Press Release

New PSAs Raise Awareness of the 31,000 Older Youth Awaiting Adoption in the U.S. Foster Care System

Facebook Chat Today to Provide Information to Prospective Parents and Debunk Myths about Adoption from Foster Care
New PSAs Raise Awareness of the 31,000 Older Youth Awaiting Adoption in the U.S. Foster Care System

Washington, DC, January23, 2014 / PRNewswire / — Today,nearly 102,000 children (under 18 years of age) are available for adoption from the foster care system in the United States; more than 30 percent (31,000) are between the ages of 11 and 17, according to the Adoption and Foster CareAnalysis Report System (AFCARS 2012).To encourage prospective parents to consider adopting an older youth from foster care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council are unveiling new public service advertisements (PSAs) today.

“Every young person deserves the chance to grow up in a permanent, loving family,” said JooYeun Chang, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau.“These heartwarming ads remind us that no child is too old for a family, and no parent need be perfect to provide a loving home.”

Created pro bono by advertising agency Kirshenbaum BondSenecal + Partners (kbs+), the new television, radio, print, outdoor anddigital PSAs end with the tagline: “You don’t have to be perfect to be aperfect parent.” The objective is to reassure potential parents that all kindsof people have the potential to make a positive impact on a child’s life. Allof the PSAs direct audiences to visit AdoptUSKids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) toreceive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoptionprocess.

“This year, we wanted to take a fresh approach to the campaign and tellthe story from the perspective of adopted children,” said Michael Abell andKevin Gentile, Creative Directors at kbs+. “Using humor, the childrendemonstrate, in their own words, how they are able to look past flaws andmistakes and see their adoptive parents as heroes.”

“Through our partnership with HHS and AdoptUSKids, we have developed atruly remarkable campaign that has provided more than 21,000 children with permanent,loving homes,” said Ad Council President & CEO Peggy Conlon. “Thousands ofolder youth are looking for ‘imperfect parents’ today and we know that throughthe support of the media we can reach even more prospective parents.”

In addition to the PSAs, a Facebook Chat will take place today from 2 to 3pm ET on AdoptUSKids’ Facebook page toconnect prospective parents with campaign representatives, parents and theiradopted older youth. The online chat will also be an opportunity to debunk manyof the top myths about foster careadoption, including:

  1. Adoption is expensive. Families who work directly with a public agency typically incur no costs. Families who use a private agency,which will, in turn, work with the public agency in their state or county, may have some out-of-pocket expenses.
  2. You have to be married. You do not have to be married to adopt in most states. Many children have been very successfully adopted by single parents.
  3. You have to have a college degree. Having a high school diploma or college education is not required. What is important is that you have the stability, compassion, and commitment to raise a child, as well as being flexible and have a good sense of humor.
  4. You have to own a home and each child has to have their own room. You can rent your home or live in an apartment or a mobile home so long as your living situation is a stable one. Also, each child needs a bed of their own not room of their own.
  5. You can only adopt a child who is the same race and ethnicity as you. Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of anadoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. fostercare and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. Theonly exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children wherespecial considerations apply.

Since July 2004, the Ad Council has partnered with ACF, AdoptUSKids andkbs+ on a national multimedia campaign to encourage the adoption of childrenfrom foster care. Since the creation of the campaign, nearly 34,000 familieshave registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids. The campaign has received morethan $397 million in donated media support across television, radio, print,outdoor and digital media. Per the Ad Council model, the new PSAs will run andair in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration forChildren and Families
Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administrationfor Children and Families (ACF) is the agency that is responsible for federalprograms that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children,individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth andFamilies (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; workswith states, Tribes, and local communities to develop services that support andstrengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhancethe lives of children and their families; and provides information and otherassistance to parents. Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus onchildren from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children andyouth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other childwelfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway andhomeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families. Formore information on ACF’s adoption programs, please visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/focus-areas/adoption.

AdoptUSKids
AdoptUSKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is toraise public awareness about the need for families for children in foster care,and assist States, Territories and Tribes to recruit and retain foster andadoptive families and connect them with children. The project is managedthrough a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau at ACF.

Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs+)
Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs+) is an integrated creative,advertising and marketing agency that is shifting the industry paradigm frominnovation to invention. We are committed to inventing and creating the highestvalue ideas for our clients and for ourselves. Our team of passionate inventorsand creative entrepreneurs is dedicated to doing things that matter and makingthings that matter. Today kbs+ serves a diverse roster of clients that includesAmerican Express, BMW, HomeGoods, KAO Brands, BMO Financial Group, Nike SB,NASDAQ OMX, William Grant & Sons, Simmons Bedding Company, Victoria'sSecret PINK, Boar's Head and Vanguard. For more information on kbs+, a memberof the MDC Partners Network, please visit http://www.kbsp.com or follow us @kbsp_agency.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a non-profit organization with a rich history of marshallingvolunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver criticalmessages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSAcampaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Councilhas effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raisingawareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. To learn more about the AdCouncil and its campaigns, visit adcouncil.org.For more information, please visit adcouncil.org.You can also visit facebook.com/adcouncil or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

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PRESSCONTACTS:
Kenneth Wolfe
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 401-9215
kenneth.wolfe@acf.hhs.gov

Lisa Cullen
The Ad Council
lcullen@adcouncil.org
(202) 331-5052

Sloane Occhiuto

Powell Communications for kbs+

socchiuto@powellny.com

(212) 475-6301 ext. 111

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