YATOM: The Jewish Foster & Adoption Network

YATOM: The Jewish Foster & Adoption Network provides a support network for families looking to foster or adopt. Our organization hosts an interactive Family Fellowship, which provides Jewish families a stipend to start the process of adoption/fostering.
Location: Phoenix , AZ
Year founded: 2015

Description

YATOM is inspired by the Jewish values to love and protect vulnerable children. We strive to motivate and support the Jewish community in the journey of adopting & fostering children and to advocate for the needs of orphans, children needing temporary homes, and adoptive families.

YATOM Family Fellowship

About

The YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship program assembles a
network of Jewish advocates, educators, and (prospective) parents who seek to
improve the lives of vulnerable children in foster care. As the process to
adopt and/or foster a vulnerable child can be difficult, there needs to be
support mechanisms in place for families to find support. The YATOM Phoenix
Family Fellowship will give 25 families seeking licensure a space to share
resources about their fostering/adoption journeys. It is our hope that by using
the resources afforded to us, YATOM can make the process of adopting vulnerable
children a successful process. It is our dream that these families, seeking to
preserve and share Judaism’s rich cultural heritage, are able to adopt a little
boy or girl with forceful advocates at their side.



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What is the mission and purpose of this program?


The mission and purpose of the program is simple: YATOM
believes that we will be able to locate families looking for the opportune
moment to open their homes to vulnerable children, and support and challenge
them to grow to the next level. For our part, we provide our fellows with a meaningful
curriculum that will empower them and give them the space to grow as leaders on
the issue themselves. The YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship will have a tangible
impact of the community, either through the success of obtaining licensure by
the fellows or by seeing the fellows take on greater responsibility in
community affairs. Through the synergistic lens we envision the program
inhabiting, the YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship will redefine the paradigm of
how local communities can exercise leadership through sensitive, intentional,
and sophisticated programming.

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Program Description


There are two rarely talked about
problems currently affecting the Jewish community. One is that there are
hundreds of thousands of children across the country and millions around the
world who don’t have loving homes to call their own. The other is that current
Jewish institutional support for families looking to adopt or foster vulnerable
children is minimal. The YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship program seeks to
correct his problem. The YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship assembles a network of
Jewish advocates, educators, and (prospective) parents seeking to improve the
lives of vulnerable children in foster care all over the world. As the process
to adopt and/or foster a vulnerable child is difficult, there needs to be
mechanisms in place for families to find support. The YATOM Phoenix Family
Fellowship will give 10 families (or 20 individuals) seeking licensure,
including single mothers and women struggling with fertility issues, a space to
share resources about their fostering/adoption journeys. It is our hope that by
using the resources afforded to us, the YATOM Phoenix Family Fellowship can
make the process of adopting vulnerable children a successful one for families
across the country. It is our aspiration that these families will become
leaders in this particular field of chesed, all while seeking to
preserve and share Judaism’s rich cultural heritage, with the goal of being
able to adopt a little girl or boy with supportive, forceful advocates at their
side.

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Demonstrated Need


The present need is twofold. First is
the acknowledgment that there are many families in the community who want to
adopt/foster vulnerable children but don’t know where to turn to for support.
The process is difficult and the bureaucracy is stacked against them.
Relatedly, the population for children in Arizona looking for a home is around
19,000 - 20,000 kids. Arizona is ranked as the worst state in the nation for
addressing this crisis. Secondly, YATOM targets a uniquely alienated population
within the greater community and gives them the resources to fulfill their
potential. In this way, a determination in favor of Jewish continuity is
addressed.

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Program Accomplishments

We are looking to change the communal
discourse, we are looking to save the lives of children who have abused and
neglected, but we are also looking to support Jewish singles/families in their
20s/30s/40s who have struggled with infertility, struggled finding a life
partner, or just have room in their home and heart for a child who desperately
needs a home.


We have already graduated two cohorts
of the program and are presently planning the launch of our next cohort of this
fellowship. These past 2 cohorts have been highly effective not only at
advancing in their process but also at becoming advocates in their communities.

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How do you measure the success of your program?

Since the first cohort of the YATOM
Family Fellowship, we've been confident that the model is not only sustainable,
but one that will increase in frequency and demand over the years. To determine
success, we will use survey results from alumni of the previous Family
Fellowship cohorts to gauge how the program has helped families on their
journey to adopt or foster. We'll include such metrics as measuring the amount of
applications we receive, measuring the response of people with regards to
social media interaction, involvement at and after event, and how many people
would like the series to continue. In addition, we will do a formal evaluation
with participants after the completion of the program. YATOM: The Jewish Foster
& Adoption network strongly stands behind the work that we’ve built in the
past several years of strengthening spiritual growth, opportunities to hone
inner Jewish spiritual development, and give people the tools they need to
ensure that a vulnerable child is allowed to live and grow in a warm, loving
environment.


Most importantly, we will continue to
track the journeys of our fellows as well as the number of children that have
been placed in the homes of our fellows.

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No grants received yet

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