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Foster parents celebrated

The pivotal role foster parents play in a child’s life is being recognised this month by the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and the Department is paying tribute to the families who open their homes to nurture foster children who for several reasons, cannot live with their families of origin. The Minister of Legal Affairs, Senator the Hon. Kathy Lynn Simmons, JP said, “On behalf of the Ministry of Legal Affairs and our colleagues at DCFS, we offer our thanks to our foster care families. We are very grateful to the individuals and families who open their homes give children a stable, supportive and loving home in which to grow, thrive, and realise their full potential. Bermuda’s foster care families provide our young people who have had to be removed from their homes a critical place of refuge. It is an invaluable resource for keeping children safe in temporary circumstances.” Director of Child and Family Services, Alfred Maybury thanked the more than 72 foster parents who are caring for 68 children in Bermuda. Mr. Maybury said, “Our Department would normally host an annual Foster Parent Appreciation Tea. We regret not having the opportunity to honour our parents this year formally. However, we are paying tribute to our parents and reminding everyone what an awesome job that Foster Parents are doing. Foster Care families open their homes to children and deserve respect, devotion and support in our community.” Mr. Maybury added, “It is also a time to reflect and think about whether or not you too can make this same level of commitment to a child. Also, we recognise the Foster Parents Association (FPA), a Bermuda Registered Charity #620. The Department is grateful for their ongoing assistance to foster parents and DCFS staff. The FPA provides funding for foster youth; such as furniture, laptops, scholarship funding, instruments, assistance with educational travel etc. Members of the executive team of the FPA are Lindsay Simmons, Salvatore Tucci and Melonie Dill. In the face of the current circumstances both locally and worldwide, we extend our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing commitment and dedication.” To learn more about Foster Care & Foster Parenting, please contact the Foster Care Coordinator, Mrs. Selena Simons on 294-5871 or smsimons@gov.bm• Press release from the Department of Child and Family Services