Debbie Johnston, buy Virginia’s Adoption Champion, rx CEO of Care Advantage, Inc., and an adoptee herself, has welcomed the challenge of securing loving homes for all of Virginia’s children. Since being appointed Adoption Champion by Governor Terry McAuliffe in August of 2014, Johnston strives to spread stronger awareness about the dire need for foster and adoptive families in the state.
To celebrate May as National Foster Care Month, Johnston is proud to introduce Connecting Hearts – The Deborah J Johnston Foundation. The purpose of Connecting Hearts (CH) is to ensure every child has the opportunity for a loving home. CH makes the commitment to thoroughly address support needs across the state by connecting the work of established foster & adoption non-profits, agencies and organizations. CH pledges to continue the commitment to children by providing education, awareness and advocacy. It will work to enhance public understanding and create positive attitudes about adoption and foster care.
For National Foster Care Month, Johnston asks individuals, organizations, and communities to support a child in foster care in any way they can. This month draws public attention to the year-round needs of hundreds of Virginia children who are not living at home because their families are unable to care for them. Children who need foster families have been removed from their birth family by no fault of their own, for reasons of neglect, abuse, abandonment or other risks of endangerment.
With guidance and support from caring adults, youth in foster care are capable of realizing their fullest potential. Foster parenting is an important and rewarding opportunity that helps shape brighter futures. Johnston wishes to extend a request for support of foster care to every member of the commonwealth. Some ways to engage in this work are to simply talk about the need for foster parents, identify potential foster or adoptive families, volunteer at local organizations, or foster a child yourself.
Johnston has been featured on ABC’s Secret Millionaire, owns a successful multi-million dollar home-healthcare company, and has been recognized for numerous awards in the community for her philanthropy. Still, she credits her success to her loving Virginia family of eight who adopted her and gave her the basic human right: a family. “This initiative is extremely close to my heart, and I will work tirelessly in my position as Adoption Champion to find homes for our Commonwealth’s exceptional foster children,” said Johnston.
To learn about Connecting Hearts or how to help, contact Executive Director Ericca Facetti at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get updates at www.facebook.com/ConnectingHeartsVA. To find out more about fostering a child visit Virginia Department of Social Services at www.dss.virginia.gov. For more information about Debbie Johnston, head to www.DebbieJohnston.com. Follow her plans, ideas and inspiration at www.facebook.com/DebbieJohnstonRN.