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Katie Walker
703.841.3833
kwalker@ccda.net

JOINT STATEMENT ON VA BOARD OF SOCIAL SERVICES ADOPTION REGULATIONS VOTE

RICHMOND, Virginia: On April 20, the State Board of Social Services voted 7-2 in favor of adoption regulations supported by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (CCDA) and the Virginia Catholic Conference – regulations that had been amended by the Virginia Department of Social Services after a public comment period (ending April 1) that featured written submissions by the Conference, CCDA, other faith-based organizations, and individuals. 

Representatives of six faith-based organizations, including the Conference and CCDA, also appeared personally at the April 20 board meeting to offer public remarks in support of the amended regulations. The groups also reiterated their objections to the prior version.  At the conclusion of the meeting, the board approved the amended regulations.

Commenting on the outcome shortly after the vote occurred, Conference director Jeff Caruso observed, “Today, religious freedom was affirmed; freedom of conscience was affirmed; the freedom of all agencies, including faith-based agencies, to continue doing the great work they are doing was affirmed.”

Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, agreed: “Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington has been providing adoption services consistent with the principles and moral teaching of the Catholic Faith for the citizens of the Commonwealth for nearly 65 years. We are relieved that the Board for the Department of Social Services will uphold religious freedom and thus allow Catholic Charities to continue providing adoption services that integrate our Catholic Faith.”

Founded in 1947, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington is a nonprofit social service agency that serves twenty-one counties and seven independent cities in Virginia. Catholic Charities helps those in need regardless of their race or creed. For more information or press inquiries, please contact Katie Walker at 703.841.3833.