Elaine and Kevin Stell of the Sarnia-Lambton Foster Parents Association are recipients of the FPSO 2006 Foster Parent of the Year Award. Regional Director Mike Hoekstra presented a plaque to Elaine and Kevin at the awards banquet during the FPSO Annual Conference in Ottawa on April 29, 2006.
Lorraine and Kevin moved from Montreal to Sarnia 24 years ago bringing their foster daughter with them. When she was first placed with the Stell’s at a little more than one year old it was with the Doctors’ opinion that she would be unresponsive all her life due to her diagnosis of Downs Syndrome. Elaine and Kevin adopted her at the age of ten and today at age 30 she is capable of communication and enjoys her employment and life with her family.
The Stells have a large and wonderful family of nine and continue to provide daily assistance to a severely handicapped child after placement 22 years ago. Well over 60 children have passed through their doors in the last ten years. During this time they have successfully fostered a number of teenaged girls to happy endings. They credit their success to being good listeners and providing consistency in their role as caregivers.
In the last few years the Stells have moved to fostering infants. They believe that foster parenting is very rewarding and helps keep them young. They believe their own children have benefited growing up in a foster home. In fact, their eldest son and his family are also foster parents.
Foster Parent of the Year Award is to recognize a foster parent or family who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in the field of fostering.