Florida Adoption Worker Wins National Award
For Success in Finding Families for Foster Children
Lanecia Radcliff doesn't give up on finding adoptive families for children in foster care. For her success as an adoption homefinder in Broward County, Radcliff is the 2011 recipient of the National Adoption Exchange Association’s Lillian Lansberry Award for Excellence in Adoption.
"I congratulate Lanecia on behalf of the foster children in Broward County who now have an adoptive family to provide them with love and support for a lifetime," said Secretary David Wilkins of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF). "Lanecia and other committed adoption workers deserve a lot of praise for Florida's success in becoming a national leader in getting children in foster care adopted and doing so in a timely manner."
Estimating she facilitated 80 to 100 adoptions over the past seven years, Radcliff said. "When I go to an adoption finalization, it gives me the energy to keep going. I see a child's risks have been reduced. They have someone they can call home. There's normalcy in their lives. I'm ecstatic because it's what everyone deserves."
DCF adoption program manager Kathleen Waters nominated Radcliff and presented her with the award on May 25 at the National Adoption Exchange Association's conference in Orlando. "Lanecia constantly reminds adoption staff of Pat O’Brien's slogan 'You Gotta Believe!' or you won't find an adoptive family," said Waters, referring to O'Brien's nationally recognized advocacy of achieving permanency for teens. "She really beamed when a teen who had been in care for many years found a family and when an adoptive family was successfully recruited for a sibling group of seven."
Radcliff will receive a $1,000 check as part of her award to be used to do something special for children in foster care waiting for an adoptive family. She is employed by ChildNet, the community based care agency providing foster care and adoption services in Broward County under contract with DCF. She is an adoption recruiter and served on the Governor's Office Adoption Protocol Workgroup. The National Adoption Exchange Association is the lead agency for AdoptUSKids, whose mission is recruiting adoptive families for children waiting in foster care across the United States.
"Lanecia is a treasured gem among our ChildNet team. She is involved at many levels of the adoption process and serves as a model for effective adoption recruitment throughout Florida," said Emilio Benitez, ChildNet chief executive officer. "Lanecia truly believes there is an adoptive family for every foster child, regardless of their age or special needs. Her passion and personal commitment to finding forever families for Broward's foster children is inspiring."
Floridians interested in adopting children from foster care can go to www.adoptflorida.org or call 1-800-96-ADOPT. They also can follow @ExploreAdoption on Twitter.