WASHINGTON – As president and chief executive officer of Spaulding for Children, Addie D. Williams, LMSW, JD, sits at the helm of an organization with three service entities and one overarching belief – every child is adoptable and every child deserves a permanent family. For her outstanding work on adoption issues, Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., nominated Ms. Williams as an Angel in Adoption. She will be honored along with more than 185 Angels in Adoption at an awards celebration tomorrow in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CACI).
“I’m proud to nominate Addie Williams as a 2009 Angel in Adoption,” Sen. Levin said. “Through her compassion and leadership she has had a broad and positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and families in Michigan. This award recognizes her years of service on this issue and is just one measure of our appreciation.”
Based in Southfield, Spaulding for Children operates three programs: Child and Family Services, the Spaulding Institute for Family and Community Development, and the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption. With a mission of assuring that all children grow-up in safe, permanent families and have the help they need to be successful in life, Spaulding for Children has been responsible for the adoption of more than 1,000 children, permanency for more than 500 and has trained more than 135,000 persons nationwide in its permanency techniques.
Founded in 1968, Spaulding has remained true to its core values through the years: no child, regardless of age, race or disability is un-adoptable; adoption must be child centered; most people, whether they are family units, childless couples or single parents are capable of providing permanent, nurturing environments for waiting children; agency responsibility does not end with adoption finalization; no fees, other than the court-filing fee, are charged to adoptive parents.
As the president and CEO, Ms. Williams brings years of experience in the child welfare, educational and legal arenas. After receiving her Masters of Social Work in 1976 from Western Michigan University, Ms. Williams began her career in social work as an adoptions worker for the State of Michigan and was instrumental in helping change the state’s view of what children are adoptable. As the adoption coordinator for Wayne County, she facilitated a public/private relationship that resulted in numerous children labeled “hard to place” finding adoptive homes.
Ms. Williams received her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School in 1995 and became an adjunct professor in 2003, teaching classes in social work and the law and child welfare policy. Ms. Williams began her affiliation with Spaulding for Children in 1995 when she provided adoption legal training to the child welfare staff at Spaulding. From 1996 – 2000, Ms. Williams served as vice president at Spaulding and was responsible for all direct services. Ms. Williams became president and CEO of Spaulding in 2000, responsible for the overall operations of the organization. In 2002, Crain’s Detroit Business recognized Spaulding as Best-Managed Nonprofit.
Sen. Levin is a founding member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus created in 1985, which in 2001 became the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. CACI is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the United States and millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe and loving homes through adoption. Currently, 184 Members of Congress have joined the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
The 2009 Angels in Adoption award ceremonies are being held Wednesday afternoon, September 30 in the Russell Senate Office Building, and the evening’s reception and gala will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.