2014-05-08 / Community

30 wishes in 30 days for foster parents, children

LANSING – As a single father, Antoine Hudson of Harper Woods has his hands full with six boys between the ages of 9 and 15, plus a full-time job. This does not keep Hudson from being a devoted and compassionate foster parent who’s taken 17 children into his home since 2005 – adopting three of them.

“Mr. Hudson is a compassionate and caring father who works to instill morals and confidence in all of the young men that he interacts with,” said his social worker, Brittany Jackson of Wellspring Lutheran Services in Detroit.

Hudson is among 30 parents and 30 workers in Michigan’s foster care system being honored at local ceremonies this month for all they do for children who need loving homes. For the second year the statewide Foster Care Navigator Program is celebrating exceptional foster parents from around the state by fulfilling 30 wishes for 30 foster families in 30 days during May. New this year is recognition of 30 outstanding child welfare professionals. The Foster Care Navigator Program will highlight the often untold stories of foster parents and social workers who are making amazing sacrifices for Michigan’s children in foster care.

“These families and social workers are real-life superheroes,” said Katie Page Sander, program manager for the Foster Care Navigator Program. “We are thrilled to honor them and grant wishes to their foster families as we celebrate Foster Care Awareness Month.”

Granted wishes include Detroit Tigers and Red Wings tickets; dinner and movie nights out for the entire family; family passes to local zoos, museums and waterparks; cameras; basketball hoops and more.

More than 100 families were nominated by social workers from 49 counties.

Agency social workers gave impact statements describing why their nominees should be selected, a description of the family’s wish and how it would benefit the family. Foster parents nominated social workers who demonstrated professionalism, care and commitment.

Families and social workers will have their wishes granted at six regional awards ceremonies throughout the state.

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