Hamilton County caseworkers helped 141 children find forever families in 2017, celebrating the most adoptions in agency history.
The previous high was 135 in 2007. (Agency records only go back to 1991).
"I am proud of the work our staff did last year, especially their work in finding more kinship homes," said Moira Weir, agency director. "This is one the most important duties we perform as an organization - finding permanent, loving homes for children. I am extremely grateful to staff for working extremely hard on behalf of those who need us most."
Recruiters who are specially trained to find homes for harder-to-place children, delivered their best year, too, - 17 adoptions of teens, sibling groups and kids with special needs! Another milestone to be celebrated.
Chris Landon, a Children's Services supervisor who oversees many of the agency's adoptions, said private agencies have played a part in helping JFS, noting that they are increasingly licensing families for both foster care and adoption at the same time, ensuring they are ready to quickly adopt if the opportunity arises.
But much of the praise goes to the JFS staff who focus on adoption: Landon, Maggie Owens, Alex Grote, Sonya Lary, Danielle Varisco, Travina Adams, Emily Thompson, Michael Willis, Kamala Renick, Jona Lansman, Tammy Harrison, Michele Ryan, Dianne Shannon-Woods, Courtney Osborne, Amber Sawyer, Stacey Barton, Shawnia Robertson, Staci Crocker, Maggi Erhart, Phoebe Hart, Lasonya Hunter, Mary Stricker, David Steffen and Carson Taylor.
Margie Weaver, assistant director of Children's Services, said 141 is certainly a number worth celebrating, but the more important measure is how each life improved.
"This is a life-changing event for children who really need someone to permanently commit to them," she said. "I really want people to realize how significant this is for a child. We all know the success stories that can come out of an adoption. Our staff should celebrate the fact 141 children now know they have someone they can count on for the rest of their lives."