Jeffersonville, Indiana- May, 19, 2020. May is National Foster Care Month, a time dedicated to highlight the difference that foster parents make in the lives of children and youth in our community. Traditionally, Family Ark celebrates their foster families with a celebration on their 83-acre campus, but with restrictions on social gatherings, the foster care department had to get creative to show their appreciation. “We knew that we had to find a way to celebrate our families in a big way. Now, more than ever they are acting as our child welfare heroes,” says Samantha Steele, Family Ark’s Foster Care Program Manager.

Throughout the month, Family Ark Foster Parents were honored with social media posts, gift baskets, and yard signs that read, “A Family Ark Hero Lives Here.” Each year, Family Ark presents one family with the “Frieda Shouse Award.” Frieda Shouse was Family Ark’s longest serving foster parent, as she fostered with the agency for almost 41 years.  Her lifelong dedication to fostering children touched countless lives. When she passed away in September of 2013, Family Ark wanted to honor her legacy annually through the presentation of an award in her name. This year, the 7th Annual Frieda Shouse Award was presented to Matthew and Renee Watson for their foster parenting excellence. The family was honored with a Card My Yard sign that read, “Compassion in Action,” as a tribute to their service to children in care and to their execution of one of Family Ark’s core values.

While the month of May brings many events and celebrations, it is also an important time to highlight the desperate need for additional foster parents in our community. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please call Family Ark at (812) 282-8479 or email [email protected]