Mrs. Debbie Watts (pictured here on the right with Alliance Executive Director Lula Skowronek)recently won Foster Parent of the Year with Gateway! After raising three daughters of her own, Mrs. Watts knew that she wanted to find a way to make a big difference in the lives of young people in need. After doing a quick Google search and speaking with Gateway’s Therapeutic Foster Care (TFC) Program, Mrs. Watts knew Gateway was the right fit for her. In March of 2013, Mrs. Watts began fostering an older teenager with some difficult issues as a result of the trauma she had faced in her young life. After eight or nine months, Mrs. Watts began to see this young lady start to blossom and work through some of her issues. Mrs. Watts credits her quiet spirit with giving her the ability to face any challenges that come her way and says that she thinks it really makes a difference when working on building trust with foster children. Mrs. Watts said that the turning point with her foster daughter was when the young lady told her that she knew Mrs. Watts would not make her leave just because she made a mistake or did something “bad”…that she knew she had a real home. This young lady was used to people in her life getting rid of her, but Mrs. Watts treated her as one of her own daughters and gave her the supportive home she needed so much; and that made all of the difference in the world. Being a foster parent has also become a family affair as well, as Mrs. Watts’ daughters, who are all now grown, like to be involved in her foster daughter’s life as well. Even though therapeutic foster care is difficult at times, Mrs. Watts says her experience has been extremely rewarding. She feels that everyone with a passion for children and the willingness to make a difference in a child’s life would make great foster parents. Mrs. Watts already has plans to stay in touch with her foster daughter once she leaves, and she plans to definitely foster another child with Gateway. Gateway is blessed to have wonderful foster parents like Debbie Watts! We thank her for helping make Gateway great and congratulate her on her much deserved Foster Parent of the Year award!
Posted on Mon, June 16, 2014
by Karin Park