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Colleen Pillus
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Dutchess County’s Linda Orlando Honored for Successful Efforts to Facilitate Adoptions
Redlich Horwitz Foundation lauds DCFS Case Manager for permanency strides

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro congratulates Department of Community & Family Services (DCFS) Case Manager Linda Orlando on receiving the Permanency Champion Award, presented by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation. Ms. Orlando received the award in Albany on December 5th at the New York State Permanency Summit, sponsored by the New York State Office of Children & Family Services, Casey Family Programs and the Redlich Horwitz Foundation.

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation’s Permanency Champion Award is given to individuals who work in the social services field and demonstrate exemplary leadership in moving permanency work forward at the family, department or community level.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Linda Orlando is a great example of the dedicated service our Department of Community & Family Services provides each day, working to protect our most vulnerable residents. Her tireless efforts to protect foster children and place them with loving, caring families are a credit to her department and Dutchess County, and I thank the Redlich Horwitz Foundation for recognizing the strides Linda has made.”

A DCFS employee since 2003, Ms. Orlando collaborates with staff in the department’s Children’s Services Division and volunteered to participate in the department’s Adoption LEAN Project, which streamlined the adoption process for children in protective services from an average of 403 days to an average of 130 days.

Ms. Orlando said, “Every child deserves a safe and loving home, and I feel it’s extremely important to find children environments in which they’ll be nurtured, allowing them to fully develop into successful individuals. I appreciate the Redlich Horwitz Foundation for this recognition, and I look forward to continuing my role of bringing Dutchess County families together.”

Between May 2016 and November 2017, Ms. Orlando facilitated 35 adoptions through DCFS, as well as two private adoptions. She also assists adoption attorneys in completing the adoption process, and she provides training in the “Caring for Our Own” program, a-nine week, 27-hour support group which helps kinship caregivers work in partnership with DCFS, foster children and their birth parents. Upon completion of the “Caring for Our Own” program, foster parents receive certification from DCFS.

DCFS Commissioner Sabrina Jaar Marzouka said, “Every child needs a family. Linda has demonstrated passion and commitment to our mission, ensuring that children freed for adoption are welcomed into a loving home where they can thrive. She has made a remarkable impact on the lives of so many Dutchess County children, and we are proud of her achievements.”

In 2016, 131 children were placed in foster care in Dutchess County, and staff members in DCFS’ Adoption and Home Finding Unit completed 40 adoptions. Information about becoming a foster parent is available on the County’s website.

The Redlich Horwitz Foundation was founded by Catherine Redlich and Robert Horwitz in 1986 to provide financial support for organizations doing work in areas of interest to them: vulnerable children and families, education, criminal justice, drug policy, and global health. The Foundation's mission focuses on improving New York's foster care system to achieve better life outcomes for children in care and for those young adults aging out of the system.

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    Last Updated: 12/11/2017