Family Support Services of North Florida (FSS) is a non-profit
organization established to perform the role of Lead Agency in the
Community Based Care project in Duval County and Nassau County,
The Heart Gallery of North Florida was developed by FSS with coordinated
efforts from community-based care partners, volunteer photographers
and corporate supporters, to bring foster children out of the shadows
and into the light, with the hope of finding them a forever family.
Heart Gallery History
In 2001, as a foster and adoptive parent recruiter for the New
Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department, Diane Granito
had the honor of developing an idea from photographer (and adoptive
mother) to have talented photographers create inspiring portraits
of children and sibling groups who were waiting for adoption.
At the time, social services agencies used whatever photos of
the children they could get, and most were as inspiring as a driver’s
license photo. Granito approached a prestigious art gallery in Santa
Fe, New Mexico, about hosting an exhibit of these art-quality portraits.
This is how the "The Heart Gallery," was born. More
than 1,200 people attended the opening. County singer/songwriter
Randy Travis serenaded the crowd, and connections were made that
night leading to the adoption of six Heart Gallery children. We
all knew we were on to something special, though what was to come
has exceeded every expecttation.
Nearly every state across the nation now has a Heart Gallery––and
many have more than one. The U.S. Children's Bureau named the "Heart
Gallery" as a best practice in the field of adoption and this
recruitment effort has set a precendent for finding families for
our waiting children.
While Heart Gallery exhibits have helped raise awareness about
adoption through foster care and have found homes for hundreds of
children, there are many more who need our help. More than 119,000
American children are waiting for adoption as you read this. They
need any and all support you can provide.