Welcome to the foster family story project. Here you will find stories of amazing foster families. CHAMPS is proud to feature these families and we invite you to join in saying #ThanksFosterFamilies for all they do to help children and families. These stories are shareable through Facebook and Twitter.

Submit a story about a foster family you know by completing this short, easy-to-use form.

For more information about CHAMPS, please visit our main website at fosteringchamps.org

Shirley Leavitt in St. George and Valerie Davis in Cedar City, Utah

Meet two "Foster Care Moms of the Year" in Utah who are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable by providing a loving, nurturing environment: Shirley Leavitt in St. George and Valerie Davis in Cedar City.

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Rebekah and Neal Perry, Island Pond, Vermont

Rebekah and Neal Perry have had their foster parent license for 4½ years. During that time they have opened their home to 11 foster children, including babies; one with a serious health condition, and several times long-time placements like the little boys now in their care. "Our desire has always been to provide a safe, loving home for children who need a place to be while their parents regroup, gain skills and/or focus on getting their lives in order so they can parent their children," Rebekah said. "Taking children into your home full time may or may not be something you can do, but if you have a heart to help, then get trained and figure out what you CAN do to support foster families. There are so many aspects, from emergency care lasting just a few days, to offering respite care to give foster families a break. There are infants and young children who need care as well as teens and all ages in between. There are single children, sibling groups and children with all manner of physical, mental or emotional handicaps who need care."
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Mike and Ramona Evans, Denver, Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), recently recognized five foster families from across Colorado for their dedication to Colorado's children and teens in foster care. Meet Mike and Ramona Evans, one of the five families to receive this recognition.
 
After their five kids left for college, Mike and Ramona gave up their home in the suburbs to move to one of Denver's trendy neighborhoods. A few years later, these empty nesters decided they had more to give. Their faith called them to become foster parents. They are currently caring for a teenage girl who they plan to adopt. Raising kids in the city is different than in the suburbs, but one thing remains constant – the need for stability, safety and parents who nurture a child's innate talents.
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Morgan Norling and Whitney Wehrkamp, Colorado Springs

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), recently recognized five foster families from across Colorado for their dedication to Colorado's children and teens in foster care. Meet Morgan and Whitney, one of the five families to receive this recognition.
 
Morgan and Whitney knew they wanted a family, but they weren't sure how they would go about it. They decided to become foster parents because it gives them a path toward growing their family and the opportunity to help children and families in their community. Working together as a team, they have been able to balance therapy appointments, visitations, trauma-related behaviors and doctor appointments for many children – at one point caring for seven children all younger than five.
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Melody Frey, Grand Junction, Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), recently recognized five foster families from across Colorado for their dedication to Colorado's children and teens in foster care. Meet Melody Frey, one of the five families to receive this recognition. 

After overcoming challenges of her own during her teen years, Melody knew she wanted to do the same for teens. Rather than wait for a partner or the "right time," Melody jumped right in to foster parenting on her own. Not only does she accept teens for who they are, she affirms and celebrates each of their unique identities. Her home is a safe space for teens to deal with their past experiences, learn how to cope and move forward and to enjoy being kids. She is currently fostering two teens, one who will reunify with their biological family soon and another who Melody plans to adopt.
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Wendy Bryner, foster parent in Fort Collins, Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), recently recognized five foster families from across Colorado for their dedication to Colorado's children and teens in foster care. Wendy Bryner, one of the five families to receive this recognition.
 
Wendy has been a foster parent in Fort Collins for more than 11 years. She began caring for teen girls who were planning to emancipate. For the past three years she has been involved in the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, providing a family for young people who need sanctuary, safety and stability. Wendy's professional experience in social work and treatment has helped her care for youth in foster care. However, it's her support system that has kept her going. She shares the joys – and occasional lows - of foster parenting with her three daughters and her partner.
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Tom and Teresa Bever, Fort Collins, Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF), recently recognized five foster families from across Colorado for their dedication to Colorado's children and teens in foster care. Meet Tom and Teres Bever, one of the five families to receive this recognition.

Tom and Teresa are like many Colorado families – they love to stay active outside. After marrying five years ago, the couple decided they wanted to make a difference for kids in their community so they became foster parents. Now, Tom, Teresa and her three sons from a previous relationship spend their weekends skiing and mountain biking with the children for whom they provide a temporary safe home. "Seeing young people learn a new skill, face a fear or try something they've never done before is one of the best parts of fostering," shared Teresa. Although it's fun, Tom and Teresa know it's temporary. They try to develop a co-parenting relationship with the children's biological parents to support reunification and stability for the young people in their home.

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