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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption Excellence Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America's children waiting in foster care. An annual program that grew out of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, these awards honor States, local agencies, private organizations, courts, businesses, individuals, and families making key contributions to increasing the number of children from foster care who are adopted or placed in other permanent homes.
Denise Pascoal, child welfare advanced specialist for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in Woodstock, is our June Caseworker of the Month. Pascoal was nominated for the award by her supervisor because of her work ensuring the best interests of the children are being put first by building and mending relationships with birth and foster families.
After becoming inspired to adopt during a church mission trip in Mexico helping children whose parents were in prison, Paige and Travis Dickey of Rincon, Georgia, turned to AdoptUSKids. It was through AdoptUSKids' free photolisting of waiting children that the Dickey's found their 15-year-old daughter Brittany.
We are celebrating a major milestone. Over the last decade, 20,000 children from U.S. foster care previously photolisted on AdoptUSKids have been placed with adoptive families.
Maxine Archibald was born into an abusive household and spent her early childhood severely ill. She credits a child welfare worker for removing her from her birth father when she was 9 and placing her with loving foster parents. For 13 years her forever family raised her. Looking back on her life, she believes her marriage, her children, grandchildren, and her business career, would have not been possible if not for her foster parents.