In June, JCCA held our annual Foster Parent Appreciation Night to celebrate and thank foster parents for their hard work all year long. This was the first year it was held on Zoom, but the event was as uplifting as ever. Ten foster parents received awards, each reflecting a different and important part of the critical role they play in the lives of so many children in JCCA’s Foster Home Services programs. Here are some of the award winners:
- Ms. G kept the household engaged during COVID by creating a fun workout program they routinely practiced in the backyard.
- Ms. P expressed “endless love and support” for her special needs foster youth. Mrs. R and her late husband, foster parents in the UAC program, were “superheroes and fierce advocates for the young ladies.”
- Ms. H was noted for not merely being a great foster parent but also for being kind and compassionate with the parents of the children that are living with her. Ms. H forged “a wonderful relationship” with their mother and is now known as “Grandma.”
- Ms. M and Ms. L were nominated for their perseverance in the face of many challenges. Ms. L “did not give up on her disabled niece,” and soon would be adopting her. Ms. M kept going “when many foster parents would have given up or become angry,” when caring for a medically fragile youth.
- Ms. J, another award recipient, summed up the experience of fostering succinctly. “We all know this is not an easy job,” she said with a knowing smile, “it takes real love to be a foster parent.”
As the evening came to an end, Ms. M, a foster parent in the Bronx and a member of the advisory board, ended the celebration with a few words of inspiration. “Foster parents are essential. We are resilient. We are superheroes. Congratulations to all the honorees and keep up the great work!”