UK College of Social Work and DCBS Host Statewide Foster and Adoptive Parent Appreciation Event

The CoSW celebrated the 2023 Foster and Adoptive Families of the Year at the Statewide Foster and Adoptive Appreciation Event.
Foster and Adoptive Family Appreciation Event.
Photo by Tim Webb

NEWPORT, Ky. – As National Foster Care Month approaches in May, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW), alongside the Department of Community Based Services (DCBS), hosted a Statewide Foster and Adoptive Parent Appreciation event at the Newport Aquarium on Sunday, April 14. 

The 2023 Foster and Adoptive Families of the Year were invited to attend, as well as DCBS staff members and coordinators for Adoption Support for Kentucky and the Foster Parent Training program, housed at the CoSW. Lesa Dennis, DCBS Commissioner, gave opening remarks, thanking the families for their hard work and dedication to children in the Commonwealth. 

“By offering opportunities for growth and happiness, foster and adoptive parents play a critical role in helping our children heal, learn, and thrive. You invest in our future by providing this next generation with the safety, consistency, stability, protection, and nurturing support they deserve,” Dennis said. “Together, with your work to show the benefits of building healthy and fulfilling relationships, you make our Commonwealth, our country and our world as a whole a much better place to live.” 

Families were provided lunch and tickets to spend the afternoon as a family in the aquarium. Family portraits were also taken and provided to the families, celebrating the hard work and commitment it takes to raise a foster or adopted child.  

2023 Foster Families of the Year 

Danny and Sabrina Hobbs 

Nellie and Paul Mullins 

Gemirra Petty 

Michelle Maehren 

Michael and Amber Manion 

Ashlee and Steve Pracht 

Sharon York 

Thomas and Margaret Kirkwood 

Josh and Terra Blandford 

2023 Adoptive Families of the Year 

Justin and Kassi Williamson 

Richard Kilburne 

Billy and Stephanie Masters 

Traci and Gerald Hedrick 

Angela and Raymond Bischoff 

Gary and Marilyn Harp 

David and Pamela Young 

Natalie and Randall McVay 

Matt and Kortnea Powell 

The CoSW provides many resources to foster and adoptive families through the Training Resource Center. These resources and programs include: 

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For 85 years, the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) has been a leader in social work education. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world. Like the University, CoSW is an organization that cultivates a diverse academic community characterized by interpersonal fairness and social justice. We are fiercely committed to developing outstanding social work professionals — leaders who will serve individuals, families, and communities through innovative and effective practices that are guided by cultural competency, systematic ethical analysis, and a keen and pragmatic understanding of the human condition.