Local foster parents to be honored by Gov. Walker

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It’s a special Mother’s Day weekend for a local family who is receiving a unique honor for giving a home to a child in need.

David and Janell Whitehouse will be presented with the 2012 Governor’s Foster Care Award at the State Capitol in Madison on Monday.

“We feel very honored,” Janell said.

Janell and David said they were very surprised to hear they’d be honored by the governor.

“I think there are a lot of foster parents out there who deserve awards,” David said.

The Governor’s Foster Care Award is reserved for foster parents who go above and beyond what is expected to meet the needs of foster children and advocate on their behalf.

“The child we were placed with is unique and has a lot of special needs so we work directly with Eau Claire County,” Janell said.

She said they also work closely with the child’s biological family.

“Teach parents to learn how to care for their children and make it work into their lifestyle,” Janell said.

The Whitehouse family said they’re just doing what they can to help provide a home for one of the many children in need in our area.

David is a firefighter with Eau Claire Fire and Rescue and Janell is a mural painter.

With two kids in high school, the couple said fostering has brought their family closer together.

“It's just helped my kids to be better children, when we bring in a child that we know needs our help. It’s a good experience; I would recommend people to be foster parents,” Janell said.

Janell said being a foster parent requires lots of hard work, dedication and lots of love and care.

“Because these kids are missing that,” Janell said.

David said the award is coming at the right time.

“I think it's appropriate that this happened on the weekend of Mother's Day. I've told a lot of people, this is her reward and it's a lot of hard work and I'm really proud of her,” David said.

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