Locals Recognized For Virginia Adopts Campaign - WSET.com - ABC13

Locals Recognized For Virginia Adopts Campaign

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Rustburg, VA - As Governor McDonnell gets ready to leave office, he says one of his proudest accomplishments has been his Virginia Adopts campaign, to put one thousand children currently in foster care into permanent homes. During his speech Wednesday night he recognized several in our area who helped reach that goal. A child from our own community was the one thousandth child to be adopted this year. The Governor also recognized Campbell County Social Services for their part in placing 11 children into permanent homes this year. 

The Blanchard family is part of the Therapeutic Foster Care program at Presbyterian Homes & Family Services and the Family Alliance. The program places children who need support coping with emotional and behavioral issues, into safe, loving homes.

"Presbyterian Homes is wonderful for theraputic care. We have in the past always focused on teens," said Kathy Blanchard, whose son Michael is the 1,000th adoption.  15-year-old Michael is one of more than 20 foster children the Blanchards have housed over the years, but the first they've decided to permanently adopt.

"We are looking forward to actually adopting more children, he's opened the door for us. He's a great kid, we really love him," said Blanchard.

When they received an invitation to the Governor's address Wednesday night, they were thrilled. They were even invited to the Governor's Mansion afterward.

 "He was a hit really with all the people there. We met three of the Governor's sisters and they all went crazy over him, they were hugging him and kissing him," said Kenneth Blanchard who is Kathy's husband.

The Blanchards are not the only ones recognized.

 "It's a tremendous reward for all of us here at social services" said Lisa Linthicum who is the Assistant Director at the Campbell County Social Services

Campbell County Social Services received an award for their outstanding performance in placing foster children in adoptive homes.

 "You're able to call them and say guess what the adoption is finalized," said Carol Anne Booth who is a Family Service Specialist.

But the adoptions couldn't happen without foster families... and it's a special feeling for everyone when the parents decide to make their foster child a permanent part of their family.

"Families come back to me and say what a perfect match it was that they couldn't have imagined there being a better fit for their family," said Dawn Wilson who is a Senior Family Services Specialist.

In Campbell County there are currently three foster children who are looking for adoptive families. There are also thirty-six children in foster care.

Campbell County Social Services offers orientations each month for those interested in fostering or adopting. If you are interested in serving as a foster (resource) parent please contact Dawn Wilson:Dawn.Wilson@dss.virginia.gov at Campbell County Social Services http://www.campbellcountyva.gov/depts/socialservices

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