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:
CAP's Website and National Waiting Child Photo-listing. Our website, www.ChildrenAwaitingParents.org, hosts photos, narratives and videos of waiting foster youth around the nation. Prospective adoptive families inquire on specific children in order to provide a forever home. Our website provides pre- and post-adoption information for prospective foster and adoptive parents.
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. In 2007, CAP received a grant from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to implement a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) project. WWK is the direct-service signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. 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 a small caseload of the hardest to place foster children in the Western New York Area. CAP has seen great success through the use of the WWK program. Our recruiter has helped unite 15 of the hardest to place local youth with forever, adoptive families and many more are matched with potential homes. The program includes two match events per year that allow waiting children and families to meet and develop relationships that may last a lifetime. Ilona Frederick is CAP’s current Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter. Please contact her to find out how a to a adopt a local child in need of a home or to refer a waiting child to the program.
Adoption Mentors. The Adoption Mentors are a group of volunteer adoptive parents, adoption professionals and adoption advocates committed to encouraging families and professionals experiencing problems in the adoption process.Click here to learn more or if you have a question for the team.
Training. Children Awaiting Parents provides training services for parents and child welfare professionals that include recruitment and retention of adoptive families, how to navigate the education system, managing adolescent behavior techniques and how to advocate for special needs services. Please contact us for workshops that are open to public and private groups.
Family Support. CAP staff of adoption experts provide support and advocate on behalf of families at any point in their adoption journey. Families call us to learn how to adopt, if they need assistance finding a child or if they need additional services and support after a child is placed in their home. CAP hosts two adoption information meetings per month that are free to the public and provide information about adopting waiting youth. The meetings take place on the 2nd and last Wednesday of the month at the CAP office. CAP runs an adoptive family support group on the last Tuesday of the month at our office.
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.
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 Heart Gallery exhibit is featured annually for National Adoption Month in November at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. It continues to be on display at various local venues throughout the Western New York including the Strong Museum, Airport and libraries. To learn about how your place of business, community center or church can host a heart gallery display please contact Patricia Burks.
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.
Waiting Child Mentoring Program: The mentoring program provides 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.
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