Last week, Jennifer and her husband Daniel were named Foster Caregivers of the Year by The Georgia Division of Family and Children's Services.
The family was honored during an appreciation luncheon and awards ceremony last week in Atlanta.
Members from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services nominated the Nolder family based on their outstanding service and partnership with the agency.
Jennifer said the family was honored to work among some of the best foster parents in the state – stating that working together to ensure the well being of vulnerable children is a blessing.
“In four years, we have had the honor of being stand-in parents for 26 children. We have loved each child as our very own,” she said. “Some for a short time, some for a longer period of time and even one for over three and a half years.”
Jennifer said foster care is definitely not always easy but is always worth it.
“Dan and I pride ourselves on trying to provide normalcy for children in our home in a far-from-normal situation,” Jennifer said.
Active in the Coweta County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, Jennifer has served as president for the past year and offers support and mentorship to new foster parents.
According to a DFCS case manager, the Nolders have “consistently demonstrated high energy and willingness to go above and beyond in partnering with the Resource Development team and the Division.”
Each March during National Social Work month, Jennifer shows appreciation for the Division’s case managers by taking breakfast to their office.
The Nolders encourage other foster parents to nurture their relationships with their case managers and other DFCS staff, believing that a strong partnership will result in better outcomes for the children in Georgia’s foster care system.
“We are grateful for all of Georgia’s foster parents for opening their homes and hearts to children in need,” said Division Director Tom C. Rawlings. “Our Foster Caregivers of the Year, however, deserve special recognition because they consistently go above and beyond what we ask of caregivers.”
The awards program is part of National Foster Care Month, an occasion to recognize that everyone can be a part of enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care by either becoming a caregiver or supporting foster parents.
The theme for this year’s National Foster Care Month is “Foster Care as a Support to Families, Not a Substitute for Parents.”
With the recently passed Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) going into effect soon, Georgia will need even more foster parents as they move children out of group home settings to family-style placements.
To learn more about becoming a foster parent, or ways to support them, call 1-877-210-KIDS or visit www.fostergeorgia.com. Interested individuals will undergo background checks and pre-service training to help them enhance their skills for parenting and nurturing children.