Forum on Foster Care

May 24th | Washington, DC

On Thursday, May 24th National Review Institute assembled leaders in faith, policy, and government communities to raise awareness, identify key challenges, establish new relationships, and highlight resources and solutions. This was the beginning of a conversation to encourage the faith community to find the most effective way to help children in need. Over the past four years, there has been a spike in the number of children entering in to foster care, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents. Because of this increase, there is a critical need to bridge the gap between faith-based communities and welfare agencies.

National Review Institute was honored to host the top thinkers and leaders of the foster care world including  Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Charmaine Yoest, Randy Hicks, Kathleen Domingo, Lisa Ann Wheeler, Sharen Ford, Elizabeth Kirk, Sarah Zagorski, Natalie Goodnow, and Alli Donohue. We felt inspired by the speakers who shared their experiences, research, and ideas to improve the foster care experience for children in need. This is only the start of our work on this important issue. Lead by NRI Senior Fellow, Kathryn Jean Lopez we plan to host more events that will build off of this initial forum.


Event Videos 


Charmaine Yoest:

Elizabeth Kirk:

Randy Hicks:

Natalie Goodnow:

Press Coverage


Fostering a Culture of Hope Ι Ave Maria Radio

Morning Glory with Kathryn Lopez! Ι EWTN Catholic Radio

LISTEN: Kathryn Jean Lopez Ι KXL FM 101

What Are the Connections Between Adoption, Foster Care, and Being Pro-Life? Ι Lars Larson Show

A Closer Look With Sheila Liaugminas Ι Relevant Radio

Catholic Connection with Teresa Tomeo | Ave Maria Radio

Faith-based Orphan & Foster Care with Natalie Goodnow | Equipped with Chris Brooks

Print and Online News

How Some LA Catholics are Answering a Special Call Serving as Foster Parents by Nicholas W. Smith Ι Angelus News

Kathryn Lopez: Foster kids need our help! by Kathryn Jean Lopez Ι Ashe Post & Times, Daily Courier, and Meridian Star

What Catholic Communities Can Do to Support Foster Children by Courtney Grogan Ι Catholic New Agency and CRUX

Fostering: How we can create a new world of hope overnight by Kathleen Buckley Domingo | Angelus 

Adoption Forum Calls for Faith Communities to ‘Do More’ for Foster Children, Families by Jeremiah Poff | The Daily Signal 

Fostering love Not every couple is called to be foster parents, but everyone can have an adoptive spirit toward others by Kathryn Lopez | Our Sunday Visitor

Faith-Based Help for the Flooding Foster-Care System by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

Adoption Foster Care Must Be Pro-Life Priority by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Foster Care Pope Francis Encourages Caring For Vulnerable by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Adopted? Spent Time in Foster Care? Adoptive Parent? Thinking about Fostering? by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

With 5,000 Children in Foster Care, Why Would the City of Philadelphia Shut Out Catholic Social Services? by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

What Are You Doing about Foster Care? by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

Fostering Rescue by Kathryn Jean Lopez Ι National Review

Keeping Catholic Foster Care in Philly by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

What Must We Do about Foster Care? by NR Symposium 

Join K-Lo at NRI’s Foster-Care Forum by Jack Fowler 

The Beautiful Choice of Adoption by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

#FosterCareMonth Favor to Ask: Spread the Word about Upcoming Forum in D.C. by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

Fostering Love by Kathryn Jean Lopez 

Can We Stop and Talk about Foster Care and Adoption for a Few? by Kathryn Jean Lopez 


Kathleen Domingo directs the Office of Life, Justice and Peace for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Kathleen earned her Master’s degree in Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington, DC.

Alli Donohue is the Director of Pro Life for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

Sharen Ford is the program director for Focus on the Family’s adoption and orphan care efforts. Previously, Ford worked for child welfare services at the State Department of Human Services where she served as manager for permanency services. She has also taught middle school, high school, adult and remedial education courses.

Natalie Goodnow is a research fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, a former research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute, and a former fellow at Lutheran Services in America. She received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and master’s from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Randy Hicks is the president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Opportunity and served on the Supreme Court Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law. Hicks earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in theology from Biola University.

Elizabeth Kirk is an independent scholar who writes and speaks on religious freedom and family law with a special interest in adoption. Kirk has clerked for the Honorable Daniel A. Manion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and taught law at Catholic University of America and at Ave Maria School of Law. She served as associate director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture and as a resident fellow at the Stein Center for Social Research at Ave Maria University.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor at large of NR, and a senior fellow at NRI where she directs the Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society. She is a nationally syndicated columnist with Andrews McMeel Universal. Lopez has been published by a wide variety of publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, America, Stars and Stripes, The National Catholic Register, and First Things.

His Excellency, The Most Reverend Joseph Naumann serves as Archbishop of Kansas City. The Archbishop is incoming chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Activities and also sits on the Pro-Life and Communications committees. He serves on the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Board of Trustees and Board of Regents for Conception Seminary. Archbishop Nauman is also chairman of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

Lisa Ann Wheeler is the founder and president of Carmel Communications. She managed marketing and publicity campaigns for The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, YOUCAT, Heaven is For Real, Lent and Advent at Ephesus, Ear of the Heart, Hacksaw Ridge, and I Can Only Imagine. Wheeler also runs the largest special needs and Christmas gift program for children in the Georgia foster care system.

Charmaine Yoest is the Associate Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy at Executive Office of the President, The White House. Previously, she was president and CEO of Americans United for Life, vice president of the Family Research Council, a senior fellow at American Values, and a senior advisor for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Sarah Zagorski was rescued from abortion and spent nearly eight years in the Louisiana foster care system. In 2012 she graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Bible Studies. Currently Sarah works with Louisiana Right to Life.


Keep an eye out for future events!

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