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Arkansas Foster Parents of the Year RecognizedDate: 07/15/2019
Arkansas Foster Parents of the Year Recognized
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) celebrated and honored its foster parents of the year on Friday at a banquet at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.
As part of that celebration, the agency named Ashley and David Daniel of Rogers as its 2019 Statewide Foster Parents of the Year.
DCFS Director Mischa Martin said the Daniel family was selected primarily because they fully support the value that all kids deserve a safe, stable, and nurturing home every day and they work closely with the biological families of the children in their care.
“Ashley and David are amazing foster parents and pour all their energy into their children,” said Martin. “In addition to their commitment to helping safely return foster children to their families, the Daniels have made a name for themselves through their ability and willingness to be ambassadors and powerful voices for foster parenting.”
Ashley and David were humbled by the award but proud to accept it on behalf of the dozens of children and families that have touched their lives over the past four years they have been foster parents. “Our intent since we began fostering was to work alongside the biological parents and to support them in any way we could,” said Ashley. “That’s been our number one priority as a foster family…making sure they remember what they’re fighting for.”
David agreed, noting that they even re-introduced members of their adopted son’s family back into his life and theirs after the adoption. “It was important to him and it was important to us. The more people who love him, the better,” Ashley commented.
David added, “Sometimes, all these kids need is structure, support, and someone to say, ‘I’m here for you.’”
One winner from each area of the state as well as the overall winner were chosen by DHS/DCFS staff based on several criteria, including reunification efforts with biological families, partnership with the agency, support for other foster parents, and advocacy for the children in their care.
Area winners were:
1. Ashley and David Daniel (Rogers)
2. Krista and Chris Morland (Fort Smith)
3. Chrystal and Adam Baker (Alexander)
4. Jennifer Stuart (Magnolia)
5. Julie and Matt Rothacher (Vilonia)
6. Allison and Ted Bowsman (North Little Rock)
7. Nora Cooney (Lonoke)
8. Teri Ann and Stephen Bearden (Rector)
9. Adrienne and Tony French (Searcy)
10. Dorothy and Emmanuel Kiyumbi (Palestine)
To see video and B-roll from the event, click here.
To see the video featuring the Daniel's, click here.
DCFS is responsible for the safety of children in the state and has approximately 4,300 children in foster care, most of whom are placed in home settings with foster families. The state is divided into 10 service areas, and nominations for outstanding foster families were submitted from each area by caseworkers, other foster parents, and child advocates.
For more information about the foster care system in Arkansas or to begin the application process to become a foster family, visit FosterArkansas.org.