Talbot County Department of Social Services recently recognized Deborah Fletcher of Cambridge as its adoptive parent of the year for 2009. Fletcher became a treatment foster home in 2002 after her own three children were grown. She now also has 13 grandchildren.
Fletcher’s love for children came from being part of a large family growing up, where children were always around. She comments, “I saw the need for foster homes for children in the community and I wanted to give back in some way.”
As a Certified Nursing Assistant, Fletcher has a special set of skills and soon became drawn to children with special needs who needed additional medical care. She adds, “I realized after I got into fostering that there were children who needed special help that I could provide.”
Fletcher adopted her 17-year old foster child, Keontae, on August 22, 2008, just three months prior to Keontae’s seventeenth birthday. She had been Keontae’s foster mother since 2004.
According to Susan Merriken, Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor at the Talbot County Department of Social Services, “Although Keontae presented with many challenging personal and family issues, Ms. Fletcher was able to provide Keontae with a nurturing, structured and loving environment, while also working with her birth mother throughout the process.”
Merriken adds, “Keontae developed strong emotional ties with Ms. Fletcher and her extended family and expressed a strong desire to be adopted by her.”
Fletcher states, “I am thrilled to see how far Keontae has come. She is enrolled in a college culinary program and is doing very well.”
In addition to fostering teenagers, Fletcher has also adopted a two-year old, Nisaiah, and has plans to adopt one more.
She comments, “It can be challenging and takes a real commitment, but I love what I do.”
For further information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Talbot County, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848. An information session will be held on Friday, January 15, 2010 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the at the Talbot County Department of Social Services office at 301 Bay Street, Unit #5 in Easton.