May 15, 2003
ACS Commissioner William Bell Hosts Golden Heart Award Gala to Honor Exceptional Foster Parents, Individuals and Organizations During Foster Parent Recognition Month
To mark May as Foster Parent Recognition Month, Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner William C. Bell tonight honored a special group of foster parents, agencies, organizations and individuals from across New York City who have made an exceptional commitment to children who are in foster care. Commissioner Bell presented the prestigious Golden Heart Awards at a ceremony held at the Brooklyn Marriott Hotel. In addition, motivational speaker, author, retired head of the Hearst Newspaper Group and former foster child Bob Danzig delivered an inspirational speech and Angela, a young woman who is in foster care, delivered a message of appreciation to foster parents.
“Today’s foster care is the best it has ever been and in New York City, more than 17,000 individuals currently open their hearts and homes to foster children,” said Commissioner Bell. “The Golden Heart Award Gala gives ACS the opportunity to publicly honor eight outstanding foster parents as well as numerous other organizations and individuals who have made an exemplary commitment to children in foster care. Each and every one of them deserves great praise and thanks for the support, love and guidance they offer. We applaud them not only during Foster Parent Recognition Month but every day. Their contributions help ACS in our mission of protecting children and strengthening families across New York City.”
In late April, Mayor Bloomberg joined Commissioner Bell to announce the creation of a new advertising campaign to recruit and retain foster parents in New York City. ACS has a particular need for foster parents who can care for sibling groups, teenagers and medically fragile children. The advertisements are currently being rolled out on billboards, radio, television, subways, phone kiosks, bus shelters and newspapers to coincide with Foster Parent Recognition Month. The tagline for the new advertising campaign is, “Today’s Foster Care: Your Love Will Make All the Difference in Their World.”
People who are interested in becoming a foster parent can call the City’s non-emergency information line, 311. A full list of Golden Heart Award categories and recipients is attached and interviews with winners or photos can be acquired through the ACS Press Office.
The New York City Administration for Children’s Services protects and ensures the safety and well being of New York City’s children and strengthens families. Formed in 1996, the agency oversees the City’s programs of child protection, foster care, adoption, preventive services, child care and Head Start.