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Foster Parent(s) of the Year Award – 2012 – Joy and Mark Graves

Joy, her husband Mark and their three adult children have been fostering for over 10 years with the Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society.

They adopted their first child in 1997.  They have loved, and cherished him since their first visit to the   hospital, and Joy home schooled him until he had the confidence, and skills to attend school without inappropriate behaviours.

Joy gets to know each child in her care as individuals, and meets the specific needs of each child so that they may develop to their full potential.

Joy works well with natural parents, and has taught parenting skills in her home, and at present time is working with her agency teaching parenting skills to natural parents.  Her “strength based” teachings are closely related to her belief in resiliency.

She is a very positive, loving, caring person, and full of compassion, and is very giving of herself.  Joy has often hosted the “Living Room Learning groups in her home over the last three years, and was instrumental in their original concepts.

Joy is a co-trainer in PRIDE since onset in 2004 in the Perth-Huron Agency, and is presently involved in training for other foster parents to lead PRIDE training.  In the past two years   she has also been a co-trainer with OACAS in the Train the Trainer course   preparing staff and resource homes to train PRIDE.  She was also part of the   team to develop and Canadian-ize the PRIDE model in its initial stages.