Annual Report 2020

2020 turned out to be an unforgettable year.

As a community, a nation, and a world, we faced—and continue to face—an incredibly challenging time. We are still facing so much uncertainty. Many of us have been dealt unprecedented losses and challenges, leaving us tired, exasperated, and heartsore.

One thing that has never wavered is the Coalition's commitment to ensuring all children have champions and that those champions have support. It was often difficult to find trustworthy and reliable information and even more challenging to know whom to trust. We are honored to say that we were there for individuals, families, and professionals, supporting children touched by foster care, adoption, and kinship.

When things were less than certain, the Coalition offered:

  • A place of safe, compassionate listening and encouragement.
  • Vetted and researched information, written and presented in a family-friendly way that is practical and easy to understand.
  • Someone to talk with to help locate resources and assistance.
  • Engaging opportunities for learning and connection.

We are grateful that we were able to be "that place," and, in this report, we offer a look at the bright spots that found a way to shine through in 2020.

Keeping Hope Alive

The Coalition continued adjusting and finding new ways to provide information, support, and training resources to our families.

We were there providing accessible and reliable information

  • 6,500 weekly email newsletter subscribers
  • 6,000+ tip sheet downloads related to foster care, relative care, and adoption
  • 197,000+ website sessions
  • 36,400+ webpage visits for information about foster care and adoption
  • 99% of those who connect with the Coalition say the information they were provided is helpful

We were the safe and hopeful place that families were able to turn to

  • Responded to over 1,800 individuals via phone, email, and in-person visits
  • Answered 1,195 inquiries about how to get started as a foster or adoptive parent
  • Connected 3,153 website visitors with resources for birth parents

We changed up our outreach offerings by:

  • Hosting a weekly Facebook Live series through March and April.
  • Created mechanisms for virtual outreach meetings, at which attendance has outperformed our typical in-person offerings.

Providing Hope and Connections

Just before the holidays, a young mother made a desperate call to the Coalition. She had grown up in foster care and aged out with unhealed emotional wounds and no family supports. She told the Resource Specialist she was feeling lost and was terrified that she would lose her own children without help.

She said she had reached out to other organizations, but she was too overwhelmed to even begin to know what she was asking for. The Resource Specialist assured her they would sort through it together and come up with a plan for getting her the needed help. During the conversation, her love for her children and concern for their well-being was abundantly clear. She was doing an exceptional job under difficult circumstances. She just needed some support and reassurance.

The Coalition was quickly able to get her connected with a peer support group, an excellent therapist, and various other resources. Just two weeks after the initial contact, she called back, excited to share that not only did she now have a therapist who could truly help her heal, she’d already made meaningful connections with the support group and felt understood for the first time ever.

“The Coalition literally did more for me in a couple of phone calls than anyone else in my whole life. I know I can do this. My oldest son even mentioned I look happier.” She continues to check in with reports of her amazing progress every few weeks. Her last email was a large photo of her boys waving and smiling from ear to ear. The subject line read, “Thank you!”

Champion Classrooms: Quality Training While Families Stayed Home

In 2019 we took our already successful and trusted training offerings to the next level with the launch of Champion Classrooms. When we designed Champion Classrooms, we knew it would be critical to have easy-to-access resources for families. Still, we could have never predicted just how crucial it would become until Spring of 2020.

From mid-March through May 2020, we had over 800 families sign up for courses and new learning. And even when the Safer At Home restrictions were lifted, we continued to see families return for more information and education.

The number of registered users increased from 215 in 2019 to 1,343 in 2020

The number of courses taken increased from 314 in 2019 to 3,550 in 2020

Overall, we can report a 25% increase in the amount of training content created and made available to learners by the end of 2020

98% of surveyed families said that they have gained

  • Increased knowledge
  • Ability to use what they have learned in caring for children
  • Opportunity to learn alongside co-parents and, at times, the children in their care
"I really felt empowered to do what is best for the child, and collaborate with the team and ask for help!"

Support for Parents Raising Children Transracially

The Coalition has always known that when it comes to families raising children transracially, they need to know that they don't have to go it alone. Many people realized their own needs to learn more and do better for the children in their care in 2020. At the Coalition, we committed to increasing our knowledge and the amount of information available for families parenting transracially. We dedicated time to finding and sharing resources and creating additional videos and specialized training offerings for families.

In November 2020, we launched a new learning pathway within our on-demand learning platform, Champion Classrooms, for transracial parenting: four introductory classes that we plan to build upon. In just a few short weeks, 82 learners enrolled and took advantage of this new learning.

"I loved this. I feel empowered to help my child find his identity."

Celebrating Hope

Both of our special events looked and felt a little different in 2020. However, we were excited to find a way to connect with friends of the organization in whatever way we could.

Over 60 golfers joined us for our golf outing on August 31 at the Legend at Merrill Hills in Waukesha. Though our group was a little smaller than in past years, and despite some rain, the Coalition team was delighted to see our friends and supporters. This small but mighty outing helped us raise over $20,000.

Perhaps the more significant change to our events in 2020 was hosting an all virtual gala. Just three members of the Coalition leadership team were together with our friends at Majic Studios for this annual event. Indeed a considerable change from the group of 250 we usually look forward to celebrating with in person! Our incredibly generous donors and supporters raised over $100,000 to support the Coalition's mission and programs.

We are sincerely grateful for each of our donors and supporters.

To see a list of those who supported our work in 2020, please visit https://coalitionforcyf.org/about-us/supporters/thank-you-to-our-donors-2/.

If we have omitted anyone from this list, it was despite our diligent efforts to acknowledge every donor who wishes to be recognized, and we do apologize.

Financial Information

Revenue: $1,766,665

% government funding: 61%

Expenses: 1,931,579

% program: 89%

% administrative: 7%

% development: 4%