Anchorage – Next month, the United States Department of Health and Human Services will honor Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) for his career of work to improve the opportunity and lives of foster youth and families. Rep. Gara will receive a 2018 Adoption Excellence Award during a ceremony in Washington D.C. In being chosen for the award, Rep. Gara was praised for his extraordinary contributions to provide permanent, healthy outcomes for children in foster care in Alaska, including through landmark reform legislation passed this year. Rep. Gara was nominated for the prestigious national award by Amanda Metivier, who founded the foster youth advocacy and support organization, Facing Foster Care in Alaska. Metivier has garnered praise for her child protection work at the Child Welfare Academy at the University of Alaska Anchorage.