Grants Help Connect Children with Families

VICTORIA, Nov. 26 /CNW/ - Five grants totaling $102,000 have been awarded from the Lex Reynolds Adoption & Permanency Trust Fund announced Fund Committee co-chairs Geord Holland and Sandra Scarth today.

"There are over 1300 children waiting and many more already in care who need a permanent connection with a family," said Scarth. "These grants support groups working to help these children and youth."

Established by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development in 2003, the BC Adoption & Permanency Trust Fund supports groups that help children and youth find and maintain lifelong connections through adoption or alternative avenues of permanence. Named in honour of Lex Reynolds, an advocate for children and adoptive families who passed away earlier this year, a total of $472,500 has been awarded from this fund since its inception.

"No child should grow up without a family of their own", said Minister of Children and Family Development Mary Polak. "The diversity of these projects is encouraging and will help raise awareness across cultural, social and age groups of the need for more people to consider adoption as a wonderful way to build a family. Creating these connections is always important - and a focus during November as we celebrate Adoption Awareness Month."

Grants are awarded from the interest earned on $3 million in permanent funds managed by the Victoria Foundation, a community foundation that manages funds gifted to them in perpetuity and then distributes the earnings from them for charitable purposes. The Adoption Council of Canada is the Fund secretariat, responsible for appointing the Fund's advisory committee.

For information on adoption and the Lex Reynolds BC Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund, including application information, and how to donate to it, visit www.connectingforlife.ca.

    
    List of grants follows

           BC Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund Grants - Fall 2009

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adoptive         Breaking Down Barriers                          $26,000
    Families
    Association      Sharing profiles of waiting children and
    of BC            youth to families through the use of video
    Burnaby          conferencing. Video conferencing will help
                     remove geographical and logistical barriers
                     in adoption recruitment.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Adoptive         Speak-Out Youth Engagement Project              $20,000
    Families
    Association      Supporting a group of 15 youth who are or were
    of BC            in BC foster care in developing communications
    Burnaby          material about permanency options for other
                     youth in care. The group will be mentored in
                     skills like graphic design, brochure
                     development and public speaking.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Métis            Building Strong Métis Adoptions:                $20,000
    Community
    Services         Health from Culture and Community
    Society of BC
    Kelowna          Developing a Métis custom adoptions
                     framework and ceremony, a cultural
                     education program for potential adoptive
                     parents and a Métis adoptive home recruitment
                     process.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Parent Support   Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Legal        $20,000
    Services of BC   Information Seminars
    Burnaby
                     Giving grandparent-led families legal
                     information on family permanency options
                     and related resources. Seminars will be held
                     throughout the province and will be designed
                     and delivered in partnership with the Legal
                     Services Society and Law Matters.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Watershed        Tapping the Potential:                          $16,000
    Productions
    Nelson           Increasing Adoptions within the Gay Community

                     Producing an educational DVD and content
                     for the Adoptive Families Association of BC
                     website aimed at raising awareness within the
                     gay community about adoption as a permanency
                     option.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE Victoria Foundation

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Sharlene Smith, Victoria Foundation, Phone: (250) 658-1583

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Victoria Foundation

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