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Health and Family Services Cabinet
State’s Foster Parents Honored for Excellent Service

Press Release Date:  Thursday, May 22, 2008  
Contact Information:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  

Note to editors and producers: Most parents will consent to media interviews. Short profiles and digital photos are available for each parent. Call Anya Armes Weber at (502) 564-6180 for information.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 16, 2008) – Thirty-one foster families from across the state were honored today for their exemplary service as foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), the state agency that oversees the public foster care system, awarded the parents Excellence in Service Awards.

They were honored for their dedication and commitment to caring for children in custody of CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) because of abandonment or abuse and neglect issues. Parents from each of DCBS’ nine service regions were honored. And, for the first time, DCBS presented “Longevity Awards” to parents who have served the state foster care program for 30 years or more.

“Foster parents truly are special,” DCBS Commissioner Patricia R. Wilson said. “They are doing something the majority of people won’t do by welcoming someone else’s child into their home and caring for them like their own. They deserve every bit of praise and recognition we can offer.”

Gov. Steven L. Beshear has proclaimed May Foster Care Month in Kentucky.

Portraits and biographies of the parents will be displayed this month in Frankfort’s Capitol rotunda.

CHFS established the Kentucky Foster Care Excellence in Service Awards in 1999. Selection criteria include initiative, advocacy, self-sufficiency, interest, flexibility and creativity in their foster caregiving.

“There are ups and downs in fostering, and it can be challenging, but foster parents always remember to make the children’s well-being their primary focus,” Wilson said. “Many of our veterans serve as mentors to new foster parents. And they truly are our best recruiting resource for foster families within their communities. We greatly value our partnership with these parents.”

DCBS has certified about 2,300 Kentucky households to care for foster families.

A list of honorees and their home counties follows.

2008 Kentucky Cabinet for Heath and Family Services
Excellence in Service Award Winners

Cumberland Region, Russell County: Sharon York
Eastern Mountain Region, Perry County: Charolette Sandlin
Jefferson Region, Jefferson County: Steve and Karen Staten
Northern Bluegrass, Campbell County: Ed and Roni Thomis 
Northeastern Region, Rowan County: Shirley Johnson
Salt River Trail, Oldham County: Dave and Sally Sauerbeck
Southern Bluegrass, Fayette County: Gloria Denise Williams
The Lakes Region, Graves County: Kelvin and Jenny Koehn
Two Rivers, Daviess: The Rev. Larry and Vivian Lewis

Longevity Award Winners (30 years or more as DCBS foster parents)

Cumberland Region
Knox County: Raymond and Helen Hood
Jackson County: James Edward and Sue Carol Isaacs
Harlan County: Viola Cooper

Eastern Mountain Region
Lee County: Patty McIntosh
Lee County: Steve and Betty Stevens

Jefferson Region (Jefferson County)
Barbara Gibson
Daisy Harvey
Sue Montgomery
James and Mary Moore
Don and Linda Faye Rogers
John and Ruth Sanders

Northern Bluegrass Region
Scott County: Ruby and Bernic Harris
Harrison County: Charles and Peggy Carson
Campbell County: George and Barbara Schierenbeck

Salt River Trail
Nelson County: John and Marcella Bartley

Southern Bluegrass
Madison County: Maudie Neeley
Estill County: Shelia and Glendon Sparks
Jessamine County: Janice Hukle

The Lakes
Hopkins County: Clifford and Shirley Hedges

Two Rivers
Allen County: William and Hilda Shrum
Monroe County: Dave and Bernice Trobaugh
Barren County: Michael and Bonnie Wilcome

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Last Updated 5/22/2008