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Foster parent of nearly 60 children to receive honor from Social Services
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. April 4, 2013. Washoe County’s Department of Social Services (WCDSS) will present the first “Angel Among Us” Award to longtime foster parent Virdell Weston April 10. The award presentation will take place at 6 p.m. during the Foster/Adopt Support Group of Northern Nevada meeting held at the Early Learning Program on Foster Drive in Reno.

“Virdell did the tough job of taking children in and loving them like her own, and then she did the even tougher job of letting them go,” said foster care liaison Heather Wenker.

Weston has fostered 57 children in the past 13 years and is no longer taking in foster children due to her health, but has worked so well with birth parents and foster children that the Social Services team believes she represents what the “Angel Among Us Award” is all about.

 “Virdell came to us through a push we did to recruit foster families from our existing child care providers and she has spent a lifetime dedicated to working with children,” said Kristy Baker, supervisor for foster parent liaisons.

The primary goal of WCDSS is to protect children and strengthen families by working to resolve concerns that caused the initial removal of the child from his or her primary home, such as abuse or neglect. Parents whose children are in foster care have 12-18 months from the time of their child`s removal to remedy these issues. During this time, the intent of WCDSS is to return children to the care of their biological parents. 

“Retention of foster parents is our largest recruitment tool, and recognizing them and the important role they have in our department will make a tremendous difference,” said Mikie Franklin, supervisor of the WCSSD recruitment and training unit for the foster care program.

To learn more about foster care and training to be a foster parent, the WCDSS has posted a recruitment video that answers many frequently asked questions at http://washoe-nv.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=1111. Visit www.washoecounty.us/socsrv/socsrv.html for more information or call (775) 337-4470.

WHAT:           The first annual “Angel Among Us” Award

WHERE:         Early Learning Program, 1270 Foster Drive, Reno

WHEN:           Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.