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For Traci Lucien, 51, of Laurel, Maryland, the bond formed with her daughter before they ever met. Lucien first laid eyes on her daughter, Talynn, 9, through AdoptUSKids’ national photolisting of children in foster care available for adoption. At the time, Talynn was living in a foster home in another state. They talked on the phone, exchanged letters, but Lucien knew she had to meet this child.
Tina Cawley, an adoption social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in Hyannis, is our May Caseworker of the Month. Cawley was nominated for the award by her supervisor because of her dedication to providing trauma-informed care to the children and families she serves.
During May, the child welfare community pauses to recognize foster parents and thank them for their service to vulnerable children, youth, and families. Agencies across the country hold banquets, programs, and other creative events to honor foster parents.
Wendy LaBate, a family case manager for the Indiana Department of Child Services, is our April Caseworker of the Month. LaBate was nominated for the award because of the post-placement support she provided to help an adoptive placement flourish.
The Katie show with Katie Couric highlighted the topic of adoption during a candid conversation about motherhood with special co-host Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Vardalos, who adopted her daughter from foster care on fourteen hours' notice, recently wrote book about the experience titled Instant Mom. Joining her and Couric on the show were new mom and celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels and comedian Kym Whitely.