Topher Lytle, Engage Director, Area 10 Faith Community
“The heart and mission to find safe and loving homes for the thousands of kids throughout Richmond and Virginia drives Virginia’s Kids Belong as they continue to make a significant impact in the lives of individuals.”
This isn’t a story about any one child. Instead, this story is about the more than 5,200 children in the foster care system in Virginia who need a family to love, support and keep them safe. Without people sharing their lives, these kids feel like they don’t belong. That lack of belonging can lead to many short- and long-term problems for children, including poor academics, trouble with the law, and human trafficking.
By leveraging the combined power of the state’s government (across party lines), business, faith and creative communities, Virginia’s Kids Belong (VKB) runs innovative initiatives to recruit more foster and adoptive families, engage wraparound support for at-risk, foster and adoptive families and help youth who have aged out of foster care. VKB strives to create an environment where there are more foster and adoptive families waiting for kids than there are kids waiting for families.
“Community leaders often want to solve societal problems, especially those involving vulnerable children, but they often don’t have an easy on-ramp to do so,” explains former Virginia governor, Bob McDonnell. “VKB helps match the needs of children in foster care with people who have the resources to meet those needs. The end result is more families for kids who need them and more support for those families.”
While this nonprofit is new to the state and its work has only just begun, other state affiliates of America’s Kids Belong have been able to grow their pool of foster families by over 40 percent in their first year. The community is the key to making that happen.
Help end our foster and adoption crisis by donating to Virginia’s Kids Belong.