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Adoptive And Foster Parents Honored

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Several area families were recently honored for their service as adoptive and foster parents to some of the state’s most vulnerable children.

The Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) and the University of Kentucky’s College of Social Work presented the awards to the Northeastern Service Region families at a recent reception.

DCBS, part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the state agency that oversees the public foster care system, collaborates with the Training Resource Center at UK’s College of Social Work to support and educate foster and adoptive parents across the state. 

Families from each of the nine DCBS service regions are being recognized at area receptions this summer. All are honored for their dedication and commitment to caring for children in custody of DCBS due to abuse and neglect issues and making the commitment of adoption.

DCBS Commissioner Teresa James praised the families for their limitless devotion.

“These parents exemplify the best of a group that is committed to making a tough transition easier for some children, and for giving a ‘forever family’ to others,” James said. “Because of these moms and dads, so many children don’t have to be afraid. They don’t have to worry about where they will sleep each night or what they will eat. They are enveloped in safety, and surrounded by unconditional love.” 

These Northeastern Service Region parents have been honored:

Adoptive Family of the Year - Gayla Griffith, Boyd County (Ashland)

Foster Family of the Year - Brian and Sandra Barber, Boyd County (Ashland)

Outstanding Service Recipients

Phillip and Britney Adkins, Rowan County (Morehead)

John and Cindy Clifford, Menifee County (Frenchburg)

Keith and Marcie Dulen, Morgan County (West Liberty)

Charles and Melissa Grimm, Fleming County (Flemingsburg)

Rita Steward, Fleming County (Ewing)

Donny and Nancye Sain: Bath County (Owingsville)

John and Doris Tucker, Bath County (Salt Lick)

Alvin and Mary Zimmerman, Morgan County (West Liberty)

DCBS’ Northeastern Region includes Bath, Bracken, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lawrence, Lewis, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Robertson and Rowan counties.

James said safe reunification is always a priority for her staff and partners, and foster parents meet critical needs for children during a time of profound transition.

“Saying ‘thank you’ to these parents is just a start to recognize them for the comfort they give both the children and their birth families,” James said.

James said support staff from DCBS and UK, along with veteran foster parents as mentors, are always available to help parents with questions.

“Foster parents may encounter problems ranging from paperwork to behavioral issues, and we’ll be by their side to guide them through any obstacle,” James added.

In Kentucky, families are approved for foster care and adoption at the same time. There are more than 2,000 DCBS-approved Kentucky households that serve as foster families. Almost 7,400 children are in out-of-home care in Kentucky.

For more information about becoming a foster parent, visit: http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/faqfostercare.htm

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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