DCF Wins $5 Million National Adoption Award

Spends Winnings on Special Needs Children

Tallahassee, Fla.— For the fifth straight year, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has received an award for going above and beyond to find permanent homes for children.  As part of the Federal Adoption Award, DCF will receive five million dollars to provide services to special needs children who have been adopted.

“Finding safe, caring homes for children is a top priority,” DCF Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said.  “The award money is great, but more importantly, with the help of our Community Based Care (CBC) lead agencies, we’ve been able to find homes for thousands of children, many with special needs.”

Florida is receiving the third highest award among all states receiving the honor.  The awards are given to states that exceed baseline standards for adoptions and work to find homes for harder to place children, like teens, sibling groups, and those with special needs.

Last year, DCF and community partners found permanent homes for 3,352 children, up more than a hundred from the previous year.  Four hundred twenty-one, or about 12 percent, of the children adopted were 13 or older.  One hundred had been in foster care for longer than five years.

DCF works in coordination with its CBC partners to help find homes for children statewide.

“Being among only a few states receiving this national award is a great honor, and reinforces the fact that DCF and its community-based partner and provider agencies are a national leader for their innovative, collaborative and effective programs and services,” said Florida Coalition for Children CEO Kurt Kelly.  “This money will allow the CBC agencies to continuing partnering with DCF to find the safest homes and provide access to the best available care for children with special needs.”

“It is encouraging to see Florida’s adoption successes highlighted through this award,” said Zackary Gibson, Florida’s Chief Child Advocate. “Florida must continue to provide services and supports to families that have adopted children from care as they are the real heroes.”

Currently there are 750 children in foster care in Florida who are available for adoption. Information on children currently available for adoption can be found at www.adoptflorida.org or by calling 1-800-96-ADOPT (1-8000-962-3618).

For stories about adoptions visit: http://blog.myflfamilies.com/category/adoption/

Picture’s of Florida adoptions are attached.