John and Cathie Ridgeway completed their home study in December of 1981. At the time they had two children living at home, Jeff who was 17, and Lynette who was 9. As well they had two adult children residing away from home.
In the first few years as a Foster Family they welcomed younger children and they were able to accompany Cathie to the Day Care Centre where she worked. Jamie their adopted son joined the family 23 years ago and remains at home as a valued member of the family.
As their children grew so did their ability to foster older children. For the past 17 years the Ridgeway’s have been a RAFT home. Time and time again they have demonstrated their skill and dedication to provide emergency care for adolescents in crisis.
Throughout the years John and Jamie have been supportive of Cathie’s passion to care for young people. It is a tribute to their openness, accepting manner, and flexibility that many of their former Foster Children have remained in contact with them. Some of their parents also keep in touch. Cathie not only reaches out to make a difference in the lives of young people, but often makes a connection with the parents.
John is a quiet man who loves to play guitar, and sings, and not too long ago sang in the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto.
Cathie has a big heart for children and has many hidden talents. She is a history buff, and accomplished photographer, and is a published author. In 1991 she opened and successfully ran her own daycare. Cathy is well known in her community by parents and children who have benefited from the care they have received at Cathie’s Day Care.
With Cathie’s hectic life she also manages to find time to sit on the agency board, as well as participating in numerous Board Committees, co-trained cluster groups, and training sessions and has held various position on her Foster Family Association. The skill and experience that she has brought to her various roles to support the agency and her FFA have been invaluable over the years.
Cathie and John’s service to the young people of their community has been so appreciated, and the lives of those that have been so positively impacted and will be changed forever.