Heidi Bruegel Cox

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Gladney General Counsel & Executive Vice President
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Take Action: Every Child Deserves A Loving Family

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 4/19/19 10:01 AM

We have continued to advocate for the belief that every child deserves a loving and caring family.  Every child. Everywhere. No one can make this happen alone. It will take the larger community of committed child advocates and parents, continuing to give a voice to the often forgotten children, in order get this message to the men and women in government and in the legislature.

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

New Year, New Task Force, Same Mission

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 1/13/19 11:32 AM
This is a very exciting time for the Gladney Center for Adoption. We are embarking on a long-term plan to address why children continue to wait in foster care after they are legally available for adoption. Gladney has always believed every child deserves a loving and caring family, and in many ways, Gladney is returning to its roots. We began when our founder Reverend I.Z.T. Morris took on the responsibility of finding loving families for children from the orphan trains who arrived in Texas after they hadn’t found homes along the way. Although children no longer take long journeys across the country on orphan trains, the children waiting in foster care have often survived a much longer, more treacherous journey. Most children living in foster care are there because they experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma. In addition, they have experienced the loss of a family due to removal from their homes and separation from their biological families. Once in foster care, most of these children will experience multiple placements, moving from one foster family to the next or to group homes. We know children thrive in families, and children who have experienced trauma can only find safety, security, and nurturing in a loving and caring, forever family.

Gladney has been placing children from foster care for many years. In October 2018, the Gladney Center Board of Directors voted to further advance Gladney’s focus and mission by creating a task force to grow and improve adoptions from foster care. The purpose of the task force is “to create a sustainable and replicable model that places every adoptable child waiting in Texas foster care.” The members of the task force include Gladney board members, Gladney parents who adopted children from foster care, and Gladney staff, with input from outside experts in relevant fields. Gladney board member Roger Metz serves as the chair of the task force. This group begins its exciting and strategic work this month.

In preparation for the creation of the task force and its work, Gladney staff spent the summer and fall researching questions and issues affecting foster care and pulling data, information, and anecdotal evidence regarding children in foster care who are waiting for adoption. Gladney staff will continue to work closely with Our Community Our Kids in Fort Worth, in order to identify children who need adoptive homes much earlier in their legal process than in the past. Our staff are also communicating with Child Protective Services and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) volunteers from around the state who are advocating for children throughout the legal process. In addition, Gladney has begun to open lines of communication with agencies across the United States who are screening, educating, training, and offering supportive services to prospective families who want to adopt children from foster care.

The task force will begin to assess what would be the highest and best use of Gladney’s strengths and what Gladney’s primary role should be in meeting the needs of these waiting children. They will approach the issues from three directions: impacting external systems to serve children and families; constructing the best internal systems to create scalability; and ensuring long-term sustainability. Once the initial work is started, the task force will work to create strategies for success, set objectives with clear measurable goals, and provide input and evaluate Gladney’s progress against the strategies’ short, intermediate, and long-term goals and desired outcomes.

Gladney’s mission is Creating Bright Futures Through Adoption. With the work of Gladney’s board, committed staff, engaged volunteers, and collaborative partners, we hope to impact the futures of thousands of children who are waiting in foster care for a forever family, because every one of these children deserves a loving and caring family.
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Topics: Insider, Advocacy, Legislative, Foster Adoption

Take Action: Every Voice Counts in Child Advocacy

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 7/20/18 9:33 AM

Every child deserves a loving, caring family, including children in other countries who have been orphaned. The adoption community-waiting families, adoptive families, adopted adults, licensed agencies, faith communities, child advocates, and support organizations-believes that connecting children with families provides the best opportunity for many of these children to live healthy, cared-for, productive lives. There are millions of children waiting, many dying, and most aging out of orphanages, with little hope for the future. And there are many thousands of families in the U.S. waiting to offer themselves to a child needing a family.

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

Call To Action: Every Child Deserves A Loving, Caring Family

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 6/28/18 2:02 PM

Every child deserves a loving, caring family. Every child, everywhere.

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Topics: Advocacy

Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 5/25/18 5:30 AM

Gladney Participates in the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support

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Topics: Adoption

Oklahoma Passes Legislation to Help Children Avoid Foster Care

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 5/8/18 10:00 AM

Oklahoma passed legislation which could improve outcomes for more children. H.B.2858 makes a significant addition to what courts must do at the initial hearing when a child is removed from the parent(s) by the state for drug exposure or allegations of abuse or neglect. Beginning November 1, 2018, courts will be required to tell a parent at the initial hearing that he/she has the right to make a voluntary adoption placement through a licensed child-placing agency. 

 

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80% Decline in International Adoptions to the U.S.

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/27/18 1:26 PM

According to the latest report published by the U.S. Department of State, International Adoptions continue to decline to the U.S., with another drop reported for 2017.  Since the peak in 2004, we have seen an 80% decline in international adoptions to the U.S.  

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Intercountry Adoption

What We're Reading: State Department Chokes International Adoption

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/20/18 1:14 PM

Yesterday, The Federalist published an article regarding the State Department making international adoption rarer and more expensive than ever to consolidate government control over private agencies. Please read "Bucking Trump Deregulation Agenda, State Department Chokes International Adoption"

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative, Suggested Reading

Equal Protection for Adopted Adults

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 3/14/18 3:45 PM

Positive news for internationally adopted adults who fall into loophole, but we still need your help!

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

Advocating for Children

Posted by Heidi Bruegel Cox on 2/11/18 12:06 PM

Nothing is more important than our children, and no role is more significant than advocating for children, especially the most vulnerable children who have suffered abuse or neglect or who have been removed from their biological families. 

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Topics: Advocacy, Legislative

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