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Foster Parent(s) of the Year Award – 2015 – Joy and Barry Cole

Joy and Barry Cole have fostered with for over 20 years.  Together with their 6 children they have welcomed children of all ages into their home.  Joy’s background as a police woman and Barry’s teaching background, their work running a camp for challenging teens and their experiences as parents have certainly contributed to the success of the children in their home.

Joy is never too busy to help a child or a fellow foster parent.  As a member of the FPSO Board of Directors, the liaison with the UFPCC , President of the Foster Family Association, Advocate, Foster Mother Extraordinaire, Mother, Grandmother, and wife Joy would be excused if she were “to busy” from time to time.  She has never been heard to voice those words.

Barry is still an educator at heart.  Barry is never too busy to teach a child about the fruit trees on their farm, or teach a child to ride a horse.  Barry has been Joy” steadfast anchor for the 20 years they have been fostering.

Joy is a fount of knowledge of what is going on in the world of fostering.  In her role as FPSO director Joy tirelessly advocates for foster parent rights and the best interest of the children. As our FPA President she strives to build a good working relationship with workers and administration within the Agency.  She continually looks for ways to reach out to, and to educate fellow foster parents.  Barry as always continues to support her in her role as both FPSO director, and President of the FPA.

Joy and Barry make the children in their home feel very special.  Some of the things they have done are purchasing fancy dishes, and silver serving dishes, setting the table for a formal dining experience, especially for the children to enjoy, gath

ering a collection of shaped waffle irons to offer them theme breakfasts, and serving menus from around the world.  Many of the children have never experienced this kind of special treatment before.  Barry has fostered the special interest of the children spending time explaining how things work and grow.

What makes this year special to celebrate Joy and Barry as Foster Parents of the Year is the determined effort they put forth in moving the four children in their care on to adoption.  While they worked very hard to build a good relationship with the birth mother, Joy and Barry provided a safe and secure environment where the children could work through their trauma to the point that they were able to make a good transition to their new adoptive home.  They remain in contact with the children, and to assure them of their ongoing love, and support while they settle into the stability of their new home.  The good of the children is at the forefront of everything that Joy and Barry do as foster parents

Joy presents as very strong and confident.  She is an active advocate for both children in her home and all children in care.  She is also humble and modest.  Barry is warm and fun loving.  In spite of ill health over the last few years he continues to be welcoming and supportive of both children in care and other foster parents.