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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Foster Families Honored for Excellent Service; 24 parents and couples recognized at Frankfort ceremony

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 29, 2009  
Contact Information:  Media Contact: Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180, ext. 4014; or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29, 2009) – Twenty-four families from across the state were honored today for their 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, presented the awards at a Frankfort reception.

Nine families received an Excellence in Service Award for outstanding service to Kentucky’s families and children, and 15 families received a “Longevity Award” for 25 or more years of service.

All were honored for their dedication and commitment to caring for children in custody of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) because of abandonment or abuse and neglect issues.

“We can’t do enough to thank our foster parents,” DCBS Commissioner Patricia R. Wilson said. “They are truly filling a need that seems so daunting to most people. The parents we honor have incredible patience and skills. But really, the greatest thing they offer our children in foster care is love.”

Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed May Foster Care Month in Kentucky.

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.

Wilson said her agency greatly values its partnership with parents who foster.

“Foster parents always remember to make the children’s well-being their primary focus,” Wilson said. “Through all the challenges, DCBS staff and veteran foster parents are there to help them. They never go through it alone.”

“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 approved about 2,230 Kentucky households as foster families.

As of April, around 7,200 children are in out-of-home care in Kentucky.

A list of honorees and their home counties follows.

2009 Kentucky Cabinet for Heath and Family Services
Excellence in Service Award Winners

Cumberland Region, Russell County: Steven and Rebecca Antle
Eastern Mountain Region, Pike County: Jamie and Tami Hackney
Jefferson Region, Jefferson County: Barbara Smith
The Lakes Region, Muhlenberg: Richard and Rosemary Buck
Northern Bluegrass Region, Kenton County: Patrick and Mary Steiner
Northeastern Region, Robertson County: Dewey and Patty Cooper
Salt River Trail Region, Nelson County: Craig and Anna Watson
Southern Bluegrass Region, Clark County: George and Teresa Pash
Two Rivers Region, Simpson County: Anna Camp

Longevity Awards (25 years or more as DCBS foster parents)

Cumberland Region      
Wayne County: Zella Dodson      
Eastern Mountain Region
Breathitt County: Mary K. Bennett             

Jefferson Region                                                                            
Jefferson County: Morris and Louise Gibson
Jefferson County: Dotty McCloud

Northern Bluegrass Region
Harrison County: Gerry and John Whalen

Salt River Trail Region
Hardin County: Terry Embry
Hardin County: Alan and Laverne Frye
Hardin County: Dorothy Headspeth
Hardin County: Cheryl and Randall Murdock

Two Rivers Region
Henderson County: Ruth Evans
Daviess County: Valli and Brad Rigling

Southern Bluegrass Region
Jessamine County: Phyllis and Robert Hurley
Estill County: Wayne and Lavonda Knopp
Madison County: Jean Stull
Fayette County: Shirley White


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Last Updated 5/29/2009