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Lifetime Achievement Award – 2007 – Wayne and Laurie Martin

Wayne and Laurie Martin have been fostering for the Services to Children, and Adults of Prescott-Russell for over 22 years. When they started fostering they had no children of their own, and jumped right in opening their doors to teenagers, some short term, some for respite, but most for permanent placements.

From the start they were positive role models to both their foster children, and to their biological parents. They have always been willing to work with parents, and professionals to ensure the child’s best interests were at the centre of all interventions.

Twenty years ago before the phrase resiliency, and having high expectations for our children were not the norm; this couple focused on wanted the best for the children in their home. Whether diagnosed with intellectual limitations, behavioral or other problems they always agreed to that they should have the same opportunities.

One child in particular was encouraged to take piano lessons and tutoring services to help her academically. This teenager was able to graduate from high school and is living independently and is working full time. Another teenager changed her last name to theirs. Still another teenager presented her new spouse and child to the family. All of these children, now grown are still part of the Martin Family.

They welcomed their biological son Ian to the family, and even during Ian’s Cancer treatments Ian and his family continued fostering. All of the youths coming into the home are brothers, and sisters to him.

Laurie Martin has been President, and Vice President of the Foster Parents’ Association, and an avid communicator. She has been able to balance Foster Parent’s Rights, and the children’s best interest. Last year Wayne also joined the communicator team.

Laurie and Wayne also understood that youths might not be prepared to adequately face adult life when they leave care. They advocated for the creation of the After-Care Fund where a youth could come back when in need either financially or otherwise to seek help even after the age of 23.

The children that Wayne, Laurie, and Ian have welcomed into their home have always been treated as members of the family, and know stability, a sense of belonging, and acceptance. Even if they have left home, they always know that they are welcomed back with unconditional love, in the Martin home.