Press Release

National Adoption Campaign Launches New “Perfect Parent” PSAs to Raise Awareness and Encourage Adoption of Older Children from Foster Care

Nearly Half of the Children Photolisted on the AdoptUSKids Website are Teens Age 15–18
National Adoption Campaign Launches New “Perfect Parent” PSAs to Raise Awareness and Encourage Adoption of  Older Children from Foster Care

Washington, DC, November 15th, 2016Today, the Ad Council in partnership with the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids, and KBS launched new public service advertisements (PSAs) for the award-winning Adoption from Foster Care campaign. The new television and radio PSAs encourage the adoption of older youth from foster care. 

Of the 428,000 youth under the age of 18 in the U.S. foster care system, 112,000 are currently waiting for adoptive families, according to the most recent Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) data. Since the project’s launch in 2002, more than 26,000 children who were once photolisted on the AdoptUSKids website have been placed with permanent families. However, older youth and teens have lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted. Currently, of the 5,560 youth photo-listed on the website as available for adoption, 43% are between the ages of 15 and 18 years old.

“Every child, regardless of age, deserves the love and stability that a family can offer. In recognition of National Adoption Month this November, we thank and celebrate all adoptive families throughout the country,” said Rafael López,Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families. “Families who adopt older youth provide teens with love, acceptance and support during a critical period of life and throughout many important milestones. We are proud to sponsor the Adoption and Foster Care campaign to encourage adoptions of older youth nationwide.”

The central idea behind the campaign is that there is no single right answer when it comes to parenting, furthering the message “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” This year’s PSAs, created pro bono by advertising agency KBS, spotlight the moments when older kids still rely on their parents for help and support,inspired by the experiences of real adopted teens and their parents.  

In the new PSAs, the parents explore creative solutions to parenting challenges, such as a father helping his daughter improve her grades in French class, and a mother with a cat allergy trying to accommodate her son’s request for a family pet.The humorous, lighthearted scenarios they depict aim to reassure prospective parents that even if they are not “perfect,” they can provide the stability and security that older youth in foster care need and deserve. 

The PSAs direct audiences to visit adoptuskids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the fostercare system and the adoption process.

“Opening your home and heart to a child or teen changes both of your lives for the better,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We’re so proud that this campaign has helped over 26,000 children and teens find their forever families. Knowing the particular challenges that older teens face in being adopted, we hope that this new work will help show prospective parents that adopting an older child does not mean missing out on the precious milestones of parenting.”

Jon Goldberg, ECD of KBS said, “We love working on this campaign because we are given the opportunity to make really fun, creative work that can have such a positive impact on so many people. The Ad Council and Adopt US Kids have been great partners and to know that the work has helped even one, much less thousands of teens find a home is so special. We appreciate the opportunity every year."

In addition to the PSAs, a Facebook Q&A will take place today from 2 pm to 2:45 pm ET on AdoptUSKids’ Facebook page.  Together with Kathy Ledesma, National Project Director for AdoptUSKids, an adoptive parent and her teen daughter will share their story and answer questions from potential adoptive parents about the experience of adopting from foster care.

The Ad Council will distribute the new PSAs to media outlets nationwide this week.  Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run in time and space donated by the media. Since its initial launch in 2004, the campaign has received more than $536 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, and digital media.

For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.adoptuskids.org or visit the AdoptUSKids communities on Facebook and Twitter.

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families
Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the agency that is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children,individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; works with states, Tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents. Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families. For more information on ACYF’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 to raise public awareness about the need for families for children in foster care,and assist States, Territories and Tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau at ACF.

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver crucial messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit AdCouncil.org, like us on Facebook,follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

KBS

KBS is a global agency that helps companies modernize to thrive in a tech-infused culture. With creative courage and critical capabilities,we’re able to solve today’s toughest marketing challenges through our specialisms including: advertising, social, content, CRM, creative technology,media planning and buying. Our global network includes offices in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, London and Shanghai. We've risen to the challenge for a diverse roster of clients including BMW, American Express,Unilever, BMO, Harman, Stanley Black & Decker, TE Connectivity, GoPro,Monster, Thomas Cook and Vanguard. For more information,visit www.kbsagency.com.

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PRESS CONTACTS:

Ad Council

Margaret Files
[email protected] 
212.984.1953

AdoptUSKids

Melissa Otero

[email protected]

410.636.7034

KBS

AliceRyan

[email protected]

908.962.4199

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