Diakon Adoption & Foster Care to be honored by Congressional coalition
Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2016)
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has selected Diakon Adoption & Foster Care as his 2016 Angels in Adoption® award recipient for the program’s “outstanding service” to children and youths served through foster care and adoption.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute—or CCAI—which orchestrates the Angels in Adoption program, will honor Diakon at an awards ceremony Sept. 20 and gala Sept. in Washington, D.C. Kathy Roach, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care executive director, will represent the organization in Washington.
Part of an organization that has been serving children and families since 1868, Diakon Adoption & Foster Care works to create “forever families” through programs ranging from foster care and legal-risk (foster-to-adopt) placements to kinship care and adoption. Serving eastern and central Pennsylvania from multiple locations, the program employs a range of cutting-edge approaches, particularly in serving older youths in danger of aging out of foster care without the permanence of a family and in preparing everyone involved in foster care or adoption for the challenges and joys they face.
The award notes that “Diakon’s long history and adaptability to changing needs in society underscore the organization’s commitment to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children and youths. That adaptability invites innovation: Diakon was one of the first agencies in the country to focus extensively on the placement of children with special needs—and one of the first in the region to offer foster-to-adopt services. In addition, the program offers a range of supportive programs for families in various stages of the adoption or foster care process, including online resources, support groups and a unique sibling-training program.”
The Angels in Adoption® Program is CCAI’s major public-awareness event and provides opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children. This year, more than 140 “Angels” are being honored through the program.
“The Angels in Adoption program is a unique annual opportunity in the nation’s Capital to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the power of adoption and the unspoken heroes who have made the dream of a family a reality for children. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,500 Angels have come to Washington to share their firsthand adoption experiences with Congress, highlighting its joys, as well as the barriers encountered in the process,” says Becky Weichhand, CCAI executive director. “Members of Congress are then able to use their new experiential understanding of these issues to create policy improvements that better support these children and the families that open their hearts and homes to them.”
In addition to the “Angels” from around the country, a National Angels in Adoption® honoree will be recognized at the gala for dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare. This year’s National Angels in Adoption honoree is the Minnesota Vikings.
Former National Angels include Korie and Willie Robertson, Shonda Rhimes, Deborra-Lee Furness Jackman, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, the late Muhammad Ali, the late Dave Thomas, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bruce Willis, Alonzo Mourning, Rhea Perlman and Kristin Chenoweth.
CCAI is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the United States and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe and loving homes through adoption. CCAI was created in 2001 by the active co-chairs of the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Coalition on Adoption, one of Congress’ premiere caucuses. The goal of the caucus is to eliminate policy barriers that hinder children from realizing their basic right of a family and more effectively raise Congressional and public awareness about adoption.