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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

October 7, 2003

CHILDREN AND YOUTH NEED HOMES:
SATURDAY RALLY TO HELP RECRUIT FAMILIES

CHARLOTTE, NC -- Finding homes and nurturing families for children and youth in need of adoption or foster care is the goal of the "Families for Kids Rally," set for Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003.

"Hope for Every Child," is a campaign by the Youth and Family Services Division (YFS) of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS). The campaign's goal is to increase awareness of the need for adoptive and foster families, and adults who can become special friends or mentors to children no longer able to live with their biological families.

Rally sponsors also want the event to give the community an opportunity to learn about those children and youth awaiting adoption and foster care. Mecklenburg County DSS has 266 children in custody with the goal of adoption. Of that number, 70 children are available now for homes. The County has 910 children in custody.

On Saturday, YFS and four community partners plan to hold the second "Families for Kids Rally," from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Paul Baptist Church, 1401 N. Allen St. in Charlotte. The free event will feature a special program at noon where current adoptive and foster parents will share their stories and encourage others to get involved. Also, some of the children who have been cleared for adoption will speak.

"Our charge is to find safe and permanent homes for the children in our care," said James McAllister, YFS supervisor for foster care and adoption. "We know that the community can help, and will help, if they are informed of the need."

In addition to YFS, the following organizations are rally sponsors:
· Alexander Children's Center
· Another Choice for Black Children, Inc.
· Lutheran Family Services
· Youth Homes, Inc.

The rally will include entertainment and food. Also representatives from some child welfare agencies in the community will have resource information available.



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