IL, Nov. 30, 1999 -– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
announced its November 99 "Adoption 2002" Excellence Awards
recipients, and Illinois again out-distanced all other states, winning
three of the 11 awards.The Department of Children and Family Services,
its research director and Cook County Presiding Judge Nancy Sidote Salyers
were named recipients of this year’s "Adoption 2002" Excellence
Awards. They were chosen from more than 52 nominations nationwide.
honored to receive recognition for our permanency endeavors," said
DCFS Director Jess McDonald."Moving children into stable, loving
families is a priority for DCFS and we thank those who helped us reach
our record-breaking accomplishments."
stem from President Clinton’s initiative to double the number of
children in foster care who are adopted. Illinois exceeded this goal by
tripling adoptions, from 2,229 in Fiscal Year 1997 to 7,315 in 1999. The
number of children moved to permanency through subsidized guardianship
also increased by 72 percent.
in leadership roles, our statewide partners, private agencies, the courts,
DCFS staff and foster families worked so hard to move children into permanency
that we exceeded our own adoption goal by more than 2,000," said
Director McDonald. "We’re also very pleased that 57 percent
of all adoptions were by relatives."DCFS Research Director Mark Testa
also was one of the 11 winners to receive recognition for his efforts.
Testa’s research on relative caregivers was instrumental in identifying
relatives as important and viable resources for adoptive families.
for her contributions was Cook County Presiding Judge Nancy Sidote Salyers.
Judge Salyers has been instrumental in reducing the number of juvenile
court cases from 58,000 in 1995 to 26,000 in 1999.
"We applaud Judge Salyers for spearheading numerous initiatives to
build collaboration among agencies, decrease
the time-frame of the judicial processes and create new programs that
value families," said Director McDonald.
2002" Excellence Awards have been given annually for the past three
years to honor individuals and organizations that provided loving families
and nurturing homes to abandoned, neglected or abused children.
news of the 1999 "Adoption 2002" Excellence Awards as the agency
and Illinois’ First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan were preparing to honor corporate
partners, individuals, judges, legislators and public and private agencies
for their efforts that gained DCFS the "Adoption 2002" Excellence
Awards in 1998.On Tuesday, November 30, Mrs. Ryan will honor this year’s
"Adoption 2002" Excellence Awards recipients DCFS Director Jess
McDonald, DCFS Research Director Mark Testa, Cook County Presiding Judge
Nancy Sidote Salyers and 50 other Champions in Adoption at a special awards
ceremony from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.