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DCFS Celebrates Fourth Year of Record Number of Adoptions; KTVE/KARD Honored

For a fourth consecutive year, more families have adopted Louisiana foster children than in the previous year.
Baton Rouge -- For a fourth consecutive year, more families have adopted Louisiana foster children than in the previous year.

Between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, more than 500 families adopted 733 foster children through the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

"This past year we had a large number of sibling group adoptions which is an incredible thing to witness and be a part of," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "Louisiana families continue to show their support year after year by opening their hearts and homes to nurture and guide these children, to keep brothers and sisters together, and to give children the greatest opportunities for success."
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Last year six Louisiana families each welcomed five children into their lives, another six families adopted four children each, and 43 families adopted sibling groups of three.

Governor Bobby Jindal proclaimed November as Adoption Awareness Month, noting that adopted children come "to know the benefits of the permanence that is central to a sound home life provided by a loving family."

DCFS Secretary Sonnier presented the agency's annual Adoption Advocate Awards at the event.

KTVE NBC Channel 10 in Monroe was honored with the Media Advocate Award.

Since February 2012, KTVE has showcased children and youth available for adoption in Northeast Louisiana on its morning show segment Tuesday's Child, a once a month morning segment.

Sonnier said that KTVE's segment has been a valuable tool in raising awareness for child specific recruitment in the Monroe region.

Sonnier also presented the Individual Advocate Award to Elijah Evans of Youngsville and the Community Advocate Award to Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge.

Evans, a 15-year-old former foster child, began No Use for Abuse, Inc., in 2011 as a school project. No Use for Abuse is dedicated to bringing attention to the impact abuse and neglect has on a child and promoting awareness of children in the foster care system available for adoption.

Evans rallied media and local artists to assist him in raising funds to fulfill dreams of many foster children. In December, No Use for Abuse hosts a holiday party and provides gifts, food, games and activities to the foster children in attendance.

Evans has recently been nominated for the National Angels of Adoption Award.

Healing Place Church has assisted the Baton Rouge region in recruitment activities for foster and adoptive parents by purchasing graduation supplies for foster youth graduating high school, donating toys for Christmas, offering its facilities for events and by showing unwavering support of DCFS' efforts.

This past May, Healing Place offered its professional photographer so that the region's children available for adoption could be photographed and highlighted at the Louisiana Family Forum's "Over the Edge for Adoption" event in downtown Baton Rouge. Healing Place expanded its involvement in July by hosting a pre-service training class for three regions - Baton Rouge, Covington and Thibodaux.

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