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April 2009Vol. 10, No. 3Early Deadline for Adoption Excellence Awards Nominations

Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) presents Adoption Excellence Awards to recognize individuals, families, and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to providing safe, permanent, and loving homes for children in foster care. Winners are those who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and dedication in helping children from foster care rebuild their lives and achieve permanency.

Nominations are now open for the 2009 Adoption Excellence Awards, and completed nomination packets are due by May 22, 2009. Nominees may be individuals and organizations, including States, public agencies, universities, Tribes, courts, families, faith-based organizations, businesses, and more. Awards will be made in nine categories:

  • Decreased lengths of time that children in foster care wait for adoption
  • Increased adoptions of older children
  • Interjurisdictional adoptions
  • Support for adoptive families
  • Individual and/or family contributions
  • Philanthropy and/or business contributions
  • Judicial or child welfare system improvement
  • Adoption of minority children from foster care
  • Media/public awareness of adoption from foster care

Nomination packets will be reviewed by a national panel of recognized adoption experts, including members of State and Federal agencies. The review panel will make recommendations for awards to the ACF Assistant Secretary. Winners will be selected on the basis of 10 criteria, including collaboration, innovation, and community involvement. Awards will be presented at the Agencies and Courts Meeting in August in Washington, DC.

Everyone interested in making nominations, including self-nominations, is invited to visit the Children's Bureau website for more information: