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Reception to honor state’s foster parents

Press Release Date:  May 19, 2005
Contact:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180; or Denise Weider, (502) 564-2147

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 19, 2005) – In celebration of Foster Care Month, 16 parents and couples from across the state will receive an Excellence in Service Award this week at a reception to commend Kentucky’s foster parents.

The parents will be honored for their dedication and commitment to caring for children in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ public foster care system. The parents represent each of the Cabinet’s 16 service regions.

The reception will be from 3-5 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort. The center is located at 100 W. Broadway.

Governor Ernie Fletcher has proclaimed May Foster Care Month in Kentucky.

Scheduled speakers include Cabinet Secretary James W. Holsinger, Jr., M.D.; Cabinet Undersecretary for Children and Family Services Eugene Foster, Ed.D.; Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Deputy Commissioner April Vandeventer; Kentucky Youth Connects Program Coordinator George Duvall; and former foster child Stephanie Burnett.

Families interested in becoming foster parents within the Cabinet’s DCBS must pass several background checks, complete 30 hours of training and undergo home visits to ensure their home and lifestyle are safe and suitable for children. Homes are concurrently approved for foster care and adoption, though many families choose one or the other.

There are about 2,300 approved DCBS foster/adoptive homes, including 530 that were approved in 2004. DCBS regions have made diligent recruitment a priority in an effort to provide homes for foster children close to their own communities, which results in the least possible disruption to the children involved.

More than 6,800 Kentucky children are in out-of-home care because of abandonment, abuse or neglect, substance abuse or many other reasons that make their homes unsafe. Foster parents provide a safe haven for these children until they can safely return home or become adopted. 

A list of parents to be honored follows.

Barren River, Barren County: Marla and Darrell Chapman
Big Sandy, Pike County: Sandy and George Colley
Bluegrass Fayette, Fayette County: Nancy Newby                                                                
Bluegrass Rural, Franklin County: Kelly Helton and Jonathan Mays                            
Cumberland Valley, Knox County: Sheila Butcher
FIVCO Region, Boyd County: Leo and Michelle Ranjo
Gateway/Buffalo Trace, Bath County: Elbert and Vickie Griffith
Green River, McLean County: Keith and Dawna Price
Kentucky River Region, Perry County: Wilmer and Verma Williams
KIPDA Jefferson, Jefferson County: Kerry Rice and Cindy Cushman
KIPDA Rural, Shelby County: Marty and Laura Griffin
Lake Cumberland, McCreary County: Charolette and Dwayne Taylor
Lincoln Trail, Hardin County: Terry Curtis “TC” Embry
Northern Kentucky, Campbell County: Melissa and John Giltz
Pennyrile, Christian County: Roger and Mary Robinson
Purchase, Calloway County: Harvey and Karen Puckett

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Last Updated 5/20/2005