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Michelle On Iowa's Child

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Seventeen-year old Michelle has high hopes she will be able to find a new family through adoption before her Senior year of High School. Michelle is one of Iowa's ‘Waiting' teenagers, whose age is working against her at this stage of her life. Michelle really needs to find a new adoptive family. Her foster Mom, Carmen McConnell, says, "Michelle is a very sweet young lady. She gets good grades in school, mostly A's and B's. She's always friendly, and she cares about people and likes to cheer them up."  

Michelle's foster Dad is Carmen's husband, Mike McConnell. Mike is the Webster City Police Chief, and thinks Michelle will be a great addition to a family. He says of her, "Michelle is a very honest girl, and she's caring and loving. She enjoys being part of the family. I know she would like to have her forever family, and we are certainly looking forward to her being able to achieve that."

Carmen adds, "She's just so caring and she just fits in and does what needs to be done. She likes to fit in and make people feel good. She's just one of those people; how can you not like Michelle?"  

To learn about any of Iowa's ‘Waiting Children,' call the IowaKidsNet toll free phone number, 1-800-243-0756 or contact: www.iowakidsnet.org. or www.iowakidsnet.com

Iowa KidsNet is there to help Iowa kids. The Iowa KidsNet project is already having a positive impact in helping kids find safe environments in which to live. This is a unique partnership of several non-profit Iowa agencies, headed by Four Oaks, to help Iowa children and families.

On average, the Iowa foster care system serves more than 11,000 children  every year. Startling statistics, which emphasize the need to make sure all Iowa kids live in a safe and loving environment.

Iowa KidsNet is headquartered at the Four Oaks complex in Cedar Rapids. The other agencies include Quakerdale, Lutheran Services in Iowa, Family Resources, Children's Square USA/Child Connect and Boys and Girls Home and Family Services.

In addition, Iowa KidsNet gets support from Youth and Shelter Services, The Avalon Center, Young House Family Services, Children and Families of Iowa and American Home Finding Association.

The Iowa Department of Human Services awarded Iowa KidsNet a contract to serve as an adoption and foster care recruitment tool, and to create safe, permanent connections between children and families through foster care.

Unfortunately, Iowa currently has more children in foster care than families available to provide them a safe environment while in foster care.

The need for foster and adoptive parents in Iowa remains great. In fiscal year 2006, the State of Iowa, through various agencies, served 11,748 children in the Iowa foster care system, On any given day in Iowa, some five-thousand children live in Iowa foster homes. Those are truly amazing statistics.

The Iowa Department of Human Services has embarked on a new initiative regarding foster care and adoptions. D-H-S recently renewed a contract to a new statewide collaboration of non-profit agencies dedicated to the safety and permanency of children and families; it's called Iowa KidsNet. This new

network consisted of almost a dozen agencies. Four Oaks in Cedar Rapids is the lead agency in this new effort to recruit and retain resource families who are interested in foster care and adoption of Iowa children. Iowa Kids Net will also work with the long-running Iowa's Child Special Needs Adoption program on KWWL-TV. 

To learn more about Iowa KidsNet and becoming a foster or adoptive parent, you can easily contact Iowa KidsNet on its toll-free number 1-800-243-0756. If this number sounds familiar, it should. It's the same toll- free phone number which has been used by Kidsake over the past few years. Iowa KidsNet is replacing Kidsake, and will build on the successful efforts of Kidsake under this new recruitment and retention effort.    

Anne Gruenewald is Chief Executive Officer of Iowa KidsNet. Contact Anne on the internet at: www.iowakidsnet.com.or: www.iowakidsnet.org.

This website will also show you many of Iowa's ‘Waiting' Children. These are children in the Iowa foster care system currently available for legal adoption,

Ron Steele

KWWL-TV News Anchor

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