Press Release

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, AdoptUSKids and Ad Council Unveil New PSAs to Highlight the 26,000 Preteens Available for Adoption from Foster Care

New PSAs distributed at the start of National Adoption Awareness Month

Washington, DC, November 2, 2011 — More than 26,000 preteens (children ages 8 – 12) are available for adoption from the U.S. foster care system, according to the Administration for Children and Families Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Report System (AFCARS). To promote the adoption of preteens from the U.S. foster care system, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids (AUSK) and the Ad Council today unveiled a new series of national public service advertisements (PSAs). Created pro bono by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners (kbs+p) and Revolución, the PSAs will be distributed this week as part of National Adoption Month.

AFCARS data shows that the older a child gets, the more difficult it is for them to find a permanent home. Additionally, preteens are overrepresented in foster care because potential parents may not think they have what it takes to care for an older child. 

“This effort is especially important as we work to promote the adoption of preteens, giving children the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential through a loving and stable family,” said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “As we commemorate National Adoption Month, it is my hope that many more families will welcome adoptive children into their homes.”

The new television, radio, print, outdoor and digital PSAs end with the tagline, “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent,” reassuring prospective parents that even if they are not ‘perfect’, they have the ability to provide the stability and security that preteens in foster care need and deserve. The new PSAs direct audiences to visit or call 1-888-200-4005 for current, accurate information about the foster care system and the adoption process. PSAs are also available in Spanish and direct audiences to visit and 1-877-ADOPTE1.

“AdoptUSKids is pleased to partner again this year with the Ad Council and the Children’s Bureau to raise public awareness about the need for adoptive parents for preteens,” said Kathy Ledesma, Project Director for AdoptUSKids. “We anticipate that, as with previous campaigns, our inquiry line will soon be ringing and our website will see an increase in visits from families who respond to the campaign’s message and want to find out if adopting a preteen from foster care is a good fit for them.”

Since July 2004, the Ad Council has partnered with ACF, AdoptUSKids and kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners on a national campaign to encourage the adoption of children from foster care. Since the launch of the campaign more than 13,000 children who were photo listed on have been placed with a permanent family and the campaign has received more than $300 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, outdoor and digital media.  Per the Ad Council model, the new PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.

“In our seventh year of a tremendously successful campaign with HHS and AdoptUSKids, we are encouraging adults to open their hearts to the thousands of preteens that are available for adoption from foster care,” said Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of the Ad Council. “We know the media will lend their support to these heartwarming PSAs to help shed light on the importance of foster care adoption.”

For more information on adoption from foster care “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families
Within the federal 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.

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 of the Administration of Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services.

kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners
kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, a member of the MDC Partners Network, is a leading digitally integrated marketing communications firm headquartered in New York and Atlanta with offices in Toronto and Montreal. kbs+p provides expert counsel across the full range of practices including brand and product innovation, public relations, emerging technologies, IP, advertising, eCRM, data & analytics, social media marketing, mobile, direct marketing, media planning and buying, SEM and real-time web analytics. kbs+p is proud to serve a blue chip roster of clients that includes BMW, Steak ‘N Shake, PUMA, Church’s Chicken, Giorgio Armani, HomeGoods, Tecate, Victoria’s Secret, AOL, Roll-Royce Motorcars, NetJets, John Frieda, and Vanguard among others.

Revolución is a full-service brand communications agency that enables brands to harness the tremendous potential of the multi-cultural marketplace. The agency was founded in 2000 and 100% of Revolución’s staff is comprised of bicultural, bilingual individuals representing the diversity of the U.S. multi-cultural experience. Revolución is based in New York City’s Flatiron District, with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Dallas. In 2010, Revolución forged a partnership with EO Integration, an independent branded content production company, to provide innovative solutions for advertisers through film, TV, Web and emerging, non-traditional media.

The Advertising Council
The Ad Council is a non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical 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

Media Contacts:

Kenneth Wolfe
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 401-9215         
[email protected]

Lisa Cullen
The Ad Council
(202) 331-5052
[email protected]

Deb Zdobinski
(212) 352-4664
[email protected]

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