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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

December 1, 2003


Charlotte -- A yearly fashion show that offers children in Mecklenburg County custody who are cleared for adoption and people interested in adopting an opportunity to meet informally is set for Saturday, Dec. 6, 2003. The public is invited.

The Youth and Family Services Division (YFS) of the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) is the sponsor of "Stepping Out for the Holidays." The free event is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church, 1451 Briar Creek Road in Charlotte. Guest emcee is Kristyn Hartman of FOX 18 News.

"Nearly 70 youths are waiting for adoptive families in Mecklenburg County,'' said Amy Ciceron, a foster/adoptive parent recruiter with YFS. "Many of these children will be featured in the fashion show.''

In November, YFS received an Adoption Excellence Award in the category of Child Welfare System Improvement. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Mecklenburg County's efforts along with 29 other recipients of the Adoption Excellence Awards.

Ellen W. Carey, director of the Child Capacity Building Division of the HHS Children's Bureau, said in her award letter that YFS received the recognition "for the extraordinary contributions it has made in providing adoption and other permanency outcomes for children in foster care."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established the Adoption Excellence Awards program in 1997 to recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America's children waiting in foster care. These awards honor states, child welfare agencies, organizations, courts, businesses, individuals and families.

YFS completed 171 final adoptions last year. The fashion show is one activity used by social workers, other DSS staff and community partners to help find safe and nurturing homes for the children and older youth who, for various reasons, can no longer live with their families.

For more information about foster parenting or adoption in Mecklenburg County, please call 704-336-KIDS (704-336-5437).

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