Heart Gallery of Texas

Heart Galleries of Texas logo

Heart Galleries of Texas

Heart Galleries of Texas works across the state to find positive permanency for Texas children.

Each day, more than 6,000 children in the Texas foster care system are waiting to be adopted and find a permanent place to call home. Heart Galleries tell a child’s story through photographs capturing the spirit, individuality, interests, and unique needs of each child. This helps connect children to caring families and community networks. Since 2014, over 400 children featured in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas have been adopted. As a result, the Central Texas adoption rate has been an average of 22% higher than the rest of Texas year-over-year for the past decade.

Heart Galleries of Texas supports expansion of this model throughout the state. By the end of 2023, each region in Texas will have a Heart Gallery. We’re also increasing community awareness about the needs of families formed through adoption, kinship, and guardianship. Our hope is to decrease the number of children raised in systems by increasing support for families.

How it Works

Volunteer photographers capture each child’s individuality and spirit in a powerful image that helps share their story. One photo can change everything by engaging coordinated local community networks to connect the child with families and advocates.  

With a decade-long demonstrated track record of success in Central Texas, the 88th Texas Legislative session committed to statewide expansion of this model to help every waiting child in Texas find a caring family. Working out of the Moritz Center for Societal Impact at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and in partnership with the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies, we’re rolling out an aligned, collaborative, community-based approach to establishing and supporting Heart Gallery programs statewide

IDENTIFICATION

Engage local stakeholders and child welfare leaders to determine the designated lead non-profit organization in each community.

IMPLEMENTATION

Build community support and awareness to mobilize volunteers and strengthen sustainability.

POST-ADOPT SUPPORT

Work with partners and service providers to ensure families have the support and resources needed to reduce the number of children going back into foster care.

Find Your Local Heart Gallery

Please contact your local heart gallery for information about children in your region. For more information about our statewide efforts, please get in touch with Cara Fox at cara.fox@austin.utexas.edu .