Archive for Saturday, June 26, 2004

Agency hopes photos spur

June 26, 2004

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— The group charged with finding homes for the more than 700 children under the state's care plans to use a touring collection of professionally made photographs to boost interest among potential adoptive parents.

Named Klicks for Kids, the program will ultimately feature 50 images of children needing homes, said officials with the Kansas Children's Service League.

The pictures will be taken by volunteers with the Kansas Professional Photographers Assn. and focus on children who are often difficult to find homes for because of their age, disabilities or their desire to be adopted along with a sibling.

League officials said they hope the traveling show doesn't just find homes for the photographed children but also inspires more people to adopt.

"I think there's a lot of good momentum going," said league spokeswoman Tina Long, noting that 580 children were adopted in Kansas last year, the largest annual total since the mid-1990s when private contractors took over the foster care system.

"Research shows that people usually think about foster care or adoption for 18 months before they pick up the phone," Long said. "We're trying to speed up that process."

Deanna Harms, who provides public relations for the league, said the pictures are not merely snapshots but attempt to capture the personalities of the children.

"With these photos, the children become more real," Harms said.

Six of the photos were on display Thursday in Wichita. Officials said the full collection of 50 will return for a week in November before traveling to another location.

Destani, 13, is one of the children pictured. After two months waiting to be adopted, Destani said she hopes her picture makes an impact.

"I want a family who will love me for who I am," she said.

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