Under the Umbrella: Wisconsin’s Waiting Children

When children enter foster care, their primary goal for permanency is reunification with a birth parent. When that goal is unattainable (for whatever reason) within a specified time frame, it becomes the state and/or local child welfare agency’s responsibility to look at alternative permanency options. Ideal alternatives to reunification include transfer of guardianship or adoption.

Currently, our Wisconsin Waiting Kids database displays images and profiles for only 19 children and youth who are in need of an adoptive family. This is just a small fraction of the actual number of children in Wisconsin who are waiting to be matched with their forever families.

Photo listing is simply one method social workers across the state use for the purposes of recruitment of families for an individual child. In recent years, photo listing a child on the Wisconsin Waiting Kids page has become under-utilized, as social workers have found success using other means to recruit adoptive families for waiting children. Please keep in mind that, while you may not see all of the children in need of a forever family on our website, others who are waiting share similar hopes of a family and similar obstacles to being matched with one.

In Wisconsin, many waiting children are school aged or older (4 years and older). Some are part of a sibling group and, if that’s the case, child welfare professionals do their best to keep the kids together unless there are extenuating circumstances (often safety related) that do not permit it. In general, a large majority of waiting children have been in foster care for extended periods of time and have experienced some form of abuse, neglect, and/or even abandonment that has left emotional and sometimes even physical scars. Past hurts, trauma, and feelings grief and loss are all things these kids are working to overcome.

Although it may sometimes be hard to detect, these children often have on a suit of armor and are ready for battle-even in the calmest of environments. They are often guarded and may present as “challenging,” for lack of a better word. Nonetheless, every single one of these children still need and share similar wishes to be matched with a permanent family. They wish for a family to belong to and one or more adults who will be committed to them, who will believe in them and accept them as is, and who they can look to for support, love, and guidance.

If you have the patience, perseverance, flexibility and willingness to adapt your home to fit a child’s needs, and are ready to make a lifetime commitment by opening up your heart and your home to a waiting child, we encourage you to continue learning more about adopting from foster care by checking out the links below, visiting our website, and/or contacting us via phone at 1-800-762-8063 or email at info@coalitionforcyf.org. Remember, we are here for you every step of the way.

Featured Tip Sheets

Under the Umbrella is the weekly enewsletter from the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. If you would like to sign up to receive this newsletter in your in-box, please do so here.

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