Although foster care is one of the most rewarding journeys to be a part of, it’s not always an easy one. Being a foster parent means providing compassion, patience and unconditional love to children who are often working through trauma.
Catholic Charities’ Foster Care & Adoption program is blessed to have parents who do whatever they can to create the best life for children in their care. Recently, some of the agency’s Northern Arizona foster parents were honored with Courage for Children Awards for doing just that.
Take a Break! Award
Parents Vickie and Angel have been fostering for over 13 years. They received the Take a Break! Award, which is given to a family who is willing and dependable in providing respite (periodic breaks) to other foster and adoptive families.
Vickie and Angel go above and beyond to provide respite, whether that means meeting a family at a specific location, being flexible with their schedule or making last minute extensions for emergencies. They work with the full-time therapeutic foster care providers to manage behaviors and implement the children's goals into their routine. Therapeutic foster care refers to clinical intervention and placement of youth with higher emotional and behavioral needs in specially trained foster homes.
Vickie and Angel utilize strong communication skills with other families before and during respite as well as when the child leaves. They ensure continuity of care with medications, food preferences and appropriate discipline, which provides consistency for the child and family. As parents of adopted children, they realize how important respite is and the need for consistency to help a child progress.
The Second Mile Award
Desiree and Ty have been foster and adoptive parents since 2008, providing care for children in both regular and therapeutic foster care. They were honored with The Second Mile Award, for an outstanding family that goes the “second mile” for their foster and/or adopted children.
Even after children have left their home, they continue to be a consistent support. This is particularly evident in a sibling group that Desiree and Ty have fostered, not once but twice.
After the children left their home the first time, Desiree and Ty stayed connected. Once they learned rights had been severed and the team was thinking of separating the children, Desiree and Ty stepped up and advocated for the siblings to remain together and return to their care.
Despite the challenges they’ve faced, Desiree and Ty were determined to move forward and model what a caring, consistent, trusting and healthy caregiver relationship looks like. The children have also been provided with many new experiences along the way.
No Place Like Home Award
Foster parent Kim received the No Place Like Home Award, which recognizes longevity and commitment. This award goes to a foster family who has cared for children in the system for a minimum of fifteen years.
It’s families like these who bring so much joy into children’s lives and inspire others to begin fostering. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent but aren’t sure how, view our Foster Care & Adoption page to see how to get started!