Miracles occur through the hearts and hands of nurses…
Angels in Waiting (AIW) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) charity created by nurses who are addressing the needs of America's growing population of medically fragile foster care infants and children.
Every year in the United States, tens of thousands of infants and children are abandoned by or taken away from drug addicted mothers. Medically fragile infants are born each day to mothers addicted to methamphetamine, alcohol and other drugs. Often premature, these infants face staggering medical complications when they are born; they start life in pain and discomfort with no loving family or home. In most cases, medically fragile newborns experience lengthy stays in neonatal intensive care units following delivery. After discharge, these infants and children often require critical and complex medical care delivered at home throughout the day. Without a foster home that can adequately manage their care, these fragile infants are placed in medical facilities, institutional care settings and group homes. Approximately 10% will perish from failure to thrive due to the lack of regular, nurturing, loving and stimulating contact that infants need to maintain their will to live.
AIW’s Mission Statement
AIW's mission is to help the rising population of America’s drug exposed medically fragile foster care infants and children. Our most vulnerable and underserved population, by ensuring they grow up in the loving homes, hearts, and hands of dedicated Nurse-Resource Providers.
We have seen first-hand the miracles that occur through the hearts and hands of nurses! AIW wholeheartedly shares the belief that unadoptable is unacceptable. Our vision is to significantly expand the scope and number of children served by AIW nurses through our Nurse Foster Provider Outreach and Recruitment Program. Our program is a highly successful model for recruiting skilled nurses to foster and care for medically fragile infants and children. This innovative cost-effective program has four key areas of focus: outreach, recruitment, training, and retention. By supporting our nurses from outreach to adoption, we place America’s most vulnerable children on the path to permanent placement in a loving home. Children fostered by AIW nurses have unprecedented rates of adoption from foster care. Since AIW's inception in 2005, 90% of our nurse foster providers have become the adoptive parent of their medically fragile foster infant or child. AIW is deeply devoted to helping medically fragile foster care infants and children find quality foster homes with skilled, dedicated nurses.
Our goal is to create a world where foster children who endure life-threatening illnesses and face extreme adversity thrive in the hearts and hands of dedicated nurse foster providers nationwide.
AIW was founded in 2005 by National Nurse of the Year nominee, Linda West-Conforti RN. After being alarmed at the number of methamphetamine addicted babies coming through local maternity wards, she started AIW to match nurses as foster parents with medically fragile infants, children and youths. Linda and her family fostered and then adopted three of these vulnerable infants.
~ Never underestimate the power of a nurse; miracles do occur through the hearts and hands of nurses.~
AIW Created A California Law That Supports The Medically Fragile Foster Care Population
In January 2014, the state of California passed into law Assembly Bill 1133 (Mitchell). Authored and drafted by nurse and AIW Founder Linda West-Conforti, California State Law AB 1133 (Mitchell) requires that when determining the placement of a foster child who is medically fragile, priority consideration is given to placement with an independent nurse provider. California AB 1133 (Mitchell) also stipulates nurse foster providers can work from home billing Medi-Cal for nursing hours related to the care and treatment of the foster child. Check out AIW's; AB 1133-Mitchell / California's State Law Chapter # 490. AIW recruits and provides on-going support to skilled nurses willing to foster medically fragile infants and children at home and has partnered with multiple California county agencies to meet Assembly Bill 1133 (Mitchell) compliance.
All County Letter for Departments of Children and Family Services Regarding Our Nurse-Resource Provider Bill : Click Here
AIW Impacting Federal Law
It is the intention of our founder to help author and champion federal law mandating that priority be given to nurse foster providers in the placement of medically fragile foster infants and children. Many more skilled nurses are needed nationwide to foster and care for these vulnerable and fragile children. Federal, state and local agencies already struggle to support the care and treatment of medically fragile foster infants and children without adequate home placement. Placing a medically fragile infant or child in the loving home of a skilled nurse foster provider not only saves a lost and forgotten child, it saves millions of dollars in hospital re-admissions and/or long term medical costs. At a staggering cost to tax payers, many of these children will spend the duration of their lives in medical facilities and institutional care settings with no loving family or a place to call home.
AIW’s Nurse-Resource Provider Outreach and Recruitment Program
AIW is positioned to partner with foster family agencies, federal, state and local governments in order to save these children from long term placement in medical facilities, institutional care settings and group homes. AIW believes the most effective way to find permanent loving families for these vulnerable children is immediate placement in the hearts, hands and homes of skilled dedicated nurses. AIW’s Nurse Resource Provider Outreach and Recruitment Program is a highly successful model for recruiting skilled nurses to foster and care for medically fragile infants and children. By supporting our nurses from outreach to adoption, we place America’s most vulnerable children on the path to permanent placement in a loving home. We offer levels of support and tools to independent nurse providers in facilitating faster payments for their billable-skilled nursing hours. To assist in the placement of medically fragile infants and children with nurse resource providers, AIW has secured recruitment contracts with the Departments of Children and Family Services throughout California. AIW helps to move these Angels in Waiting from hospitals, institutions, group homes and inadequate foster homes into the private residences and healing hands of experienced registered and licensed vocational nurses as their foster/resource or adoptive parents.
INDEPENDENT NURSE PROVIDERS IMPLEMENT FIVE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS FOR THESE INFANTS AND CHILDREN TO THRIVE:
~ LOVING HOME ENVIRONMENTS ~
~ STABLE NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS ~
~ INDIVIDUALIZED SKILLED NURSING CARE ~
~ EARLY INTERVENTION THERAPIES ~
We are all angels with only one wing and we can only fly by embracing one another
~ Nurses lend us your wings ~