SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A collective of experienced professionals, nonprofits, faith-leaders, community activists and business leaders are working together to provide safe and loving families to children around the world who need one. It’s all part of a global awareness campaign called Orphan Myth.
Melissa Cannon Johnson is based in Utah working with Orphan Myth. Johnson says Orphan Myth is committed to dispelling misconceptions revolving around “orphans” and particularly the foster care system in the United States. Johnson says there are three common myths they work to dispel.
Myth 1: There are no orphans in the U.S. – Fact: There are more than 420,00 children in the foster care system in the U.S., and the majority of them need a loving foster family while they wait to return to their biological families. Approximately 100,000 of those children will never be able to return home and therefore are waiting to be adopted.
Myth 2: Kids in orphanages have no living parents or family. – Fact: Children are often living in institutions as a result of poverty and as many as 70-80% percent have a living parent or relative in the community who could care for them with the proper support.
Myth 3: These problems are not solvable. – Fact: This is solvable. Solution have already been developed and there are more than enough local families for children.
One of Orphan Myth’s partners is America’s Kids Belong, which works tirelessly to change the outcomes for these kids. The local chapter, Utah’s Kids Belong, is working to help children here in Utah. They connect people from local government, child welfare and the community to help share the stories of these kids so they can find forever families.
You can follow the work of Orphan Myth on social media too – @orphan_myth.