruit foster and adoptive families across the United States for children who have been waiting the longest for a family. Our waiting children are often older, minorities, sibling groups who wish to be placed together, or children with emotional, mental and/or physical disabilities - children who are typically categorized as "special needs" or "hardest to place."
CAP has a number of programs that help us to accomplish our mission:
The CAP Book, the only printed national photolisting of special needs children, includes photos and narratives of waiting children. The CAP Book has a national subscriber base and is updated biweekly.
CAP's website, www.ChildrenAwaitingParents.org, provides photos, narratives and videos of waiting children, in addition to pre- and post-adoption information for prospective foster and adoptive parents.
A Right to be Heard is a CAP initiative that empowers waiting children to speak in their own words about their interests, challenges and hopes. Through creative video portraits children speak about things that are important to them. The goal is to break barriers that prevent potential adoptive parents from seeing waiting children as unique individuals. These beautiful videos can be seen on our website or in DVD format.
One Child at a Time, a new initiative in New York State, provides intensive child specific recruitment in collaboration with the local agency to find homes for the longest waiting children.
The Heart Gallery is a national movement that showcases artistic portraits of children currently in foster care and available for adoption. CAP's first Heart Gallery was held in December, 2005. Nearly 25% of the featured in the first exhibit have joined their forever families! CAP's second Heart Gallery exhibit was held during November 2007 at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. It will be on display at various local venues throughout the Western New York area during 2008.
Friday's Child, a weekly television segment hosted by WHAM TV 13 Associate News Director, Don Alhart, in Rochester, New York, features a local waiting child in an effort to recruit forever families.
Faith in Children, is a special adoption recruitment campaign initiated by CAP to reach out to the community through faith-based organizations to identify and recruit permanent families for America's waiting children.
Mentoring Program: The mentoring program is to provide support services for children in foster care and other at risk youth. A mentor helps a child develop his or her strengths and talents, while providing friendship and encouragement. If you would like more information please contact Pat Burks.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. In 2007, CAP received a grant from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to implement a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids project. Wendy's Wonderful Kids is the direct-service signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption that combines the fundraising of Wendy's, Wendy’s customers and the aggressive grants management of the Foundation. The Foundation has awarded grants to local adoption organizations in every state to execute aggressive child-focused recruitment programs targeted exclusively on placing foster care children with adoptive families.
The funding enabled CAP to hire an adoption recruiter whose sole job is to find permanent homes for 20 of the hardest to place foster children in the Western New York Area. Melanie Schmidt is CAP’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter. Since the program’s launch in July 2007, five children have been matched with families and two have adoptive resources. To learn more about our Wendy's Wonderful Kids click here.
CAP provides media outreach in regional and national publications throughout the United States. Children are featured weekly in newspapers, and are also featured in magazines and parent group newsletters. We have recently had children featured on the cover of Fostering Families Today, and in national magazines including Latina and Brain Child. Additional media outreach projects have included the production of regional and national posters for National Adoption Month, as well as advertisements which promote adoption.
CAP is a founding member of The Adoption Exchange Association and Voice for Adoption. Both are coalitions of organizations and child welfare advocates addressing the urgent needs of waiting children throughout the United States.