by Daniel Heimpel, publisher of Adoption Today & Fostering Families Today
When Fostering Media Connections (FMC) was launched in 2010, the goal was to drive public and political will behind improving the lives of vulnerable children, particularly those in foster care.
To do this, we used what we call solution-based journalism. For example, we eschewed writing about the isolated child deaths that make up the mainstream media’s picture of what foster care is like, and instead focused on what people were doing to keep kids safe. Our main vehicle for producing this work has been The Chronicle of Social Change, FMC’s daily news website. Through rigorous reporting, we have produced thousands of stories that gave equal weight to problems and their solutions. Over the years, those stories have spawned thousands of additional stories by mainstream and other media outlets. The sum of that work has started to change the overarching foster care and greater child welfare narrative. But while these stories resulted in changes to federal and local policy, and caught the attention of the mainstream media, The Chronicle’s focus has always been on professionals carrying out services in the child welfare sector. Foster and adoptive families, the real front-line of the system, deserve their own resource that speaks to the issues and information most important to making children feel loved and safe. Such a resource already exists, and FMC is proud to announce that we have been entrusted with its future. Today, we – Daniel Heimpel, Kim Hansel and John Kelly – are happy to report that FMC has acquired Fostering Families Today and Adoption Today, two award-winning magazines founded by Richard Fischer in 1998. Both magazines are mailed directly to the homes of foster and adoptive parents around the country and provides those parents with the information that helps them better understand the unique needs of the children in their care and guides their parenting journey. Richard passed away on Thanksgiving Day last year after a long battle with cancer. His desire was to continue supporting families nationwide through these two publications, and FMC was eager to partner with him on mapping out a future for them. We were hoping that he would have been with us at the outset of this new chapter. But in his honor, we will continue to publish and take both magazines to new levels. With Fostering Media Connections’ strong reporting staff, we plan to inject new coverage into the pages of Adoption Today and Fostering Families Today. In addition, we will move the stories that have been important to so many foster and adoptive families from the pages of the magazines to our news site, The Chronicle of Social Change, when appropriate. We will grow the subscription base, and strive for the goal that Fostering Families Today and Adoption Today are someday shipped to the homes of every foster and adoptive parent in America. With these two publications, Fostering Media Connections is poised to further shape the foster care and child welfare narrative. Kim Phagan-Hansel and John Kelly contributed to this story. This article originally appeared on Fostering Media Connections’ website.