Health and Family Services Cabinet
Governor Beshear Proclaims November Adoption Awareness Month; More than 800 children need permanent homes
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2010) – Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed November Adoption Awareness Month in Kentucky and is reminding Kentuckians to consider opening their hearts and homes to the state’s more than 800 waiting children.
Gov. Beshear said every child deserves a loving home.
“Families who adopt are champions of children,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are so grateful to them for their deep compassion and giving children in need a forever family.”
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) is responsible for the state’s child protection efforts, including foster care and adoption.
CHFS Secretary Janie Miller said that while the state’s success in the area of adoption requires strong collaborations among adoptive parents, the state and local communities, the heart of the program is the adoptive families.
“We strive to achieve permanency for children in foster care, and these parents complete the process by making the decision to selflessly share their lives and homes,” Miller said.
One Kentucky adoptive family has been recognized nationally this year. Lonnie and Margaret King of Pulaski County received the “Angels in Adoption” award from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute at a conference in Washington, D.C, last month. They were nominated by U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning.
Most of the state’s adoptions – 85 percent -- are by families who serve first as foster families, DCBS Adoption Services Branch Manager Mike Grimes said.
“Adoption is a decision of a lifetime,” Grimes said. “Families who choose to adopt will receive training, financial support for health and child care and mentoring from veteran adoptive parents. Resources like this make it easier for parents to concentrate more on their children’s growth and development.”
Adoption Support for Kentucky (ASK) – one of the primary resources for adoptive families -- received an Adoption Excellence Award from the Children's Bureau this year. ASK is a University of Kentucky-based consortium of parent-led adoptive parent support groups throughout the state, and the group works closely with DCBS and its Special Needs Adoption program (SNAP).
Kentucky benefited from another award this year. In September, the state received a $1.4 million bonus from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for completing more adoptions in 2009 (789) than it did in 2007 (695). The money will support the adoption program.
Of the more than 6,900 children in state out-of-home care, more than 1,800 children have the goal of adoption. Almost 800 children have had their parental rights terminated, which means they have no identified family available to care for them and are awaiting adoption.
Families who are interested in adoption are encouraged to let caseworkers know about the kinds of special needs they can be prepared to handle and if they are interested in caring for one or more than one child. Grimes said it can sometimes be challenging to find a permanent home for sibling groups or children with special needs.
For more information about adoption and foster care, call the Special Needs Adoption Program (SNAP) at (800) 928-4303. Log on to the SNAP home page at http://chfs.ky.gov/snap.
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