Adoption Excellence Awardees Announced at HHS Event

The 2019 class of recipients of adoption excellence awards were announced today at a HHS ceremony as part of National Adoption Month. Vice President Mike Pence, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson and other leaders addressed adoption advocates, parents and others in the field this morning in the HHS Great Hall.

The adoption excellence awards, given each year by the Children’s Bureau at HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF), recognize individuals, families and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in making contributions to providing permanency for children in foster care.

The awardees were announced and honored during today’s event, where the vice president and secretary expressed the Trump administration’s support for efforts to find permanent homes for children in foster care.

“In all of our human services work at HHS, our overarching goal is to promote independence, personal responsibility, and self-sufficiency—to help Americans lead flourishing, fulfilling, independent lives,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Adoption gives children not just stability and love in the short term, but also a safe and stable platform to grow into stable, responsible, and self-sufficient adults. This month, we celebrate and honor all Americans who work to provide permanency for children in our foster care system, and we recognize particularly exceptional contributions with the Adoption Excellence Awards.”

“We are extremely grateful to these individuals and organizations for helping our youth achieve permanency through adoption,” said Johnson. “Families and state and local child welfare agencies play an essential role in finding permanent connections for our youth and our agency would not be able to do this important work without you.”

“The adoption excellence awards honor leadership and innovations in promoting permanency and connections in the lives of children in foster care and those who are waiting for adoption,” said Associate Commissioner for the ACF Children’s Bureau Jerry Milner. “We are happy to honor these 12 awardees for their commitment and dedication to adoption.”

The awardees include families who have adopted children from foster care, child welfare professionals working to improve permanency outcomes for children, and individuals and organizations that use their resources and connections to strengthen outcomes for children and youth adopted from foster care.

The event today also highlighted new public service advertisements that encourage adoptions from the U.S. foster care system and that raise public awareness about the need for families to adopt children in foster care.

This year's National Adoption Month theme, "Youth Voices: Why Family Matters," focuses on helping youth find lifelong connections. The Children’s Bureau recently launched a National Adoption Month 2019 website to connect readers with adoption resources.

2019 Adoption Excellence Awards:

Family Contributions

  • Amy and Scott Arntson - Duluth, Minn.
  • Chris and Gigi Kean - Lauderhill, Fla.

Individuals/Professionals

  • Representative David Meade - Frankfort, Ky.
  • Maria L. Quintanilla, MSW, LCSW - W. Covina, Calif.
  • Christie Erwin - Little Rock, Ark.
  • Kim Daugherty - Bartow, Fla.
  • Martha Inga - Oklahoma City, Okla.

Business Contributions/Initiatives

  • Center for Adoption Support and Education - Burtonsville, Md.
  • America’s Kids Belong/Dream Makers - Windsor, Colo.

Media/Social Media/Public Awareness of Adoption from Foster Care

  • Karen Graham - New York, N.Y.

Child Welfare/Judicial Systemic Change

  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Child Welfare Division - Baton Rouge, La.
  • Sitka Tribe of Alaska - Sitka, Alaska

A complete profile of each awardee can be found at: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/adoption-excellence-awards-2019

Quick Facts

  • The adoption excellence awards, given each year by the Children’s Bureau at HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF), recognize individuals, families and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in making contributions to providing perma
  • Adoption excellence awards were announced today at a HHS ceremony as part of National Adoption Month.
  • Vice President Mike Pence, HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Assistant Secretary Lynn Johnson and other leaders addressed adoption advocates, parents and others in the field this morning in the HHS Great Hall.

Quotes

“We are extremely grateful to these individuals and organizations for helping our youth achieve permanency through adoption.”
Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“Families and state and local child welfare agencies play an essential role in finding permanent connections for our youth and our agency would not be able to do this important work without you.”
Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
“The adoption excellence awards honor leadership and innovations in promoting permanency and connections in the lives of children in foster care and those who are waiting for adoption.”
Associate Commissioner for the ACF Children’s Bureau Jerry Milner
“We are happy to honor these 12 awardees for their commitment and dedication to adoption.”
Associate Commissioner for the ACF Children’s Bureau Jerry Milner
“In all of our human services work at HHS, our overarching goal is to promote independence, personal responsibility, and self-sufficiency—to help Americans lead flourishing, fulfilling, independent lives.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
“Adoption gives children not just stability and love in the short term, but also a safe and stable platform to grow into stable, responsible, and self-sufficient adults. This month, we celebrate and honor all Americans who work to provide permanency for children in our foster care system, and we recognize particularly exceptional contributions with the Adoption Excellence Awards.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Last Reviewed: November 12, 2019
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