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Casey Family Programs, a national operating foundation committed to improving the lives of children and families in communities across America, has named Linda James of Rochester, N.Y., among the winners of the annual Casey Excellence for Children Awards.
The foundation gives the awards to recognize outstanding individuals who have demonstrated distinguished work, exceptional leadership and relentless dedication in improving the child welfare system.
Ms. James received the award in the category for kinship caregivers. The award recognizes a licensed or non-licensed caregiver who provides care for a relative’s child, and has advocated for other kinship caregivers and the relative children in their care. Linda James has raised two grandchildren, and since 1997 has facilitated an educational support group for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.
In collaboration with the University of Rochester, Ms. James helped develop and facilitate the trainings of more than 20 grandparents as home visitors and mentors for supporting other kinship care providers. She also provides one-on-one assistance and advocacy to help grandparents navigate through guardianship application paperwork.
Ms. James has participated for many years in the New York State Kincare Coalition and she chaired the Kinship Care Alliance in the Rochester area. She serves on many organizations, including the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights, the New York State Children and Family Trust Fund, the Relatives Resource Committee for Monroe County Family Court, and the Advocacy Center in Rochester. The governor appointed Ms. James in 2007 to serve on the New York State Family Caregiver Council.
“Linda James carries the banner for countless others across the nation who are doing extraordinary work on behalf of those involved in the foster care system,” said Shelia Evans-Tranumn, chair of the Board of Trustees of Casey Family Programs. “She shares our goal to have every child grow up in a healthy, safe and permanent family, and within a supportive community.”