First Lady Katie O'Malley Hosts Reception for Foster Parents
Honors Families Who Have Provided over 20 Years of Service to Maryland's Children
ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 2, 2008) – First Lady Catherine “Katie” Curran O’Malley, joined by Department of Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald, hosted a reception to honor foster parents who have worked for over 20 years to provide safe, loving, temporary homes for children in foster care. The reception honored nearly 40 families and was sponsored by the Department of Human Resources in partnership with the Freddie Mac Foundation.
“Nothing is more important to a child than having a place to call home. I was pleased to honor the families that have dedicated their lives to giving Maryland’s foster children a better home,” said First Lady Katie O’Malley. “The work that foster parents do is very important not only to the children, but to the State of Maryland. Each foster family deserves to be recognized and I wanted an opportunity to let them know how much they are appreciated.”
In January of this year, the Department of Human Resources launched its “1000 by 10” campaign, a statewide foster family recruitment effort that aims to recruit and retain at least 1000 foster parents by the year 2010. The number of Maryland foster parents has decreased by more than a thousand between 2003 and 2007. Current foster parents are one of the best resources for recruitment because of their passion for this work.
“We know that most children do better in family settings,” said Brenda Donald, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources. “We hope to recruit more foster families so that children will have the opportunity to stay closer to their communities, even when they might not be able to live in their own homes.”
“It is heartwarming to know that many foster parents have served children for more than 20 years. We are reaching out to them to serve as ambassadors to help recruit additional families,” Judge O’Malley said. “We need everyone to get involved in this massive effort. The Freddie Mac Foundation partnered with DHR to make this event happen, and we are hoping that other public and private entities will follow suit to help us reach our goal.”
Families, parents, individuals, and organizations interested in finding out more information on how they can help should call 1-888-MD-KIDS2.