16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Don Darland inspires with his efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, with his significant volunteer activities in the community to address the problems of child maltreatment, and with his outstanding contributions to improving the lives of abused or neglected children. For 12 years, Mr. Darland has been a foster parent to over 50 children, ranging in age from birth through adolescence. The close connection he maintains with many of his family of foster children once they leave home testifies to his belief in the importance of relationships.
Mr. Darland works with birth parents to enable them to maintain the bond with their children while in placement. For one birth mother, he provided the opportunity for her to spend up to six hours daily in his home to care for her infant at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Perceived as humble and gracious, one who always focuses on the good in others, Mr. Darland strives to help people realize the best in themselves. He advocates for the needs of children through his involvement with numerous boards and committees, as: President and former Vice President, Oregon Foster Parent Association; Past President of the Linn County Foster Parent Association; member, Linn County Commission on Children and Families; Chair, Children's Justice Act Task Force; and member, Children, Adults, and Families Advisory Board. In addition, he manages somehow to work for Portland State University, providing consultation and training services for foster parents.
Mr. Darland advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children and foster parents with the Oregon legislature and the Office of the Governor. With his boundless positive outlook, the inspirational Mr. Darland has contributed much of his life and significantly to helping others.