Nov. 30, 2011 -- Here is a resource guide of organizations that help the country's nearly 425,000 foster children.
AACAP: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:The AACAP is composed of over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists and physicians who research, evaluate, diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders. The organization provides up to date findings on disorders that effect up to 80 percent of foster children.
CASA: Court Appointed Special Advocate Association: An association of 955 programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to advocated abused and neglected children in court and during other legal proceedings. Last year, the judge-appointed volunteers helped 240,000 children find safe, permanent homes.
Able Child: Parents for Label and Drug Free Education:A non-profit that supports caregivers and parents and helps them make informed decisions when faced with children who may or may not need prescription drugs or psychiatric treatment.
Maryhurst: Established in 1843, Mary Hurst is a non-profit child welfare agency based in Kentucky that provides residential in-home and community-based treatment programs for girls who suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as well as homelessness. A fully licensed childcare, child placement and adoption service provider in Kentucky, serving more than 600 children and families each year.
Florida's Children First:Founded by child advocate attorneys, Florida's Children First protects the rights of at-risk children in Florida by providing legal advocacy and assistance. The organization also works to implement public policy that ensures that all children in Florida have food, clothing, housing, education and medical care.
Annie E. Casey Foundation: The primary mission of the foundation is to foster public policies, human service reforms and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today's vulnerable children and families.
AdoptUSKids: A project of the Children's Bureau, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the organization encourages families to adopt U.S. children.
Casey Family Programs: Casey Family Programs' mission is to provide and improve -- and ultimately to eliminate the need for -- foster care by providing direct services and promoting advances in child-welfare practice and policy.
Dave Thomas Foundation: Wendy's founder Dave Thomas created the nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the adoption of the more than 150,000 children in North America's foster care system.
North American Council on Adoptable Children: NACAC promotes and supports permanent families for children and youth in the United States and Canada who have been in care, especially those in foster care and those with special needs.
Pew Commission of Children in Foster Care: Part of the Pew Charitable Trust, the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care has been established to develop recommendations to improve outcomes for children in the foster care system.
Children's Rights: One of the country's foremost advocacy organizations for children. Uses the power of the courts, policy analysis and public education to ensure that children who are abused and neglected receive the care and services they need, and that they grow up in permanent and loving homes.
The Kinship Center: The California-based Kinship Center helps create and support families for thousands of children who can no longer remain safely with their birth parents.
Adoption.About.com: A clearinghouse of information on adoption and foster care.
The Urban Institute: A nonpartisan economic and social policy research institute.
National Foster Parents Association: The National Foster Parent Association is the only national organization that strives to support foster parents, and remains a consistently strong voice on behalf of all children.
Child Welfare League of America: An association of more than 900 public and private nonprofit agencies that assist more than 3.5 million abused and neglected children and their families each year with a range of services.
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative: A national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood by connecting them with opportunities in education, employment, health care, housing and supportive personal and community relationships.
National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association: Together with its state and local members, the association supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes.
National Council of Juvenile and Court Judges: Founded in 1937 by a group of judges dedicated to improving the effectiveness of the nation's juvenile courts, the council has pursued a mission to improve courts and systems practice, and to raise awareness of the core issues that touch the lives of many of our nation's children and families.
American Humane: American Humane supports the development and implementation of effective community, state, tribal and national systems to protect children and strengthen families through consultation, training, research and evaluation, advocacy, and information dissemination.
New Yorkers for Children: The mission is to improve the lives of children and families served by the Administration for Children's Services by providing the private resources needed to assist Children's Services and by increasing the private sector's awareness of child welfare issues.
Chapin Hall Center for Children at the Univ. of Chicago: Chapin Hall is a research and development center that brings their research and scholarship to the real-world challenges of policymakers and service providers dealing with children.
Kidsave: Kidsave is a volunteer-driven organization that works to move older children out of orphanages and foster care and into permanent, loving families. Helps older children without parents meet people who often end up adopting, mentoring or staying connected to them.
Foster Care Month: National Foster Care Month, a partnership of 14 national child welfare organizations and advocates led by Casey Family Programs, raises awareness of the need for more people to make a difference in the lives of the 518,000 children and youth living in foster care in the U.S.
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute: Created by members of Congress and dedicating to promote awareness of foster care and adoption issues.
Generations United: A national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs and public policies.
Youth Communication: Youth Communication publishes Represent, a magazine by teens in foster care for kids in foster care. The group's mission is to help teenagers develop their skills in reading, writing, thinking, and reflection, so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives.