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Priceless Gift of Home

Priceless Gift of Home

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Published by Susie Cambria
December 17, 2009—Today, the DC Child and Family Services
Agency forwarded documents to Family Court for the 125th adoption
in 2009, completing agency work to meet the goal for adoptions this
calendar year. Both CFSA and private agencies, which manage
about half the local child welfare caseload, played a role in moving
these District children and teens out of foster care and into
permanent homes. Having already finalized 119 adoptions so far
this year, Family Court will soon hold proceedings to legally unite
adoptive parents and children in the remaining six cases.
December 17, 2009—Today, the DC Child and Family Services
Agency forwarded documents to Family Court for the 125th adoption
in 2009, completing agency work to meet the goal for adoptions this
calendar year. Both CFSA and private agencies, which manage
about half the local child welfare caseload, played a role in moving
these District children and teens out of foster care and into
permanent homes. Having already finalized 119 adoptions so far
this year, Family Court will soon hold proceedings to legally unite
adoptive parents and children in the remaining six cases.

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Published by: Susie Cambria on Dec 19, 2009
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12/18/2009

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A Priceless Gift for District Children: Home

CFSA Meets Goal of 125 Adoptions in 2009

CFSA Director Roque Gerald (seated) signed final documents for the 125th adoption of 2009 this morning at 10:30 a.m. Celebrating with him were (from left): Sandra Jackson, CFSA administrator; Sharon Knight, CFSA program manager, Debra Porchia-Usher, deputy director, CFSA Programs; Ausha Whitehead, CFSA permanency specialist; Jim Toscano, CFSA general counsel; Margie Chalofsky, executive director, Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center; CFSA permanency specialists Mary Hembry and Ann Riley; and Janice Goldwater, executive director, Adoptions Together.

December 17, 2009—Today, the DC Child and Family Services Agency forwarded documents to Family Court for the 125th adoption in 2009, completing agency work to meet the goal for adoptions this calendar year. Both CFSA and private agencies, which manage about half the local child welfare caseload, played a role in moving these District children and teens out of foster care and into permanent homes. Having already finalized 119 adoptions so far this year, Family Court will soon hold proceedings to legally unite adoptive parents and children in the remaining six cases.

23% 514

Increase in adoptions in 2009 over the previous year Number of children and youth who left foster care for a home with their parents, legal guardians, or adoptive families in 2009

Behind every adoption is a heartwarming story, including these from 2009. • In 2005, a woman adopted three siblings. At the request of these children, she moved the family to a larger home and adopted their three siblings who had remained in foster care. These six children—ages 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, and 15—can now grow up together. A mother gave her infant son to the man she believed to be his father. The alleged father left the boy with a male friend. That man bonded with the child, kept him, and raised him. This year, both the man and boy, now 16, worked through issues lingering from the past to become father and son. A two-year-old entered care extremely behind for his age in physical and other aspects of development. A married couple, relatives of the boy, took him into their family but became overwhelmed with meeting his many needs while raising their own three small children. A single woman seeking to adopt met the child and firmly decided he deserved a chance. Through her undivided attention, the boy thrived. They became mother and son this year.

Finding adoptive homes for young people in foster care can be challenging because many are older or want to be adopted along with their brothers and sisters. Social workers and others working with these children do not give up. Among adoptions from the public system this year were those of caring Washington-area residents who opened their hearts to 16 teens and 20 groups of brothers and sisters, including a set of triplets. CFSA also reunited 273 children with their parents and found permanent homes for 77 through legal guardianship. The District still has 189 children and teens in foster care waiting and hoping for a forever family. Some of these wonderful young people are featured weekly on “Wednesday’s Child,” which airs on local NBC affiliate WRC-TV. To see recent segments, visit nbcwashington.com and enter the search term Wednesday’s Child. Tuning in changed the life of a local math teacher. He was very surprised to see one of his middle-school students on the program. That led him to go through the preparation process, and he adopted the teen this year. For information about adopting any of the District’s waiting children, call 202-671-LOVE.

Uplifting reality TV for the whole family: The 11th annual “A Home for the Holidays” sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This acclaimed special features noted entertainers showcasing real-life stories of American children adopted from foster care.

December 23 8 p.m. CBS

The Freddie Mac Foundation Heart Gallery features compelling portraits of local children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted. See this traveling gallery at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through December 23, or view it on line at http://www.freddiemacfoundation.org/heartgallery/.

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