Two Vermonters Achieve Top Honors in Washington D.C. for Foster Care Reform: Diane Dexter and Wanda Audette among 18 Nationwide to Receive HHS Adoption Excellence Award
Posted: September 21st, 2011
Burlington, VT--On October 12 of 2011, Vermont Adoption Chief Diane Dexter and Lund Family Center Adoption Director Wanda Audette will be among 18 individuals from across the country recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with a 2011 Adoption Excellence Award. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA.
Congressman Peter Welch and Probate Court Judge Susan Fowler wrote letters supporting their nomination.
Dexter and Audette are being recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of state adoptions, including significantly decreasing the length of time children in foster care wait to be adopted. Research shows the longer a child spends in a temporary foster care setting, the greater the negative impact on the child’s development and future potential.
Their efforts have been part of a long-standing, public-private collaboration between the Department for Children and Families and the Lund Family Center — an innovative project to recruit and support adoptive families for children in foster care called Project Family. Click here to listen to their story.
Among other accomplishments since it began in 2000, Project Family has:
HHS established the Adoption Excellence Awards program in 1997 to recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America’s children waiting in foster care. These awards honor States, child welfare agencies, organizations, courts, businesses, individuals, and families.
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Released: September 19, 2011