DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Sarrah Troncoso
November 15, 2007 850-488-4855

Children and Families to Start Pilot Program to Promote Adoptions
~ Department hosts Grand Opening Ceremony for One Church, One Child ~

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Assistant Secretary George Sheldon joined Senator Tony Hill, Judge David Gooding of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, Jim Kallinger, Chief Child Advocate in the Governor's Office of Adoption and Child Protection, and other dignitaries for the grand opening of the One Church, One Child office this morning at Higher Ground Church of God in Christ. The office will serve as the Jacksonville area headquarters for the organization's pilot program aimed at recruiting new adoptive parents.

"This is a community known for its tremendous success in finding loving, safe and permanent homes for our children, so it's the perfect setting for the One Church, One Child initiative," said Sheldon. "I commend One Church, One Child for their dedication to such an important issue and I wish them great success in the coming year."

Duval County was selected to host the second pilot program in Florida to address the need for African-America adoptive families. One Church, One Child will focus their efforts on finding adoptive families from African-American congregations in Jacksonville and the surrounding area. One Church, One Child is a national minority adoption recruitment program, operating in 32 states. The second pilot program in Florida is located in Tampa.

"I am very excited about the opportunity this pilot project represents. The partnership between the Department of Children and Families and One Church, One Child of Florida has the potential to positively affect many children's lives across the state," said Arie Sailor, Executive Director of One Church, One Child of Florida. "I look forward to continuing to work with the Department to find permanent homes for Florida's foster children."

According to One Church, One Child Inc., African-American children represent a disproportionate 46 percent of children in need of permanent homes in Florida. Throughout the month of November, National Adoption Month, the Department encourages all Floridians to learn more about how they can change the lives of children in need through adoption. For more information on the Department of Children and Families' Office of Adoptions or tips on how to become an adoptive parent, visit http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/adoption/


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