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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2010

CONTACT
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

DHHS Receives Incentive Bonus for High Number of Successful Adoptions

Lincoln – The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recently received a $637,726 incentive bonus for finding permanent adoptive families for children in foster care. The bonus comes from the federal Administration for Children and Families and will be used to strengthen the state’s child welfare program.

“All children deserve to grow up in good, safe homes,” said Todd Reckling, Director of DHHS’ Division of Children and Family Services. “When a child cannot be returned to his or her original family, adoption becomes the goal. This bonus will help us continue to focus on placing children into homes that are theirs forever.”

States get adoption incentive bonuses when adoptions exceed the number of adoptions in a base year, including adoptions of children under age 9 with special needs, or children who are older than 9 years. In calendar year 2009, 494 children were adopted. In 2007, the baseline year for this incentive bonus, 462 children were adopted. Even with that progress, there are still more than 302 children in foster care available for adoption.

“There are so many people we work with who share such a huge role in this accomplishment including the courts, guardians ad litem, county attorneys, CASA and the Foster Care Review Board,” said Reckling. “I’m especially proud of my staff and their unwavering efforts to find permanent, safe homes for the state’s foster children.”

DHHS received adoption incentive bonuses for these federal fiscal years:

  • FFY2009 - $569,917 bonus
  • FFY2008 - $420,000 bonus
  • FFY2007 - $336,000 bonus
  • FFY2006 - $ 50,000 bonus
  • FFY2005 - $352,000 bonus

Reckling said he especially wants to thank all of the families who have opened their hearts and homes to children in need. “More adoptive families are needed every day, especially for children who have special needs. If you and your family want to make a difference to a child, call 1-800-7PARENT (1-800-772-7368) to learn more about adoption.”

Pictures and information about some of the children looking for adoptive homes can be found at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/children_family_services/Pages/adoption_children.aspx.

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