Hawkeyes help Iowa's Child in quest for new family - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hawkeyes help Iowa's Child in quest for new family


"I've been hoping to be adopted for a very long time," says eleven-year old Iowa's Child, Keyvin, The youngster got some help recently from the Iowa Hawkeyes in his quest to find a new family.

Keyvin is one of Iowa's "Waiting Children." These are kids in the Iowa Foster care system who, through no fault of their own, need new families through adoption.

Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids is the umbrella organization for IowaKidsNet, which serves as the coordinating agency in trying to find new families for the kids if they are unable to return to their biological families.

The Hawkeye family treated Keyvin like royalty, as Iowa Athletic Director, Gary Barta arranged for Keyvin to shoot some baskets on the main floor at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Keyvin got the chance to meet basketball coaches Lisa Bluder and Fran McCaffery, as well as several Hawkeyes players. Keyvin sat in on a practice and got tours of the men's basketball lock room and weight room.

Strength and Olympics coach Bill Maxwell took time to tell Keyvin all about the Hawkeye workouts.

Iowa student manager Ben Grimley served as Keyvin's tour guide around Carver Hawkeye, and Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Strom presented him with an Iowa basketball shirt.

Keyvin also received a team basketball signed by the players and coaches.

Many Iowa families work with Iowa KidsNet. Iowa KidsNet is a statewide collaboration of agencies which utilizes a unique, cohesive approach to provide recruitment, training, licensing and continued support to individuals who wish to become foster and adoptive parents.

Iowa KidsNet is a partnership of Iowa social service agencies including Four Oaks, Children's Square USA, Family Resources, LSI, Quakerdale and affiliate Youth and Shelter Services. For more information, call 1-800-243-0756.

"Every child deserves to have a permanent connection to a caring and supportive adult," says Kelli Malone, Iowa KidsNet project director.

"Each year about 26,000 youth turn 18 and age out of foster care without having permanent family connections," Malone added. "We urge more Iowans to consider becoming foster or adoptive parents, especially for older youth, or find ways to raise awareness in their own communities about the needs of Iowa children in foster care."

According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, as of August 2012, there were about 765 children in Iowa who were legally eligible for adoption, meaning parental rights had been terminated.

Many of these children already have an adoptive home identified with a relative or a foster family, while others are still waiting for an adoptive home.

On March 31, 2012, there were approximately 6,100 Iowa children in foster care, which includes placements in non-relative foster homes, relative foster care, group homes, institutional care, supervised independent living or on trial home visits.

More foster and adoptive parents who can care for teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are urgently needed, said Malone. There is also a large need for more African American and Latino foster and adoptive families.

In all Iowa counties, including Black Hawk County, Iowa KidsNet offers free post-adoption support services for families who have adopted a child through the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Of the 104,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care, some will wait five years or more to be adopted -- a lifetime to a child.

To learn more about foster care, Iowa's "Waiting Children" and adoption, contact Iowa KidsNet at 1-800-243-0756, or online at www.iowakidsnet.com.



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