Davion Only sheds light on Tampa teen adoptions - WFLA News Channel 8

Davion Only sheds light on Tampa teen adoptions

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A teen who stood up in a Bay area church and asked for someone to adopt him is bringing attention to cases of other older foster children seeking homes.

There are more than 200 children in foster care in the Bay area, and 60 percent of them are teenagers just a few years from "aging out" on their 18th birthday.  That means staff at places like Eckerd Youth Alternatives and the Heart Gallery have their work cut out for them.

When Davion Only spoke before a church in St. Petersburg asking to be part of a family, he not only gave his own search a great boost, he also helped shed light on the issue of adoption of teenaged foster children.

According to Lorita Shirley, with Eckerd Youth Alternatives, an average of 6 children in foster care, "age out" each month.

Tiffany Faykus, executive director of the Heart Gallery, which helps get children placed in homes, says when people ask about Davion, it's given her the opportunity to share the stories of other teenaged foster children.

"Davion is the face of foster children at this point, but there's so many others just like him," Faykus said.

"We have families expressing an interest in adopting teenagers, we believe this will be an awesome year to find 'forever homes' for our kids," Shirley added.

Over 6,000 children are involved in the welfare system at Eckerd Youth Alternatives.

November is National Adoption Month.

The Heart Gallery and Eckerd Youth Alternatives encourage anyone wanting to know more about adoption, or how to help children in foster care to visit their websites.



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