New PSAs showcase heartwarming “firsts” for adopted teens and their families
Washington, DC (October 25, 2018) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council today launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs). The new PSAs, created pro bono by advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors New York, highlight the importance of adopting teens from foster care and emphasize the many “firsts” families experience when adopting a teen from foster care.
“This campaign has made a lasting impact on so many lives since it first launched in 2004, and we’re not done yet,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “So far, we have helped more than 30,000 youth find homes and are thrilled to watch that number continue to grow as more potential adoptive parents become aware of the issue and give teens in foster care the love and stability they deserve, including the many ‘firsts’ they will experience as a family.”
Approximately one in five youth in the US foster care system waiting to be adopted are teens, and the number of teens in foster care continues to increase. Teenagers in foster care face a particularly challenging time getting adopted, with 15- to 17-year-olds, after the termination of parental rights, waiting on average twice as long for an adoptive home as children/youth 14 years of age and younger. No matter their age, all kids need a supportive, loving home, and the teenage years are an especially critical period for parental help and guidance.
“As a case carrying social worker in Alabama, many of the young people I worked with were older teens in the foster care system,” says Jerry Milner, the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau. “Many of these young people are experiencing foster care through no fault of their own, and I believe we must do a better job of highlighting the importance a forever family has on these older youths’ wellbeing and the impact it plays on their transition to adulthood. Even with our stronger focus on primary prevention, we know that there will still be a need for foster care and furthermore, some of those young people becoming eligible for adoption. I am excited to see and proud to be a proponent of this greater focus on the need to adopt older teens from foster care. We know family, by any definition, is the best resource we have to create an environment for young people to be safe, healthy, and ultimately thrive.”
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Many parents look forward to their journey of raising a family and experiencing “firsts” with their babies—such as first steps and first words—but often don’t think of first experiences with teens. The new creative, an extension of the campaign’s successful “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent” strategy, highlights the impact of adopting teens from foster care and showcases that there are many “firsts” for families to share, regardless of their child’s age. The new PSAs feature lighthearted scenarios ranging from asking someone to prom, getting a driver’s license, handling a first break-up, and playing in their first big game. Each PSA ends with “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent. Thousands of teens in foster care can’t wait to share their firsts with you,” reassuring prospective parents that they can certainly provide the love, stability and security that teens in foster care need and deserve. The new set of creative assets include TV, and digital materials.
“As a platform, ‘Firsts’ offers enormous creative potential, allowing us to dial up emotion and humor in different channels: TV spots that tug at the heart, clever social animations, and documentary storytelling grounded in a real family,” said Forsman & Bodenfors New York group creative director Matt Creamer. “The common thread is work that makes a powerful statement to potential adoptive parents, reminding them that whether your child is 15 months or 15 years there are plenty of ways to shape their minds and hearts.”
The Ad Council will distribute the new PSAs to media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council’s model, the PSAs will run in time and space donated by the media. Since the initial launch of the campaign in 2004, the campaign has received more than $595 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, out-of-home and digital media. At launch, AdoptUSKids will be supporting the campaign by hosting a Facebook Live event, featuring engaging discussions with adoptive parents and adopted teens. AdoptUSKids will also premiere the new PSAs during a Facebook Live stream.
The PSAs direct audiences to visit AdoptUSKids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 to receive information about the foster care system and the adoption process. Potential foster and adoptive families can also call 1-877-236-7831 for information in Spanish.
For more information about adoption, or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child or teen from foster care, please visit AdoptUSKids.org or visit the AdoptUSKids social communities on Facebook and Twitter.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families
Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; works with states, tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents. Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families. For more information on ACYF’s adoption programs, please visit http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/focus-areas/adoption.
AdoptUSKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is to raise public awareness about the need for families for children in foster care, and assist states, territories and tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau at ACF. To learn more visit adoptuskids.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter, and view our inspiring videos on YouTube.
The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver crucial messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit AdCouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.
Forsman & Bodenfors New York
In September of 2018, Sweden’s Forsman & Bodenfors and U.S.-based agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (KBS) joined forces to create a new global agency offering. With 700 employees and eight offices in Gothenburg, New York, Stockholm, London, Toronto, Montréal, Shanghai and Singapore, today Forsman & Bodenfors brings together the agency’s signature way of working and legacy for creative excellence with the innovative data and analytics, technology and media services cultivated under KBS.
Forsman & Bodenfors New York