Health and Family Services Cabinet
State’s Adoptive Families Honored at Reception; Nine families receive awards

Press Release Date:  Friday, November 14, 2008  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  


       
Note to editors and producers: Most families will consent to media interviews. Short profiles and photos are available for each family. Call Anya Armes Weber at (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014, for information.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2008) – Nine adoptive families were honored tonight by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services at a reception to celebrate “forever families.”

At the Louisville dinner reception, cabinet staff read biographies of the honorees who were selected for providing support to other adoptive families and furthering state adoptions in their communities.

Patricia R. Wilson, commissioner of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services, said the adoptive parents deserve praise for answering the call to serve the state’s vulnerable children.

“You have changed the lives and futures of these children,” she said. “To them, to the staff of our cabinet, and to our entire Commonwealth community, you are regarded as heroes.”

The “Forever Families” Awards were established in 2003.

Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed November Adoption Awareness Month in Kentucky.

More than 85 percent of all state adoptions are by families who foster first, said Mike Grimes, manager of DCBS’ adoption services branch.

 “They are such committed families,” Grimes said. “Not only do they dedicate themselves to these children, but they also are our best recruiters for new foster and adoptive parents.”

The need for adoptive parents grows annually, Grimes said.

Of the more than 7,100 children in state out-of-home care, almost 2,000 children have the goal of adoption. Almost 1,000 have had their parental rights terminated, which means they are available and awaiting adoption with no identified family.

Many of the children waiting to be adopted may be considered harder to place because they are part of sibling groups, teenagers, African-American or have special health needs.

Grimes said adoptive families get plenty of support through benefits, training and mentoring services. Families also can specify to caseworkers about the kinds of needs they can be prepared to handle for one or more than one child.

“Before they even attend their first informational meeting, we want our potential foster and adoptive families to know that they never have to go it alone,” Grimes said. “The adoption process brings so many rewards, but when there are questions or challenges, parents can just pick up the phone to find a voice of experience or a helping hand.”

To learn more about adoption, log on to www.chfs.ky.gov/snap. Or call the cabinet at (800) 432-9346 to request an information packet.

Adoptive parent award winners are:

─ Roy and Tonya Siler – Whitley County, Whitley (Cumberland Region)
─ James and Huletha Smith – Pike County, Phelps (Eastern Mountain Region)
─ Danoleen Perkins -- Jefferson County, Louisville (Jefferson Region)
─ Noah and Pamela Wilks -- Lawrence County, Louisa (Northeastern Region)
─ Thomas and Teresa Pennix -- Boone County, Burlington (Northern Bluegrass Region)
─ Buddy and Amber Silman -- Grayson County, Leitchfield (Salt River Trail Region)
─ Rob and Angel Hillard -- Jessamine County, Nicholasville (Southern Bluegrass Region)
─ Rod and Robyn DeVore -- Marshall County, Kirksey (The Lakes Region)
─ Chris and Brittney Sweeney -- Warren County, Bowling Green (Two Rivers Region)

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