From the President

A New Year, A New Beginning:  Holt’s strategic plan in brief



In October, Holt International conducted our yearly fall board meeting, a time to reflect on Holt’s achievements, and a time, more importantly, to look to the future and how we can have the greatest impact on the lives of vulnerable and homeless children.

This board meeting was unlike any other I have experienced with Holt. As international adoption continues to decline across the globe, Holt must now adapt to changes that are not isolated to one country or policy. These changes demand a shift in organizational focus and priorities. The direction we will take in respect to these changes was the main focus of our two-day board meeting.

Never forgetting our rich history, we are beginning a new chapter at Holt, and with it, new opportunities for the children and families we serve. It is with great enthusiasm, that I announce that Holt, with unanimous support from the board, has approved our strategic plan for the next 10 years — a plan that we are confident will dramatically improve the lives of children and struggling families around the world. We hope you will join with us as we begin this new chapter.

 Our Plan

Over the next ten years, Holt International will champion a bold agenda for our work with orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children by focusing on the following strategic objectives. Together, we will: Develop and implement a robust set of international child welfare and family strengthening services that address the needs of children and families in their communities. Our goal is to serve 150,000 children annually by 2022. It is important to note that we will continue to be the world leader in international adoption, placing more children from overseas than any other agency and providing the highest quality adoption services and programs to children, birthparents and adoptive families. Holt will also influence local, national and international policies that affect the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable children and families through coordinated efforts and joint actions in the countries we serve, and build and strengthen our financial capacity to serve more children and families around the world.

Through our Holt Model, we will continue to provide services that dramatically improve the lives of children in our care – services that include exemplary foster care and medical care. For many years, Holt has made extra effort to finding loving homes for children with special needs and supported in-country programs to help them develop to their fullest potential. We will increase our efforts in this area, finding more homes for children with special needs, while at the same time providing excellent post adoption support through counseling services, adoption camps and heritage tours.

Holt it wholeheartedly dedicated to carrying out our new strategic plan – now with a greater sense of clarity and renewed determination to serve 150,000 children over the next 10 years.

A New Beginning

So begins the next chapter in Holt’s history. We are excited to get started on the work ahead. We still embody the core values upon which Holt was founded more than 55 years ago. And we will still pursue the dream of a home for every child. As Bertha said after Harry’s passing, “This has always been God’s work. If He wants it to continue, it will.” We are still doing God’s work. For that, we believe we would have Harry and Bertha’s blessing to continue our work. With His blessing, we will.


Phillip Littleton, President and CEO

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