Melissa Walker, a single foster mom and fourth-grade teacher at an Orange County charter school, was chosen by Embrace Families’ Caregiver Support Team as Foster Parent of the Year. The Central Florida Foster Parent of the Year was recognized at the organization’s signature fundraising event, “Dance Dream & Inspire,” for her availability, adaptability and advocacy.
“Melissa is one of our strongest and most reliable homes,” said Amanda Reineck, executive director of Clinical Services at Embrace Families. “She has been known to take kids of all ages and circumstances. Melissa goes above and beyond to make sure every child that’s placed in her home feels special, supported and taken care of.”
The Caregiver Support Team also says Melissa has always been willing to build relationships between herself, the children and their biological families.
When the team at Embrace Families asked the Central Florida Foster Parent of the Year how they could recognize her, she asked for help cleaning up her backyard to make it more kid friendly. With a call to community supporters at Westgate Resorts and the Westgate Foundation, Embrace Families located a team of volunteers willing to take on the backyard transformation project. The team plans to work through the summer and turn this Central Florida foster mom’s wish into reality.
As the lead nonprofit agency overseeing child welfare services across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, Embrace Families is always looking for new foster homes and mentors. For more information about how to help support Central Florida’s most vulnerable children, visit Embrace Families online.