Since his hiring more than 22 years ago as a Caseworker in Maine's Child and Family Services, John Levesque has influenced the child welfare system at many levels. In direct service, Mr. Levesque has been a committed and exceptional caseworker. He has promoted adoption in the community, worked with families and children to achieve permanency, and supported the agency mission. He has inspired families to commit to children, helped them through the process, and stayed in touch with them to lend support. His connection to his colleagues has been equally strong and contributed to a sense of community in work that can sometimes be isolating.
In recent years, Mr. Levesque expanded his role with the Department of Human Services (DHS) by training other staff in such critical issues as diversity, adoption practice, and resilience. Over the past year, he has led the State in many practice and policy areas related to permanency and the promotion of adoption. He led a multi-program workgroup in the implementation of a Family Study process, which broke down many barriers that had existed between Adoption and Foster Care Studies.
Mr. Levesque's other remarkable achievement has been his leadership in the IV-E Waiver Project in Maine. This project has not only added post-adoption services for families and children, but it has also brought together a wide range of stakeholders to provide training and support throughout the Child Welfare Community. Mr. Levesque played an instrumental role in bringing together key providers, consumers, and national resources, as well as overseeing the process from inception to implementation. Under his leadership, this program and the resulting "Maine Adoption Guides" have led to increases in the quantity of adoptions, as well as improved quality in post-adoption support systems for families.
Mr. Levesque has been involved in everything from working with the United States Postal Service to promote adoption stamps, to communicating with the State Legislature, from attending picnics and conferences for prospective and existing adoptive families, to working on the Maine website and adoption postings. He is a dedicated leader, locally and nationally.