Chester County child welfare staff earns statewide awards for adoption efforts

Chester County Department of Children Youth & Families (CYF) award winners Briana Stinson, Kristin Terrell, front row, left and right, and Shadell Quinones, rear left, with CYF Director Doug Waegel.
Chester County Department of Children Youth & Families (CYF) award winners Briana Stinson, Kristin Terrell, front row, left and right, and Shadell Quinones, rear left, with CYF Director Doug Waegel. Submitted photo

West Chester >> Chester County officials were recognized for efforts to place children eligible for adoption into permanent loving homes.

At this year’s state Department of Human Services Adoption and Permanency Conference, Shadell Quinones, Manager of the Chester County Children Youth and Families Adoption Unit, was awarded one of the top accolades – Permanency Professional of the Year – for her commitment to finding permanent homes for children through adoption. Shadell has been a part of Chester County’s CYF team for 18 years and in addition to adoption and post-adoption support, she heads the National Adoption Day program for the county every year.

CYF Supervisor Kristin Terrell and Caseworker Briana Stinson were part of a group that was awarded the Permanency Teamwork recognition for their collaborative effort to promote permanent homes for children with special needs. The team’s efforts to find a “forever family” for a 16-year-old Chester County youth who had been in foster care in many different locations for many years were noted as exceptional.

Shadell, Kristin and Briana were recognized at the recent Chester County Commissioners’ Sunshine Meeting, where the Commissioners also presented a Child Welfare Professionals Appreciation Month proclamation to Doug Waegel, Director of the Chester County Department of Children Youth & Families.

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In the proclamation, the Commissioners noted the efforts of the county’s child welfare staff who selflessly work to intervene and protect children who are at risk of abuse and neglect, and who work in very trying emotional situations with families who are in crisis, often struggling with mental health challenges and suffering from substance abuse disorders.

“We have tremendous experience and dedication among all of our CYF staff and their efforts are greatly appreciated by foster and adoptive families, care providers and their peers in all Chester County Human Services and Court-related departments,” said Waegel.

“It is an honor to have staff members who are recognized as the best in the state, but above all, making connections with foster and adoptive families to find safe and, eventually permanent, homes for the many children – young, older, in sibling groups and with special needs – is the greatest reward.”