Department of Human Resources highlights continued success in finding permanent homes for Maryland’s foster children

Local departments of social services recognized during the third Place Matters Awards Luncheon


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (November 15, 2011) – The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) highlighted the success of its local departments of social services in finding stable, permanent homes for foster children by hosting its third annual “Place Matters” award ceremony in Baltimore. From 2007-2011, DHR’s “Place Matters” initiative has contributed to a 25 percent decrease in the number of Maryland children in care an historic achievement that represents more than 2,700 Maryland children who have found the warmth, comfort and sense of permanency that all children long for.

 “At DHR, we know how critical it is that every child grows up in a nurturing, stable environment that encourages their early childhood development,” said Ted Dallas, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. “Every child matters, which is why we’re committed to ensuring that all Maryland children experience that special sense of place that only a permanent home can provide.”

 For children, the tremendous stress and instability of foster care can have a significant negative impact on their psychological development that contributes to problems in learning, behavior, and an increased susceptibility to physical and mental illness over time. That’s why ‘Place Matters’ a statewide initiative to find permanent families for foster children, update social work practices, and involve families in decisions affecting children in foster care is so important.

 This event recognizes strides made by local social services offices to improve the well-being of Maryland’s vulnerable children by reducing the number of children who must be placed in foster care; increasing the number of children living in stable loving families and reducing the recurrence of maltreatment. Allegany County Department of Social Services took the top award, Jurisdiction of the Year, in recognition of their comprehensive success in exceeding all of the department’s Place Matters goals.

 “Thanks to the hard work of all our local offices, nearly 70 percent of Maryland children seeking adoption during each of the past four years have found a home,” said Carnitra White, executive director of the Social Services Administration. “I hope that every Maryland family will consider becoming an adoptive parent so that, one day, we’ll be able to proudly assert that every Maryland child knows the joy of a loving, permanent home.”

Filed in: Allegany County, Child Welfare, DHS News

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