Baltimore City DSS names its 2011 Foster Parent of the Year

L to r:  DHR Secretary Ted Dallas, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Macer, First Lady Katherine O'MalleyBALTIMORE: (May 25, 2011) – During May, which is Foster Care Month, Maryland recognizes local families who make a significant difference in the lives of children who are in need of a safe and loving home.  Earlier this month, First Lady Katie Curran O’Malley and Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) Secretary Theodore Dallas honored families during a reception at Government House.  Each jurisdiction also hosted a special “thank-you” event for their foster parents and the children in their care.

Foster Care is a temporary placement that provides short-term care and supportive services to children who are unable to live at home because of child abuse or neglect.  The foster care program in Maryland encourages foster parents to play an active role with the birth family in planning and carrying out the goals of the permanency plan.  Foster children are placed in homes that are in their own community, thereby keeping the children connected to their home school, friends, and resources within their neighborhood.

 Across Maryland there are over 7,000 young people in foster care – 50 percent of them are 13 years of age or older.

The 2011 Foster Parents of the Year from Baltimore City are:

Honoree: Shynia Baldwin

 Ms. Baldwin has a genuine concern for the well-being of children in foster care.  She is an excellent

 trainer for new foster parents.  Her demeanor with the resource parent is down to earth and welcoming.  She is eager and willing to share her personal experiences managing difficult personalities with prospective foster parents.

 Ms. Baldwin is a product of the Maryland foster care system who had a positive experience in foster care.  As a result, she entered this process and collaborated with social services to champion the best interest of children.  Ms. Baldwin, who triumphed over a number of  challenges, demonstrates to agency staff, foster parents and young people what a true advocate looks like!

 Honoree:  Donnea Adams

 Mrs. Adams is very active in the Baltimore City Foster Parent Council and she has held several leadership positions.  Mrs. Adams is a steadfast and strong advocate for teens in out of home placement; especially for mother/child placements.

Mrs. Adams is employed at Morgan State University.  For the past two years, not only has she volunteered to recruit new foster parents at Morgan State University’s homecoming games, but, she also recruits at Morgan all the time.  She has identified dozens of people whom are interested in the Foster/ Adoption Resource program.

Mrs. Adams is also committed to helping our teens be ready for adulthood.  She seeks out various educational resources for her foster children.  She has even enrolled a few at Morgan State University.  Mrs. Adams’ heartfelt commitment and numerous deeds on behalf of teen moms/child in out of home placement have made a positive impact.

Honorees: Hiyalidys and David Bradley

 Mr. and Mrs. Bradley are active participants in the agency’s resource parent group and provide support and counsel to other group members.  They established a telephone and e-mail tree that allows them to stay in touch with other resource parents.

 This young couple came to the agency with the primary goal of adopting a child.  While awaiting an adoptive placement, they assisted with short-term, emergency and respite placements.  They assist with the care of any age child and do not hesitate to change their work or personal schedules to accommodate an emergency placement.  They are responsible and responsive.  They are proactive in meeting the needs of all children placed in their care.

 Honorees:  Lisa and Samuel Macer

 Mr. Macer has been a Foster Parent co-trainer for the past seven years with Baltimore City’s PRIDE training for new and prospective foster and adoptive parents.  He has also makes presentations at the Training Academy at the University of Maryland and various other community groups when called upon.

 He has been active with the Foster Parent Council as vice President, and is serving with the State Foster Parent Association as the newly elected president.  He is an active member of the State PTA and is very involved with the PTA in the school that his children attend.  He has worked independently to help other Foster Parents to understand state policy and their rights and responsibilities to the children and the State.

  Mr. and Mrs. Macer are currently working with their teenager to ensure that she is aware of all the challenges that come with independence.  Mr. Macer has been involved with the Ready by Twenty–One program to learn all he can to assist this youth.  The Macers continue to be a source of direction and support to former foster children after they have left their home. 

 Honorees: Marlyn and Robert Moses

 Marlyn Moses has gone well beyond expectations as a foster parent and as a co-trainer for new foster parents by sharing those nuggets of wisdom that can only be obtained from caring for more than 100 children over a 27-year period as a foster/adoptive parent.  She shares her wisdom and experiences ranging from “tips on raising a male child with ADHD” to providing “a Failure to Thrive Child w/the necessary attachment for survival.”  Her experiences shared during PRIDE training are like golden nuggets that bring to life in a practical way the information shared.  This year the couple worked to transition a set of twins into a pre-adoptive family. This is but one example of how much they love children and understands that Place really does Matter(s).   

 For information about becoming a licensed foster/adoptive parent, contact the local department of social services in your area, or call 1-800-332-6347, or attend a regional information session for prospective foster/adoptive parents.

Filed in: Adoption and Foster Care, Child Welfare, In this County

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