2020 Adoption Excellence Awardees Announced at Virtual Event

November 17, 2020
ACF Issues:

The 2020 recipients of the annual Adoption Excellence Awards were announced today at an HHS virtual ceremony for National Adoption Month. The awards, given each year by the Children’s Bureau of HHS’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF), recognize individuals, families, and organizations who have demonstrated excellence in making contributions to providing permanency for children in foster care.

The ceremony featured HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar II, Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary for ACF and Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau at ACF.

“These awards represent a degree of excellence that every child in foster care deserves—excellence that communicates the dignity and worth of every young person—excellence that empowers children with loving forever families,” said Assistant Secretary Johnson.

“Each Adoption Excellence Award winner exemplifies leadership in promoting permanency and connection in the lives of children in foster care and those who are waiting for adoption,” said Associate Commissioner, Jerry Milner. “We celebrate these 11 awardees, and we thank them 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 who use their resources and connections to strengthen outcomes for children and youth adopted from foster care.

This year's National Adoption Month theme, "Engage Youth: Listen and Learn," highlights the voices and perspectives of older youth who have experience with adoption and foster care, and emphasizes the role that professionals can play in engaging youth throughout the adoption process.

Following are the 2020 Adoption Excellence Awards recipients:

Family Contributions

  • Terri DeMarco, Winter Garden, Fla.
  • Ramona Graham, Terrytown, La.
  • Hill-Jordan Family, Newman, Ga.

Individuals/Professionals

  • Alicia Groh, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • La Tika Jeffery, Ft. Washington, Md.
  • Melinda Lis, Southfield, Mich.
  • Jane Morgan, St. Helena Island, S.C.
  • Darcy Olsen, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Kervin Olmeda Torres, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Aria Williams, Cedar City, Utah

Child Welfare/Judicial Systemic Change

  • Older Child Matching Initiative, Topton, Pa.

View complete profiles of each awardee Visit disclaimer page .

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Quotes

“These awards represent a degree of excellence that every child in foster care deserves—excellence that communicates the dignity and worth of every young person—excellence that empowers children with loving forever families.”
— Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary for HHS' Administration for Children and Families
“Each Adoption Excellence Award winner exemplifies leadership in promoting permanency and connection in the lives of children in foster care and those who are waiting for adoption.”
— Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau at HHS' Administration for Children and Families
“We celebrate these 11 awardees, and we thank them for their commitment and dedication to adoption.”
— Jerry Milner, Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau at HHS' Administration for Children and Families

Contact

Administration for Children & Families
Office of Communications
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Phone: (202) 401-9215
Fax: (202) 205-9688
Email: media@acf.hhs.gov