For Immediate Release Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Contact: Joe Scialfa or Kathleen Scholl, 608.266.9000
In recognition of Foster Care Month, First Lady Tonette Walker joined Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson to honor foster parent Nakeita Patterson for her incredible commitment to the children of Milwaukee County who have needed a temporary, safe place to call home by honoring him with the 2015 Governor’s Foster Care Award.
“Foster Care Month gives us an opportunity to thank the families who care for the vulnerable children in Wisconsin who have to be removed from their homes,” said Mrs. Walker. “Foster parents play a critical role in helping these children take the first step of their journey towards healing and recovery.” Ms. Patterson has been a foster parent for only a short time, but during her year and a half serving the community she has become an example for other foster parents by the extraordinary love and commitment she gives to the children in her care.
Nakeita simply refuses to give up on a child, even when others have said the child’s behaviors are too much to handle. Trained in the principles of trauma informed care, Ms. Patterson selflessly continues to work with a child to address the specific adverse childhood experiences that is causing a child to act out. “For those times when children cannot remain at home, foster families step in to keep them safe, nurture them, and give them a place to call home,” stated Secretary Anderson. “I know the joys and challenges of being a foster parent can be significant, although the joys far outweigh the challenges.”
Mrs. Walker and Secretary Anderson recognized Ms. Patterson, along with thirteen other outstanding foster parents from throughout Wisconsin, at a ceremony this morning at the state Capitol. The event also highlighted the need for additional kind, responsible parents to step forward and care for foster children. Today in Wisconsin there are more approximately 7,000 children living in out-of-home care. For more information on becoming a foster parent, please visit dcf.wisconsin.gov/children/foster.