Foster Parent Heroes

September 9, 2010 by  

They’re happy.  They’re surrounded by kids day and night.  And it seems they’re always on the lookout for more.  They’re “Out of this World” foster and adoptive parents.

Sunday, August 8th the Arizona Association for Foster & Adoptive Parents  held their “Courage for Children” awards luncheon for them at the Lexus Club in the US Airways Arena before a Phoenix Mercury game.  The kids were there, too, of course.  Everything is always about the kids  (They were allowed exclusive access to the Gorilla Greenhouse later that day I understand).

But before the kids got theirs – the parents were given overdue recognition before their families and peers. 

The “No Place Like Home” award went to Virginia Ingram – who has cared for children in the system for over 20 years.

The “Healer” award was presented to Moira & Patrick hamilton – a family that works extensively with kids with medical and/or behavioral health issues.

I presented the “Second Mile” award to Doug and Alicia Mumford – a family who goes above and beyond.  This family has 6 kids in tow and 3 more adoptees coming soon!  That would be…9 kids.

The “Take a Break” award went to Summer Reed, who cheerfully and dependably provides respite for other foster families.

The “I Can’t Hear You Over the Noise” award went to Annette Davis, who specializes in fostering teens (bless her!).

The “Family to Family” award, presented by Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, went to Thea Cicero,, who is especially good at working with biological families toward reunification.

The “AZAFAP Ally” award went to Michele Wright and Goodman’s furniture, who stared the “Good Threads” closing exchange to provide clothing and supplies to families in Tucson.

And the highest award – the “Courage for Children” award went to Bill Owsley, Division Chief of the Office of the Legal Advocate – for making systemic changes to improve the lives of foster & adoptive children. 

Bill Owsley was instrumental in writing a law passed this session “helping” the Courts to prioritize setting statewide standards for the Guardian ad litem who represent foster children in court.  It was an honor to work with Bill, who has been setting the gold standard for Guardians ad litem for years.  Soon all GALS will be expected to represent children in the system at a level that we all expect.

Kudos to AZAFAP President Kris Jacober for her leadership and board member and foster parents, Cathy and Matt Barto, for their part in planning the luncheon.  Read about Matt & Cathy’s foster & adoption experience here.

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