2018 Casey Excellence for Children Awards winners announced
Casey Family Programs, a Seattle-based national foundation dedicated to safely reducing the need for foster care and building Communities of Hope for children and families, announced today the recipients of its annual Casey Excellence for Children Awards. Jami Ledoux, Director of Child Welfare Services for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, was recognized with a Leadership Award.
"We are extremely proud of Jami and what Child Welfare Services has accomplished under her leadership," said DHS Director Ed Lake. "This award is further recognition that we are moving our system in the right direction for the children in this state. Jami's passion, dedication, and progressive vision for this work have been critical to its success."
The Casey Excellence awards recognize outstanding individuals who have demonstrated distinguished work, exceptional leadership and tireless dedication in improving child welfare in America. The awards are given in the following categories:
Alumni and Family: These awards are presented to alumni of foster care, foster or adoptive parents, kinship caregivers and birth parents who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts to improve the lives of children and families.
Leadership: These awards recognize leaders in child welfare who have had a significant impact in improving outcomes for children and families and building Communities of Hope.
"Every year, we look forward to sharing inspiring stories of impressive individuals from a variety of backgrounds who work to improve child welfare throughout our great country," said David C. Mills, chair of the Board of Trustees of Casey Family Programs. "It is our absolute honor to recognize these individuals for advocating so strongly on behalf of children in foster care and their families, and for giving them greater opportunities to thrive."
The winners for 2018 are:
Lupe O. Tovar||
Foster or Adoptive Parent Award||
Robin Whiting ||
Kinship Caregiver Award||
Birth Father Award||
San Jose, California|
Birth Mother Award||
Judge Andy Hosmer||
Washington Rep. Ruth Kagi||
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Jami Ledoux became director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services' Child Welfare Services division in 2014 at a tumultuous time for the agency. Under her leadership, the state was able to safely and substantially reduce entries into foster care, which had risen nearly 50 percent over four years. Partnering with Casey Family Programs, Ms. Ledoux developed the multi-faceted "Sooner Sentinel Sites Initiative," which is addressing a number of system issues including: enhanced training for staff and resource parents; improved outreach to lawmakers, American Indian tribes, the judiciary and the public; and the use of data to demonstrate how policy and practice changes can move children more quickly to permanency.
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(L-R) Dr. William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family Programs; Jami Ledoux, Director of Child Welfare Services, Oklahoma Department of Human Services; Jennifer Benefiel, Programs Administrator of Permanency and Well-Being, Oklahoma Department of Human Services; and David Mills, Board Chair of Casey Family Programs
Jami Ledoux, Director of Child Welfare Services,
Oklahoma Department of Human Services