November is National Adoption Awareness Month! Kinship Center uses these 30 days in some special ways to bring information and awareness to the communities we serve.

1. In the days leading up to November we host information booths and open houses at community events such as Orange County’s Tustin Tiller Days celebration and parade, and the San Luis Obispo County Open Studios event.

2. We kick off the month by distributing the National Adoption Awareness Presidential Proclamation to our partners and others.

3. **Coming Up!**An annual Kinship Celebration in Costa Mesa brings hundreds of Kinship Center adoptive families together for sharing, connection and inspiration. This year’s celebration is November 14 at the Neighborhood Community Center.

4. We promote positive and informative adoption-related books and films.

5. Kinship Center Board, staff and volunteers make extra efforts to share information and introduce people to Kinship Center… staff members are guest speakers at churches, services clubs and other venues…press releases are sent to local media.

6.  Kinship Center staff members in Southern California make special “Adoption Rocks” bracelets to distribute in the community to increase awareness.  Above, a cheerful new “Kinship Center Bears” wall mural greets children and families who come to Kinship Center’s Tustin facility.

7. In early November each year Kinship Center’s new Annual Report is mailed to several thousand individuals and organizations to provide the latest information about our programs and services for children in need of safe, permanent homes.

8. Month-long adoption related displays in libraries throughout the state engage the public’s awareness and interest. At right, a Kinship Center Family Recruiter explains adoption to children in the John Steinbeck Library in Salinas. Kinship Center program centers greet visitors with attractive displays and materials. On November 2 our headquarters building in Salinas was a polling place for hundreds of local citizens.

9. Kinship Center website and social media sites feature information and resources for adoptive families and professionals.

10. Kinship Center experts provide training to child welfare and mental health professionals around the country; social worker Gayle Ward will be a featured speaker at the Independent Educational Consulting Asssociation conference in Ohio November 3-6. At every Kinship Center facility throughout the state, adoptive families are receiving the help they need through parent training, support groups, and special activities that strengthen families.

“Our real goal during National Adoption Awareness Month is to help adoptive families be proud of who they are,” says Regional Executive Director Allison Maxon. “Being an adoptive family is a minority status…families feel different and they often look different. But families built by adoption are everywhere in our communities, and we work extra hard during this month to help the public recognize and celebrate these wonderful families with us.”

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