Foster Parents Honored for Their Commitment to Caring

“They are my own children and they know that. We never called them foster kids.”

Foster parents accepting award
Soulemon and Esther Foudja were issued a Proclamation by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for their commitment to fostering teenagers. They have welcomed over 35 into their home so far!

Over Mother’s Day Weekend, 5 foster parents, also known as “care givers”, were honored for setting great examples for their communities at CV’s Harlem Office on 127th and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer presented the honorees with proclamations acknowledging their service, and was on-hand to congratulate them. The nominations ranged from “Rookie of the Year” to “Kinship Guardian” and “Resilient Teen Foster Parent” awards. One of the parents, Sharon Johnson, was recognized as the Longest Serving Foster Parent. Over the course of more than 30 years, she has welcomed more than 50 children into her family’s home.

“They all come back to visit me, even teenagers, little kids, I’ve had all ages,” Ms. Johnson said. “I believe I’ll be caring for these children all my life. They are my own children and they know that. We never called them foster kids. They are our kids. We treated everybody the same as a family. No separation,” Johnson said.

Tara Stukes, Director of Adoption and Foster Care, said that “In the pandemic, people were asked to social distance and not take strangers into their homes and kind of separate themselves. But we still needed homes for so many young people. These parents have continued to take in children, they are incredible.”

Rebecca Collier, who is a first-time foster parent, says she had been thinking about fostering for some time. She decided to make it official after learning that the need was even greater during the pandemic. “Now, I have the most delightful little 2-year-old staying with me, who is the biggest challenge and biggest joy of my life. I moved to a bigger apartment in an area with great pre-schools, I am 100% committed. “ Ms. Collier said.

At CV, foster parents and caregivers are true partners. Children belong with family whenever possible, and these foster parents are providing the unconditional love and belonging that every child deserves.  Learn more about becoming a CV foster parent.

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