Gate­way Longview gets adop­tion grant

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

The Dave Thomas Foun­da­tion for Adop­tion will help bring West­ern New York chil­dren wait­ing in foster care one step closer to be­ing adopted into safe, lov­ing and per­ma­nent homes with a large grant to Gate­way Longview.

The grant – $225,000 per year for up to three years – will fund three child-fo­cused adop­tion re­cruiters for Wendy’s Won­der­ful Kids, a sig­na­ture pro­gram of the foun­da­tion, said An­drea Mo­ran, vice pres­i­dent for foun­da­tion and or­ga­ni­za­tional ad­vance­ment for Gate­way Longview.

Mo­ran said the Thomas foun­da­tion re­cruit­ment model fo­cuses ex­clu­sively on mov­ing Amer­ica’s long­est-wait­ing chil­dren from foster care into adop­tive fam­i­lies. They do so by as­sess­ing a child’s strengths, chal­lenges, de­sires and pre­pared­ness for adop­tion, then work­ing to­gether with the child and their cur­rent sup­port net­works, in­clud­ing teach­ers, ex­tended rel­a­tives, men­tors, and faith-based representatives, to help pre­pare the child and fam­ily for a smooth tran­si­tion to adop­tion.

Gate­way Longview’s Wendy’s Won­der­ful Kids re­cruiters will work closely with the agency’s cur­rent depart­ment em­ploy­ees, who have fi­nal­ized 38 adop­tions from foster care place­ments dur­ing the past two years, as well as the state Of­fice of Child and Fam­ily Ser­vices and the Erie County Depart­ment of So­cial Ser­vices.

“We can­not thank The Dave Thomas Foun­da­tion enough for in­vest­ing in the lives of West­ern New York foster chil­dren by fund­ing this pro­gram,” said Michelle Federow­icz Cope, vice pres­i­dent of foster care and res­i­den­tial ser­vices for Gate­way Longview. “Ev­ery child needs some­one who in­spires them to dream big, who en­cour­ages them to work harder, and who be­lieves they have a bright fu­ture. Ul­ti­mately, the award of this na­tional fund­ing al­lows us to ex­pand our work within our re­gion to help even more lo­cal chil­dren, many of whom have been in the sys­tem for years, find the per­ma­nent, lov­ing fam­i­lies that they’ve been long­ing for.”

Those in the re­gion who want to learn more about be­com­ing a foster or adop­tive fam­ily can call Gate­way Longview at 783-2909.

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