Gateway Foster Parent
Ernestine Williams has served as a Gateway foster parent for more than 10 years, and she has been a game changer for children and families through her service.
Over the last decade, Ms. Williams has made it possible for teens in foster care to enroll in college, built positive relationships with biological families, and inspired others to serve as foster parents. When a child needs an emergency placement or if another foster parent needs respite care, Ms. Williams continues to open her doors. To put it simply, Ms. Williams goes above and beyond for the children she serves and was awarded Gateway’s “Foster Parent of the Year” in 2018.
Find out more about Ms. Williams’ service as a foster parent over the last decade and through COVID-19:
Why are you a foster parent?
I was referred by my high school friend, who continues to be a foster parent with me today! Foster children have been given circumstances beyond their control, and I strongly believe they deserve a level playing field in this world. I know I can make a difference in the lives of foster children
What has it been like caring for your foster child through COVID-19?
It has been very stressful, being a full-time parent, teacher, counselor, and after-school caregiver all at the same time. It has really been a challenge, but my training has prepared me and Gateway has supported me. I am so proud to be a part of an organization that remembers and supports foster parents during this time. It is always good when you can feel you are not in this alone, and Gateway continues to show up and show out.
What is one thing you have learned from your foster parent experience?
Whether or not we are in a national crisis, children need adults in their lives to give them love and attention.
What is a piece of advice you would share with someone thinking about becoming a foster parent?
Foster parenting is truly a rewarding experience. The past 10 years have been an amazing journey. The best advice I can give is if you decide to become a foster parent, you must be totally committed.
Join us in celebrating Ernestine for her service!
Thank you to Ernestine Williams for the positive difference she makes in the lives of foster children and families. Please join us in honoring Ms. Williams for her decade of service and providing #CareThroughCOVID.
Are you interested in becoming a foster parent? Click here to find out more information!