Mike Watkins Recognized as an Angel in Adoption™ at National Event in Washington, D.C.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) will honor Mike Watkins as an Angel in Adoption™ at an awards ceremony on September 16 and gala on September 17 in Washington, D.C.
Mike Watkins is the CEO of Big Bend Community Based Care, Inc. a Florida non-profit providing foster care and related services across 12 counties in Northwest Florida. Over the past 24 years, Mike has dedicated his career to Florida’s at-risk children. Mike was nominated by Florida Congressman Steve Southerland for demonstrating a commitment to improving the lives of children in need of permanent, loving homes and for his dedication to adoption and positive child welfare practices.
“The entire Big Bend Community Based Care Board of Directors heartily appreciates the honor that The Angel in Adoption award bestows upon Mike,” said Linda Nelson, President, Board of Directors. “We are humbled in the knowledge that The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) selected Mike from among so many qualified nominees, but we know first-hand of his love and dedication to the children of Florida. His tireless leadership, vision, service and commitment truly is the work of an angel.”
In the past fiscal year, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Northwest Region’s Community Based Care providers have placed nearly 450 children with their forever families,” said DCF Northwest Regional Director Vicki Abrams. “Mike’s commitment to working with our partners to find loving and nurturing homes for children in foster care has contributed to our Region being a leader in the state for the number of permanent placements. We look forward to our continued partnership with Big Bend Community Based Care in finding loving homes for our communities’children."
The Angels in Adoption™ program is CCAI’s signature public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and abroad.
“The Angels in Adoption™ program is a unique annual opportunity in the Nation’s Capital to spotlight the power of adoption and the unspoken heroes who have made the dream of a family a reality for children. Since the program’s inception, over 2000 ‘Angels’ have come to Washington to share their firsthand adoption experience with Members of Congress, highlighting its joys, as well as the barriers encountered in the process,” said Becky Weichhand, interim director at CCAI. “The Members of Congress are then able to use their influence to create changes in policy to better support these children and the families that open their hearts and homes to them.”
In addition to the more than 140 Angels from around the country, several “National Angels”will be recognized at the gala for their dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare on a grand scale.This year’s honorees are Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, and Dr. Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein of TLC's show The Little Couple. Former National Angels include Korie and Willie Robertson, Deborra-Lee Furness Jackman, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Muhammad Ali, the late Dave Thomas, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bruce Willis, Alonzo Mourning, Rhea Perlman and Kristin Chenoweth.
CCAI was created in 2001 by the co-chairs of the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) to more effectively raise Congressional and public awareness about the issue of adoption. For more information, visit www.ccainstitute.org and www.angelsinadoption.org.