Children’s Home Society of Florida receives National Adoption Excellence Award

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Children’s Home Society of Florida received the 2010 National Adoption Excellence Award in the category of Adoption of Minority Children from Foster Care. The award, presented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, recognizes Children Home Society’s “extraordinary contributions in providing adoption and other permanency outcomes for children in foster care.”

Ten recipients nationwide have been cited with the 2010 Adoption Excellence Award that honors states, child welfare agencies, organizations, courts, businesses, individuals and families that have demonstrated exemplary commitment and leadership devoted to rebuilding the lives of foster children and to achieving permanency for those awaiting adoption.

“While we’re incredibly proud of this national honor, we’re especially pleased with what it represents,” says CHS President and CEO David A. Bundy. “Because of our team’s efforts, more of Florida’s children in foster care have found their forever families through adoption.”

Locally, the Treasure Coast Division, which is one of 14 divisions in the State, encompasses Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties. In 2009, the Treasure Coast Division facilitated 115 adoptions of which over half were minorities. This represented a 20 percent increase in adoptions from 2008 and a 25 percent increase over the goal set by the Florida Department of Children & Families.

“In the first four months of the 2011 fiscal year, we have already reached nearly 50 percent of our goal with 48 adoptions and expect to facilitate another 25 adoptions in November, which is National Adoption Month,” cited Jan Huffert, Executive Director of Children’s Home Society of Florida Treasure Coast Division. “The Heart Gallery has helped us to reach far beyond our adoption goals for the past three years. In 2009, it accounted for 20 adoptions, of which eight were minority foster children.”

The Children’s Home Society of Florida Treasure Coast Division serves more than 9,000 children and their families each year in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties.  CHS is not a government agency and must rely on the support of individuals, civic groups, foundations and businesses for the funds to give children and young adults the opportunity to be safe, healthy and prepared for life. For more information, visit www.chsfl.org or call the Treasure Coast Division office at 772-344-4020.

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