Heart Gallery hopes to inspire families to foster and adopt

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Right now thousands of children in Texas do not have a home. This year, Child Protective Services has had to turn offices into bedrooms to accommodate all those in need.

One program is seeing success in connecting children with new parents.

Workers rushed around easels, pictures and name tags at the Blanton Art Museum. For these volunteers they have to be right, it's a first impression after all.

"They need a home. They need a family. So we really want to promote foster care and adoption in our community,' said Kori Gough, Executive Director of Partnerships for Children, who put on the yearly Heart Gallery.

Thursday night the group displayed pictures of children under the care of Child Protective Services in Texas. They're mostly teenagers and siblings, some of the hardest children to find forever families for.

'We really do have a shortage of beds and it causes us to not have a place to put them," said Gough. They hope to have a few hundred people come through and that some leave with inspiration to add to their family.

"These three children that I recognize for this picture that I kept seeing over and over," said Christina Masters. She went to the Heart Gallery two years ago and a few days after that she saw the same children at the courthouse, said it was fate, and became a foster mom to the three children in the picture.

"I couldn't' help it in that moment. It was, it just made my heart beat a lot faster and I felt it was something I needed to act upon," said Masters.

That experience these volunteers hope to replicate for as many families as they can. In addition to foster parents, the state is hoping to recruit more people willing to adopt.

According to state records, 743 children from Austin were placed in homes last fiscal year. And more than 5,500 children across Texas were adopted. We found out most children adopted are between the ages of one and five. That's because they have the biggest numbers in state care.

Followed by children aged six to 12 and then teenagers. Just under two-percent of children adopted are under the age of one.

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