Bloom foster parents and Fayette County residents, Lanell and Andrew Wilkins, were awarded with Together Georgia’s 2016 Foster Parent of the Year Award on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the Georgia Conference on Children and Families in Augusta, GA. The Foster Parent of the Year award is given to a family that has demonstrated a significant contribution to the lives of children in Georgia. Over the past year, the Wilkins family has provided unconditional love, care, and support for a medically fragile foster child, which has positively impacted the child’s development in all areas of life.

The Wilkins became a Bloom therapeutic foster family in September 2015. Already the biological parents of 5 children, they decided to begin fostering medically fragile children who were committed to DFCS (Division of Family and Children Services) custody. The Wilkins received their first placement in October 2015—a newborn foster child with significant medical issues who required round the clock care.

“As a nurse, Mrs. Wilkin understands that great medical care alone is sometimes not enough to heal one’s wounds,” comments Bloom Program Director, Pamela Talley-Coney. “Unconditional love is needed to energize the spirit to drive the body to persevere even while faced with insurmountable odds. As a result of the nurturing compassionate care provided by the Wilkins, the foster child is now able to meet many milestones that were previously thought to be unattainable.”

Bloom is currently seeking more foster families to support metro Atlanta’s growing number of foster children who are committed to DFCS custody. Bloom provides individuals with all the necessary training, resources, and support needed to become a foster home. The organization invites interested individuals to attend a free informational session about fostering children with Bloom. The sessions are held every Thursday at 10:00am at Bloom, 150 Marquis Dr., Fayetteville, GA 30214. For more information, please contact Shannon Hoy, Bloom Resource and Development Specialist, at 770-460-6652.

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