Did you hear about the teenager who still wants to be adopted? How about the 22 teens with the same desire? Then maybe you heard about the Older Youth Matching Event we held this past Saturday in Western Pennsylvania! Twenty two youth, (and their social workers) spent the day getting to know 11 families who are all interested in adopting teenagers!
Joshua Strelbicki, our “Master of Ceremonies” (also known as our group facilitator), led the families and youth in get acquainted games and exercises. The games were fun and allowed everyone to learn each other’s names and begin to find out what they may have in common. After stuffing ourselves with a hot buffet lunch, the kids, followed by the families, made a bee line for the fishing pond. Families helped the kids with fishing and also had a chance to chat with social workers. Later in the day we learned more about one another when the families and kids shared information about themselves in an activity called “Everyone Has a Voice.” We finished the day with the kids signing the t-shirts they each received and a closing ceremony where each youth was honored for their participation.
We are still reviewing the evaluations from the day, but here are a few comments we’ve received so far:
From a social worker: “The event was fantastic!”
From a family: “Thank you for a wonderful event on Saturday! We absolutely loved it!“
From a youth: (The question was “How would you describe today’s event to someone who was not here?) “That you have fun with other families and you meet kids in the same situation as you.”
From another youth: “Perfect. A+”
Now that the youth and families have made some connections, the next step is for the youth social workers, the families and their social workers to further look into whether a particular child and a particular family will be a good match for one another. We’ll keep you posted on future outcomes!
If you have a completed family profile/homestudy and would are interested in attending an older youth (ages 12 and up) matching event, we can keep you posted on upcoming events! Check our website for future dates and locations!