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Lifetime Achievement Award – 2015 – Cindy and Bob Labrecque

Cindy and Bob Labrecque have been approved Foster Parents for the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society (WECAS) since May 1990.  The Lebrecque’s are highly regarded within the agency, as committed to and passionate about their role as Foster Parents and are exceptionally skilled in parenting children with extraordinary needs.

Since 1990 Cindy and Bob have cared for more than 25 children.  Some of these foster children have been placed in their home for just a short time, while many have lived with the Labrecques for years.  They have also assisted many children transition into adulthood.  Two of the three youths currently placed in their home are long-term placements who are preparing to transition out of care.  The oldest was placed at the age of 7 and has been in their home for 11 years.  This youth has significant developmental needs and the Labrecques have committed to providing an adult placement for her in their home. The other child was placed at the age of 4, and has remained in the foster home for 12 years.  At present Cindy and Bob are also fostering a 5 year old who is diagnosed with autism.  In 2013 the Labrecques took their foster children on a cruise to Greece, a once in a lifetime opportunity for the entire family.

Cindy and Bob work as a team.  Their primary strength lies in their genuine and heartfelt commitment to each and every foster child placed in their home.  They are strong advocates for the children in areas of education and special services and supports. They also have superior behavior management skills, a clear understanding of attachment issues with foster children, a great sense of humour, as well as the ability to persevere in the face of adversity, and their devotion to each other.

With their extensive experiences they were invited in 2010 to join the Windsor Essex Children’s Aid Society’s Treatment Foster Care Program, as therapeutic foster parents.  The TFC program serves children who have significant behavioral, emotional, psychological and physical needs and challenges which are greater than those children who could be placed in a traditional home.

Both Cindy and Bob are active within the agency in other capacities.  As noted Cindy is highly involved in the Society’s Treatment Foster Care programming, which includes camps and skill building groups for youth.  The flagship of this programming is a four week Get Along Gang summer camp which is staffed by the TFC foster parents, including Cindy and two Society staff.  Bob is an FPA Advocate with Windsor-Essex and is called upon to attend child protection investigations in foster homes to lend support to the foster parents.  Cindy and Bob are also very involved in their community.  Cindy volunteers as both a coach and fundraiser for Special Olympics while Bob is an amateur comedian and raises funds for the Children’s Aid Society, the Brain Injury Association, as well as Special Olympics, by performing comedy shows each year.

As noted earlier Cindy and Bob are very well respected by both Society staff and their peers.  Cindy and Bob are genuine people who truly want the best for the children in their care, and ask for nothing in return.  They are honourable people who sincerely believe that they were put on this earth to foster.  They are a pleasure to work with and are an invaluable asset to the foster community.