About Heritage Camps For Adoptive Families
Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Inc. (HCAF) serves as a post-adoption resource and advocate for children, adults, and families with diverse heritages.
We accomplish our mission by facilitating events which provide culturally relevant and family-centered experiences for every member of the family.
These events provide individuals and families with both a deeper sense of community and an individual identity. It is our goal that all adoptees will develop a knowledge of themselves and their culture of origin and that families will have a better awareness of, and sense of pride in, their adopted family member’s birth heritage. HCAF assists children, adults, and families in becoming a part of a larger community “just like themselves,” with shared experiences, challenges, and opportunities.
Who We Serve
We focus on supporting international and domestic adoptive families, including adopted children, parents, non-adopted siblings, and extended family. Additionally, our camps are a resource for foster parents and waiting parents.
Adult adoptees are an essential part of the HCAF community. We believe in the importance of being guided by the experiences and perspectives of adoptees, and work to ensure that our programming amplifies their voices.
HCAF began in 1991 when 40 families with children adopted from Korea came together for a short weekend of Korean cultural immersion. From there, Korean Heritage Camp expanded to four days and many more families. Just four years later, we incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and have grown to serve over 1,000 adoptive families annually from across the nation at our nine camps, serving children born in over 40 countries.
Since our incorporation in 1995, HCAF’s Executive Director, Pam Sweetser, has provided vital leadership and management to the organization, initially on a volunteer basis. With eight other adoptive parents, Pam served on the first Board of Directors, and was the sole HCAF staff member from her appointment as Executive Director in 1995 until 2005, when the first part-time support employee was hired.
HCAF’s staff is comprised of four staff members, but the bulk of the organization’s extensive operations has always been handled by volunteers. HCAF’s team of volunteers includes camp parents, community members, and camp alumni — totaling 2,500+ individuals contributing over 650,000 volunteer hours each year.
With a strong history of smart growth, financial stability, and volunteer investment – plus the passionate involvement of our camp families – HCAF has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families for 27 years.