June 13, 2004
ACS Celebrates Foster Parent Recognition Month with Awards for Outstanding Foster Parents, Individuals and Organizations
Third Annual Golden Heart Awards Gala Features Keynote by Actress Victoria Rowell
Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Commissioner William C. Bell tonight honored foster parents, organizations and individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to children who are in foster care in New York City . To mark Foster Parent Recognition Month, Commissioner Bell was joined by special guests to present the Third Annual Golden Heart Awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan . Victoria Rowell, Emmy Award-nominated actress from “The Young and the Restless” and founder of the Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan, delivered a keynote address; and “Wednesday’s Child” host and WNBC-TV meteorologist Janice Huff served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
“Foster Parent Recognition Month gives us an opportunity to applaud some of New York City ’s most vital, unsung heroes – those who provide loving and stable homes to children in foster care,” said Commissioner Bell. “Today New York City has one of the nation’s most effective child welfare systems, and this would not be possible without the commitment that foster parents and social service agencies have made to help ACS keep children safe and strengthen families. For the third year ACS awards Golden Hearts to individuals and organizations whose dedication to children in foster care is exemplary. But I also take this opportunity to thank every person who has chosen to help build brighter futures for the more than 21,000 children in foster care in New York City.”
Across the country, the month of May is recognized as National Foster Care Month, and special events are held in other cities to salute the compassionate people who make a difference in the lives of children in foster care. Tonight’s keynote speaker, Victoria Rowell, is national spokesperson for Casey Family Services and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and this year’s Golden Heart Awards Gala is incorporated into these partners’ efforts to raise awareness during National Foster Care Month.
Caring New Yorkers who are interested in becoming a foster parent can call 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.