It’s never too late for family.

In the Media – Media Coverage

Our work to connect older kids in foster care to loving families!

Joe Toles is adopting his seventh son from foster care.

March 13, 2019

YG Parent, Joe Toles, featured on Fox 5. This news show highlights one of our parents, Joe Toles, who has worked with You Gotta Believe to adopt six sons.



How foster care advocacy led a Googler to her family

  May 28, 2019

You Gotta Believe Board Member and Parent talks about her career and her advocacy for kids in foster care who need permanent, loving families:

"If you’ve thought about fostering or adoption, follow your instinct. There’s no linear way to be a foster or adoptive parent, but if you have patience, love, empathy and courage you’ll find your way. I was never as clear about my purpose in life until I adopted and became a mom."

YGB Family featured on the Rachael Ray Show

  May 21, 2019

This Awe-Inspiring Man Has Given a Lifelong Home To 7 Teen + Adult Foster Children:
Joe Toles and his seven sons shared their story of family via adoption with Rachael Ray.

Never too late: Co-op City man adopts 7 older children

  March 13, 2019

YGB Dad, Joe Toles, 60, is a father of seven foster children in the borough – all of whom were adopted when they were between the ages of 13 and 20. “The longest it took somebody to call me ‘Dad’ was two weeks. And that's who I am. It's not ‘Joe’ or ‘Mr. Toles.’ It's Dad,” says Toles.

60-year-old single dad on raising 7 adopted kids: ‘Love happens’

  March 6, 2019

You Gotta Believe parent, Joe Toles, is featured in today's New York Post. You may remember Joe--and his sons Xavier, Ronnie, and John--from our Story of Adoption video. Today, the Toles family has grown to include seven sons! Creemel joined the family in 2014, followed by Kamren, in 2017 and Cinsere in 2018. This year, the official adoption of Jhon, makes seven.

'Instant Family' Connects with Foster Care World

  Nov 26, 2018

Brooklyn native Pat O’Brien created You Gotta Believe in the mid-1990s after noticing how many homeless people had spent time in foster families. Today, the group helps connect older foster kids with loving homes. YGB Executive Director, Mary Keane, talks about the film, Instant Family and how it resonates with YGB staff and families.

Meet the real-life inspirations behind the film 'Instant Family'

  Nov. 14, 2018

YGB family share how their life changed instantly when decided to foster and eventually adopt a sibling group of five!

Interview with our Executive Director Mary Keane on Seth Rudestsky's radio show.

  May 11, 2018

The show aired Saturday May 5th, 2018 on Stars Channel 109 and Friday May 11th, 208 on Broadway Channel 72 (SiriusXM). Hear Mary speak on the work of You Gotta Believe! and need to find families for teenage youth in foster care.

Finding Foster Children a Family When They Turn 21

  May 4, 2018

You Gotta Believe recruiter, Yaridania Betancourt, was highlighted in the New York Times for her work making a profound difference in the lives of older kids in
foster care looking for families!

Baldwin family welcomes 5 new additions

  Dec 31, 2017

The Bryant family of Baldwin adopted five children, all siblings. For an added bit of joy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Homegoods selected the family for its "Gift My Gathering" program. The family's home was decorated for a big celebration.

Long Island family ring in 2018 with five newly adopted children from foster care system

   Dec 30, 2017

The Bryants made the decision in 2015 to open their hearts and their Baldwin home to foster children in need when an agent with You Gotta Believe — an adoption agency that specifically places older foster kids and sibling groups — recommended a family of five siblings, ranging in age from 6 to 18.

YGB Parent Joe Toles Speaks To

  February 7. 2017

"When I was growing up, all I needed was somebody to believe in me." Joe Toles is a school counselor, a licensed therapist, a father of four adopted sons, a philanthropist, a spokesperson—and a foster kid. “I grew up in foster care. I may be 59 years old, but I’ll always be a foster kid,” Joe says. He shared the following with the folks at about the importance of raising awareness of foster care and the ways that each of us can help children and teens in care.

Broadway voices raise $450,000 for foster kids

  September 16, 2016

They sang, they danced, they raised $450,000 — and most of all, they let foster kids know they are heard. The second annual "Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids" benefit concert was presented by Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley and on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Al Hirshfield Theatre in Manhattan. It featured a who's who of Broadway and entertainment names, including Chita Rivera, Gloria Gaynor, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty and Stephanie Mills.

Chita Rivera, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty and More Perform at Voices For The Voiceless Benefit

  September 13, 2016

Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, a musical benefit for the You Gotta Believe organization, was held September 12 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Presented by Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley and, the concert included performances from Chita Rivera, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty, Tony Yazbeck, Stephanie Mills, Gloria Gaynor and Liz Callaway.

Darren Criss, Megan Hilty, and More Perform at Stars for Foster Kids Concert

  September 13, 2016

Broadway stars came out to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (home of Broadway's Kinky Boots) last night to sing for the second annual Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids event, presented by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley. The event serves to raise awareness about the plight of children in foster care — particularly those between the ages of 13 and 21, whom many consider "unadoptable" because of their age.

Broadway Supports Foster Kids at VOICES FOR THE VOICELESS

  September 13, 2016

The 2nd-annual Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids concert was just held last night, September 12th at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. This special event, presented by, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, brought together the brightest stars of stage and screen to raise awareness about the plight of kids in foster care, particularly those aged 13 to 21 whom many consider "unadoptable" because of their age.

Onstage and Backstage: Why Broadway Is Singing For Foster Children

  September 12, 2016

Tonight is our second annual Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids benefit. What is it, you ask? Well, James and I are putting up a show to help You Gotta Believe, a great organization that focuses on getting older foster kids into a loving family.

Upcoming NYC Concert to Raise Funds for Older Foster Youth

  September 2, 2019

This year’s Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids benefit concert will be held on Monday, September 12th at 7 p.m. at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York City.

The second annual Voices for the Voiceless concert for You Gotta Believe is presented by Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley and, and will gather singers and supporters to raise awareness and fundraise for New York City’s foster children.

NYC Foster Youth Nonprofit Turns Funding Crisis into Opportunity

  July 27, 2016

Last year's Voices for the Voiceless event was a HUGE success propelling YGB into our current era of momentum. We are delighted that Seth Rudetsky & James Wesley are hosting again this year on September 12th!

LGBTQ Foster Youth Share Personal Stories, Urge Acceptance

  July 1, 2016

YGB has been involved in LGBTQ issues for many years and formally launched the YGB Pride initiative in 2014. The Nobody Ages Out meeting in June of this year specifically focused on the trials of LGBTQ foster youth

Beating the Odds: Boosting School Success Rates for Students in Foster Care

  May 13, 2016

The power of family is so critical to achieving dreams and success. Read more from Youth Today and our very own Nobody Ages Out Youth Movement Advocates, Kathy Rando. You'll also hear from another YGB famiily, the Haywards!

Powerful Voices of New York City’s Former Foster Youth

  May 13, 2016

From loving mentors to abusive foster parents and indifferent social workers, a group of New Yorkers talk openly about surviving foster care and forging relationships.

"I never had that love and affection before, you know, and when I was searching for it, I got it all in the wrong places, " says one former foster kid, Rosie Williams.

Academics, Former Foster Kids Talk Solutions in New York City

  May 13, 2016

Young people aging out of foster care face a multitude of obstacles, including unemployment and homelessness, health care access and education. Researchers, academics, practitioners and current and former foster youth came together to discuss transitioning out of the foster care system and some much-needed solutions to the complex problems

Watch What Happens When Former NYC Foster Kids Speak Truth to Power

  May 13, 2016

Current and former foster youth participated in a two-day gathering focused on transitioning from care, hosted at New York University. One emphatic reminder they offer: "These kids need more resources, these kids need more help, these kids need someone they can trust."

Positive + Policy

  May 13, 2016

"If we can get these kids to believe, and if we can get these parents on board to believe, we can make these connections and we can make these families," says Amber Williams of You Gotta Believe! The Older Child Adoption and Permanency Movement Inc., an agency that focuses on finding lasting families for teens in foster care.

In a system rife with dysfunction and inefficiency, three women share personal experiences of foster care policy getting it right.

Youth Today - You Gotta Believe!

  May 10, 2016

“Aging out is not safe. Aging out leaves kids with sort of a lifetime of potential dire outcomes and loneliness," says Susan Grundberg, executive director and CEO of You Gotta Believe (YGB), a New York City nonprofit organization that focuses on finding permanent families for young adults, teens and preteens in foster care.

One Mom, Many Kids - The Story of the Keane Family

  April 22, 2016

YGB's Mary Keane and her family are featured in this article, published in Westchester Magazine. She discusses her years as an adoptive parent of youth.

North Shore High School Basketball Event Helps Foster Kids

  April 2, 2016

Young athletes participated in a day of basketball games and clinics to help raise funds for You Gotta Believe, an organization that connects older youth in foster care to permanent adoptive families before they age out of the system,

Etched In Sand Inspires Glen Head Teen's Foster Kid Event

  April 1, 2016

Inspired by the best-selling memoir "Etched in Sand," North Shore High School junior Ryan O'Day, 17, organized a fundraiser to benefit older foster children, who often age out of the system without finding an adoptive family and are at risk of becoming homeless. Teens Gotta Believe took place on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at North Shore High School in Glen Head.

Local Teen Holds Fundraising Event, Supporting Efforts To Find Families For Teens In Foster Care

  March 16, 2016

When 17-year old Ryan O’Day read and learned about the challenges facing youths in foster care, he was moved to act and decided to lend a hand – and a few feet – to do what he could to help. And so the junior at North Shore High School has organized a day filled with basketball and track clinics, “Teens Gotta Believe,” to help raise funds for the Coney Island-based “You Gotta Believe,” a non-profit whose mission is to assist older youths in foster care find permanent, adoptive families before they age out.

You Gotta Believe! Expands Board of Directors

  March, 2016

You Gotta Believe – the only organization in the NYC Metro area that focuses exclusively on finding permanent families for young adults, teens, and preteens in the foster care system - has announced a major expansion of its Board of Directors that will bring a wealth of experience to its team as its mission grows.

Adopt USKids Features The Williams Family - A YGB Family!

  December 3, 2015

"Being a father means learning on the job" says, Steven Williams who adopted his son Francis, nearly ten years ago, forming a new family. Today, they share their story with prospective adoptive parents. They recently did a television interview on behalf of You Gotta Believe, the agency that brought them together. “Francis was great on-screen, cracking jokes and completely confident,” Steven says.

Newsday Says "Adoption of older children by people in midlife: A good fit"

  December 1, 2015

“Older kids [preteens and teens] need adoptive parents, and parents in their 50s and 60s are a
great fit for that,” says Barry Chaffkin, chief executive of Fostering Change for Children in New
York City, which offers resources for families and child welfare professionals.

HuffPost Live Discusses The Stigma Behind 'Special Needs' In Foster Care With Naimah, Ashley, & Mary Keane

  November 23, 2015

Finding foster homes for older children is a challenge, especially when certain language is used to classify them. HuffPost Live unpacks why the term “special needs" is used in the system and the stigma it creates with an in-depth video interview featuring Naimah and Ashley, a YGB family, and Mary Keane, a YGB senior staff member.

BuzzFeed Video Highlights YGB Youth in National Adoption Day Video

  November 21, 2015

To mark National Adoption Day and National Adoption Awareness Month, BuzzFeed created a video that included our Nobody Ages Out Advocates for Youth. Check out their complex views on adoption - what it is, what it isn't, and what it can be...

Humans of New York features Denise Royal, YGB parent and staff member

  October 20, 2015

“I found myself in my forties and I’d never had children. And one night I was watching a show on television, and it was talking about how many older children are in foster care, and I decided it was something I should do. I work now as a counselor who advises families considering older adoptions..."

'Every Person Deserves a Home': Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski Lead Star-Studded Fundraiser for Older Foster Kids

  June 30, 2015

Another article from People magazine's Caitlin Keating about our "Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids" event that took place on June 29th here in NYC.

Modern Life with Joe Toles (published in Family Circle)

  August 6, 2015

Joe Toles, who adopted his sons thanks to You Gotta Believe! and was the subject of our campaign, "A Story Of Adoption", was interviewed by Family Circle magazine. He discusses his journey raising his children.

What Happens When Foster Kids ‘Age Out’ of the System

  July 27, 2015

Yahoo Parenting's Beth Greenfield interviews YGB Executive Director Susan Grundberg in this article regarding Salaya Leal of Austin, Texas - a 24 year old who aged out of foster care at 18 and was killed by a hit-and-run driver while panhandling earlier this month. Ms. Grundberg explains the need for more resources on a nationwide basis to help families become adoptive parents of youth in care.

Bringing a Broadway Event Together

  June 30, 2015

Wall Street Journal's Marshall Heyman and his article regarding Voices For The Voiceless: Stars For Foster Kids.

Star Power for Foster Youth

  July 10, 2015

Former foster care youth, Chris Chmielewski, writes about Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, saying, "The theme of the night was songs that inspired the presenters, who along with those big name foster care alumni included successful adoptees of the You Gotta Believe program. One by one they stood before the packed house and announced the age at which they were adopted. 20, 22, 24 and 25 years old they professed to an astonished audience. (It's true, you can adopt us at any age! A 70 year old was just adopted before the summer began.) They showed poise amidst the bright stage lights. They made the audience feel the pain of being care and the joy of finding a family..." – “Photo Flash: Darren Criss, Tina Fey and More at ‘Voices for the Voiceless’ Foster Kids Benefit”

  June 30, 2015

Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Darren Criss, Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and Caroline Rhea were just a few of the more than 1,000 people who supported youth in foster care at the "Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids" event last night at the St. James Theatre in New York City. Scroll down for photos!

The inaugural event, hosted by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley with, supported youth in foster care, particularly those ages 10 to 21 years whom many consider unadoptable because of their age. Proceeds benefitted You Gotta Believe, New York's only nonprofit specifically focused on finding permanent families for youth in foster care aged 10 years and older, and the Council on Adoptable Children (COAC). More than $500,000 was raised in support of older foster kids needing permanent families. "Megan Hilty: Adopting Older Children ‘Is Something I’ve Always Envisioned’"

  June 30, 2015

The joys of first-time parenting have been treating new mom Megan Hilty just smashingly.

“I never actually thought I’d have children of my own, so every day is this new adventure,” the Broadway star told PEOPLE about 9-month-old daughter Viola Philomena during the Voice for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids event benefiting nonprofit You Gotta Believe in New York City on Monday night. Broadway and Hollywood Stars Sing to Benefit Foster Kids Through You Gotta Believe

To benefit You Gotta Believe, New York's only nonprofit specifically focused on matching those in foster care with permanent families, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley hosted "Voice for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids" at the St. James Theatre on June 28, 2015. The event, which featured special appearances and musical performances, brought together both Broadway and Hollywood stars to raise awareness about the issues surrounding kids in foster care. Celebrity attendees included Tina Fey, Perez Hilon, Tituss Burgess, Rachel Crow, Lisa Lampinelli, Jane Krakowski, and Darren Criss, among others.

Broadway & Hollywood Stars Brighten The Way For Foster Kids With VOICES FOR THE VOICELESS: STARS FOR FOSTER KIDS

  June 29th, 2015

Starring - Tina Fey, Tituss Burgess, Kristin Chenoweth, Rachel Crow, Antwone Fisher, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Janice Huff, Jane Krakowski, Alec Mapa, Andrea McArdle, Patina Miller, Rosie O’Donnell, Caroline Rhea, Charlene Tilton with more to come and Seth Rudetsky as Music Director.

Megan Hilty, Darren Criss, Tina Fey, Ruthie Ann Miles, Tituss Burgess, Alec Mapa, Lilla Crawford Strut the Red Carpet to Benefit Foster Kids"

   June 30th, 2015

Tina Fey, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess and other Broadway favorites sang at Voices for the Voiceless: Stars For Foster Kids, a one-night-only concert event 7 PM June 29 at Broadway's St. James Theatre to help foster kids find permanent adoptive families. – “Megan Hilty Sings from Bombshell and The Sound of Music at Voices for the Voiceless Fundraiser”

  June 30th, 2015

On June 29, Seth Rudetsky and husband James Wesley's Voices for the Voiceless packed the St. James Theatre as Megan Hilty, Darren Criss, Tituss Burgess, Eden Espinosa, Lilla Crawford, Rachel Crow ("The X Factor") and many more took the stage to support You Gotta Believe. Over $500,000 was raised for this organization that finds adoptive parents for kids aging out of the foster care system. – Photos: Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids

  June 30, 2015

Tina Fey, left, and Jane Krakowski, attend Voices for The Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids at the St. James Theatre on Monday, June 29, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Read more here:

NBC New York - Janice Huff Interviews Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley

  June 19, 2015

Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, ambassadors for You Gotta Believe and hosts of “Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids,” sit down with Janice Huff to discuss the You Gotta Believe benefit. (VIDEO)

Pictures Worth Thousands of Words

  June 12, 2014

Gay City News

Highlights YGB's Work With LGBT Youth

  June 11, 2014

Forty to None

You Gotta Believe and Heart Gallery NYC Focus on LGBTQ Foster Youth

  May 6, 2014

Human Rights Campaign Blog

Adopting 13 Teenagers

  January 5, 2014

YGB’s Mary Keane's tells Blog Talk Radio her personal story of adopting 13 teens.

Executive Director Susan Grundberg discussed our work to help teens and youth who are phasing out of the foster care system along with Yolanda Perry, who was adopted through YGB.

  August 5, 2013

On NPR’S Brian Lehrer Show, You Gotta Believe! Executive Director Susan Grundberg discussed our work to help teens and youth who are phasing out of the foster care system along with Yolanda Perry, who was adopted through YGB.

Twenty Something & Ready to be Adopted

  July 31, 2013

This City Limits piece highlights the challenges of youth aging out of care and the important work that You Gotta Believe is doing to challenge assumptions about teen adoption and help to connect young people to lifelong families.

Mary and Anni Keane with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

  May 7, 2013

Watch this 31:04 minute Youtube video of our own Mary and Anni Keane with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congress persons John Lewis and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The entire piece is very interesting talking about the introduction of the ”Every Child Deserves a Family Act” that would disallow discrimination of any kind against LGBT families and youth. Though we recommend watching the entire video, should you want to get right to Mary and Anni Keane’s words, and Senator Gillibrand’s introduction of them, fast forward to 13:51.

You Gotta Believe’s Executive Transition

  April 17, 2013

New York Nonprofit Press (NYNP) reports on You Gotta Believe’s Executive Transition.

Listen to an excellent radio interview YGB staffer Mary Keane and her two daughters Anni and Alex

  Easter Sunday, 2013

The interview was conducted on Easter Sunday on City College’s Radio Station WHCR – 90.3FM. They were interviewed about Gay Parenting on the program Let Your Voice Be Heard. The interview begins about 3 minutes and 40 seconds into the broadcast.

Committee On Ways And Means

  March 8, 2013

Please watch the congressional testimony that was delivered to the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources. This was a hearing on increasing adoptions from foster care and they asked Pat O’Brien to testify along side Rita Soronen of Dave Thomas Foundation, Nicole Dobbins of Voices for Adoption, and Kelly Rosati from Focus on the Family. The testimony with questions lasts for about 1:18 minutes and it is all very interesting. However, if you would like to fast forward to Pat’s testimony it begins at 31:44 minutes into the testimony.

Foster Care's Invisible Youth

  October 31, 2012

In The Life: Foster Care's Invisible Youth, LGBT Youth in The F.C. System: Wonderful half hour feature about LGBT youth in care that our very own Mary Keane shares her perspective:

My Three Sons

  December 24, 2011

New York Newsday features YGB family Joe Toles in this Christmas article under the heading “My Three Sons.”

Keanes Support Gillibrand on Gay Adoption

  October 28, 2011

You Gotta Believe staffers Mary and Anni Keane and Board member Arelis Rosario-Keane were quoted in the Daily News today in regard to their support of Senator Gillibrand’s bill to disallow States to prevent LGBT parents from adopting children.

You Gotta Believe Rings NASDAQ Closing Bell

  October 18, 2011

You Gotta Believe rings NASDAQ closing bell on Tuesday October 18th. There is a video of it you can click on after you get to the page (to the right you’ll see the link.) You might want to fast forward a bit. They started running the camera at 3:45 before anyone was up on stage.

Aileen Rosario's Story

  September 26, 2011

Watch this wonderful webinar with our own Mary Keane and her daughter, Aileen Rosario, who was adopted at age 23. Hear their fascinating story as told to Gary Mallon, Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections.

You Gotta Believe board member, Regina Calcaterra served on a panel at a Child Welfare League of American Town Hall Meeting.

  March 30, 2011

Child Welfare League of American Town Hall Meeting

Regina makes her remarks between minute 1:56 to minute 2:32 on this Youtube video.

News 12 Brooklyn covered Pat O’Brien’s Dip in the Atlantic Ocean to raise money to help You Gotta Believe place teens for adoption.

  January 1, 2011

News 12: Pat O’Brien’s Dip

The piece expired and can no longer be seen on their website. But we did our own video too! So enjoy watching that video here.

Chrystal Gomez and April Handler

  December 10, 2010

Chrystal Gomez and April Handler speak about their experiences becoming homeless after they age out of the foster care system This powerful piece was produced by NYU student Laurie Guthmann. Pat O’Brien is quoted in the piece.

Pat O’Brien was interviewed in this webinar about the urgency to get older teens adopted before they age out of foster care.

  March 24, 2010

Interview with Pat O'Brien

Gary Mallon, Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections conducted the interview.

Chester Jackson comments on a new Ad Council Ad promoting African American Adoption.

  September 9, 2009

Ad Council Ad promoting African American Adoption

This segment was put together by NBC’s new website geared toward African Americans called The Grio.

New Yorker of the Week

  March 6, 2009

Watch this wonderful piece: Columbia News Tonight did on our very own Denise Royal who they featured as New Yorker of the week.

Great Segment about our collaboration with the Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s program

  January 25, 2009

Channel 7′s Viewpoint: Wendy's Wonderful Kid's Program

Craig Allen with son Teddy

  October 22, 2007

NBC Ch.4 News: Features YGB Staffer Craig Allen with son Teddy

National Adoption Day

  November 16, 2004

MSNBC: See Pat, Chester, & Eboney 
Talk About National Adoption Day.

New Yorker of the Week

  May 8, 2003

Pat O’Brien & You Gotta Believe.