Sunday, May 15, 2011

#prolife #prochoice Follow @ExploreAdoption for training sessions&support tools for future adoptive #parents

Florida's state adoption agency is now using Twitter to find adoptive families for the state's 850 foster children after a successful email campaign helped find homes for adoptive children. The state has decided to turn to twitter, 140 character social media platform, which has millions of users a day to reach out to a larger group of potential adoptive parents. I'm surprised more states aren't doing this and haven't been doing this already. Hopefully this will set a trend and getting the word out will help find more forever families for children in need of homes.

November’s email campaign was so successful — 12 children statewide found permanent homes because of it — that they decided to give Twitter a try.

Since mid-April, the Florida Department of Children & Families and Gov. Rick Scott’s office have been Tweeting about training sessions and support tools for future adoptive parents to followers of @ExploreAdoption, the Twitter name for the state’s adoption program.
So far, followers of the @ExploreAdoption feed have received 16 tweets, sometimes featuring links to resources on the Explore Adoption website. Last week, the first tweet to feature a foster child waiting to be adopted was sent to the more than followers.

State officials said the tweeting, an even faster and far-reaching social networking tool than email, is being done by three state employees without additional funding or resources. The tweets focus on teenagers, groups of siblings and children with medical disabilities — kids who often find it difficult to find adoptive families.

“It’s so important for these children to be adopted before they age out of foster care because they are at a greater risk of not completing high school or college, becoming homeless, getting arrested or possibly becoming parents at an early age,” said Cyndee Odom, of the Governor’s Office of Adoption and Child Protection, and one of the “tweeters.”
Twitter was chosen for this initiative instead of other social networking options such as Facebook because it is easier to control inappropriate comments, Odom said.
The far-reaching impact of Twitter, with an estimated 55 million daily tweets about everything from the latest breaking news to celebrity gossip, is a plus, Odom added.

“I believe, with 18 million people in this state, that if they are aware and introduced to these children, that they will open their hopes and hearts,” she said.
Odom and a couple of colleagues will tweet once or twice a week, but there are also plans to tweet more frequently and feature more foster children, Odom added.
“[Twitter] is a wonderful venue to share information and showcase these beautiful, beautiful children,” Odom said.

©2008-2010 Patricia Garza

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