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Social services honored for success with adoption program

December 04, 1998|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Department of Social Services has received recognition from the Maryland Department of Human Resources for the success of its adoption program.

The state department presented county officials with an award during the second annual Statewide Adoption Ceremony in Baltimore on Nov. 13.

For the second consecutive year, the department had arranged nearly three times as many adoptions as they had anticipated, said Ingrid Backman, program manager for foster care and adoptions.

Social Services personnel expected to arrange adoptions for 14 children in 1997 but they arranged 35, she said. They arranged 29 adoptions in 1996 and 12 in 1995, she said.

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"Maryland, along with the rest of the nation, has put a lot of emphasis on finding adoptive families for kids in foster care," she said.

In Washington County, Social Services is working especially hard to find homes for children with special needs, she said.

She attributes their success to two factors. Social Services employees work with the family a great deal before the child arrives in their home, she said. Then if the adoption does not work out, the process through the courts to switch the child to another family moves quickly, she said.

During the ceremony, Robert and Diana Kegarise of Hagerstown were honored as the Washington County Social Services Adoptive Parents of the Year.

They were foster parents for children with special needs, whom they have since adopted.

"They are doing a good job," she said.

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