HOPE Adoption & Family Services International, Inc.
Every child deserves a loving, well-prepared family! HOPE is committed to promoting social justice and inclusiveness while eliminating barriers that keep children and adults from thriving.
Founded in 1978 by a grassroots movement of adoptive parents and community professionals, HOPE has worked to make sure loving parents and children of all backgrounds have the opportunity to unite with their forever families.
We have always been passionate about treating each situation as unique, including those involving single parent, same sex or low income families, as well as those involving children from the foster care system with significant special needs.
HOPE has helped place over 2,000 children with permanent, loving families and provided unbiased information to over 500 birth parents experiencing crisis pregnancies. By providing reliable social services for 35 years, we have changed thousands of lives for the better, and we are proud to continue this work.
Our services include:
â€¢ Domestic and international adoption: In the last year, children came from Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Korea, China, Texas, California, Arizona, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
â€¢ Foster care adoption (Minnesota Waiting Children): Currently, 355 children in Minnesotaâ€™s foster care system, all of whom have significant special needs, are in immediate need of families. We are under contract with the State to find families for them. We work on the side of the youth as their recruiters and advocates, and on the side of the families to make sure they are prepared for this challenging, rewarding adoption of very special kids.
â€¢ Birth parent services: HOPE offers FREE unbiased counseling to birth parents, giving them information and resources so they can make their own independent, informed decisions. Our services include: advocacy within the child protection system, coordination of meetings if they choose adoption, transportation to medical appointments, and help with accessing medical assistance, housing, food stamps and other support services.
â€¢ Training and education: Our services extend past the one-time event of adoption. We offer trainings before adoption, such as Multicultural Parenting in a Racist Society, but also continue to be a support after an adoption is finalized, with resources, workshops, panels and our popular monthly Therapeutic Support Group for all community parents.
We are licensed in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
What new functionality we are looking for
Our website was stagnant for over a year until summer 2012, when we set up a carousel on the homepage. We have slowly been making improvements as best we can, but an overhaul of the site is needed in order to do all our organization requires as it grows.
We would love the opportunity to have Good Samaritan nerds give us their creative ideas and work on any of these aspects:
â€¢ User friendliness: Foremost, we want to make our site easy to navigate and as informative as possible. The pages are currently buried under each other in outline format. Drop down menus or other new ways to organize could be very helpful.
â€¢ Easy to update: Since we do not have an IT person on staff, and our communications position is responsible for many other areas of our small agency, we would like features that allow for relatively simple updates of photos, videos, links, etc.
â€¢ Design: We would like to bring our site into 2013 by revamping its current claustrophobic, linear layout. Large, simplified icons for individualized users such as prospective families, current families and birth parents would help visitors find relevant information.
â€¢ Webinar gallery: Since our families live all over the state of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, we would love to have the ability to let them attend trainings and orientations online. Currently, they must drive to our lone office location near Stillwater.
â€¢ Search engine optimization: We would like our page to be a top hit when Minnesota families or birth parents are searching for information.
â€¢ Registration forms: We would like to be able to set up direct registration forms for our fundraising events, so that participants donâ€™t have to call our office or print/mail in their forms with credit card numbers. With our limited staff, this would save time and also encourage more attendance. We would like to carry this over to registration for our client orientations and trainings, cutting out the hassle of sending and receiving hard copy registration forms.
â€¢ Request form: We currently have an online request form for information, and we would like to make this more prevalent on the site. We would love to have specific forms for families to request information emailed/mailed or other request forms so we can better serve them.
â€¢ Social media: A directly-linked blog, whether through WordPress or our own address (with possible feed on homepage?) would help to keep families connected and informed. We would also like our Facebook, Twitter and Donate buttons to be more prevalent and located on all pages of the site.
â€¢ Mailing lists: A subscription button for our e-newsletter and print newsletter would again cut out the middle man of clients emailing or calling to be put on the lists.
How the new functionality will help
Since new clients are increasingly finding us through an internet search, our website is our first impression.
Our mission has always been about eradicating barriers that keep people from adoptingâ€”a redesigned website will help get the message of our services out to those families who may have been told they are not able to adopt, such as single parents or same sex couples. We hope to add more community aspects, such as a blog and family testimonials so people can learn about all sorts of families who have made adoption a part of their lives. The simplified design will encourage families to return to the website, therefore having the opportunity to utilize support services or volunteer opportunities once their adoption is finalized.
Itâ€™s especially important for our site to be easy to navigate because of those we serve who need immediate assistance, such as birth parents going through crisis pregnancies.
HOPE has the reputation, skills and passion to continue empowering others. When we streamline our efforts such as registration forms, and enhance our web resources, such as a blog, we can reach more people and give more children the families they deserve.
How our organization will use the technology
Who will use the technology
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