November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside to raise awareness about the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. There are over 122,000 of the children in foster care are eligible for adoption, waiting, on average, four years for an adoptive family. While just 26% of the children who left foster care were adopted, 52% of these were adopted by their foster parent(s).
There are almost 424,000 children living in the U.S. foster care system and the number has been rising. And up to 80 percent of children in foster care have significant mental health issues. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Foster Care American Initiative, identifies mental and behavioral health as the “greatest unmet health need for children and teens in foster care.”
Pokėmon for Positive Mental Health
At Cards for Calm, we want to make a difference in the lives of these children. Our new game, Imaginhero™, for 1-4 players is like Pokémon for positive mental health.
Fun to play, Imaginhero is rooted in widely-used, and well-evidenced, techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy. The gameplay is designed to help develop emotional intelligence and empathy by teaching patterns of positive thinking through play.
Players equip their Heroes with superpowers to battle the monstrous Echoes who have overwhelmed their friends. Each of the powers is based on an underlying visualization that promotes positive thinking, while each of the villains represents an unhealthy emotional response to a stressful situation.
Helping Children in Foster Care Think Like Superheroes
We are donating copies of the game to children in the foster care system, through Together We Rise, and are giving people the opportunity to do the same. Our pre-order sale on Kickstarter allows people to purchase at-cost copies of the game to donate to Together We Rise.
Together We Rise are a non-profit that makes the foster care experience better for the many children going through it.
They work with thousands of volunteers, social workers, CASA advocates, and other partners to transform the way kids experience foster care. Their programs are created to provide a way for people who cannot become foster parents to still have a meaningful and effective way to help children in foster care.
Therapy Through Play
Our products have mainly been designed for adults. But we have seen so much interest in them from educators and counselors working with younger children, and we wanted to create something that was uniquely tailored to them. Something people of all ages could play and learn from, regardless of whether they were playing alone, with friends, or in a structured classroom or therapeutic setting.
About Cards for Calm
Cards for Calm is a family-run business whose therapy tools are used by counselors, therapists, addiction centers, social workers, and educators to help clients, patients, and students.
We launched our first product in 2016, a deck of cards that uses techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness to help people rethink their approaches to problems. It has gone on to sell almost 20,000 copies.
You can donate a copy of Imaginhero to a child in foster care, or order one for yourself, at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cardsforcalm/imaginhero/.