Published: Jan. 30, 2024 at 5:36 PM CST
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – All child welfare jurisdictions in Texas have Heart Gallery programs for the first time, improving opportunities for children wanting to be adopted, including in Lubbock.
“Our region continues to be one of the highest in the state as it relates to child abuse and neglect,” Tyler Young, board president of community partners of Lubbock, said.
Young said that is why he wants to bring awareness to those children in the foster care system.
“There’s an incredible need in our communities to to find families that are willing to help take care of these kiddos that grew up right here,” he said.
The Heart Galleries of Texas shares that same goal and brings awareness to the children in the system by sharing their story through a picture.
“We hope that these families see beyond just a photo of a kid. The hope is that they see a kiddo who has just unfortunately seen some difficult parts of life but also see a kiddo who is just looking for a family,” Young said.
Young said the Heart Gallery left Lubbock more than three years ago due to a lack of funding. But now that the state is funding the program, all 11 child welfare regions in Texas have a Heart gallery to raise awareness for the children in those areas.
“We’d love for them to be able to stay here and not have to find a placement out of state or another big city, separated from the family that they do know and the friends that they have,” he said.
The program photographs only the children who want to participate and local businesses exhibit the portraits, after that it’s up to the community.
“We need people to step up to the plate to foster and adopt kids within out region,” Young said.
The Heart Gallery is getting ready to be on display here in Lubbock this spring and as the community is encouraged be a part of it, especially photographers, if interested you can contact the organizers at communitypartnerslubbock.org.