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Saturday, September 25, 1999



State wins award for
highest increase in
child adoptions

Susan Chandler of Human Services
credits a focused public-private effort

Star-Bulletin staff

Tapa

Having the highest increase in recent child adoptions in the nation has won Hawaii a $518,311 federal award.

Gov. Ben Cayetano, in announcing the award yesterday, said the state Department of Human Services and private organizations "have shown outstanding results in their drive to bring children together with adoptive families."

He commended the department and private agencies "for joining in an effort to expeditiously, compassionately and cautiously place children in homes throughout the state."

Adoptions in Hawaii increased last year from 85 to 297 -- a 249 percent jump compared to an earlier three-year average.

Human Services Director Susan Chandler attributed the increase to a focused public-private effort.

"Credit goes to our adoption unit, others working on adoption cases, the Family Court and the attorney general's office," she said.

She also gave credit to community partners such as Child and Family Services, Catholic Charities, Hawaii International Child Inc. and Adoption Connection.

"By helping Hawaii's children find permanent homes, they will have an immeasurable impact on our community," Chandler said.

"It is said that the most important work we do is within the walls of our home," Cayetano said. "And in this case, the real thanks goes to the families who will provide these children loving homes."

The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 was designed to promote adoption and support families. Awards are given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to encourage states to pursue adoption programs more aggressively.

For more information about adoptions, call 586-5450.



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