By: Brittany Paris
Local foster families were recognized on Wednesday for the impact they make on children's lives.
Jude Dean has been a foster parent for almost two years. And with four of her own kids, plus three foster children, she's pretty busy.
She's on a of a few local foster parents recognized for changing the lives of her foster kids.
"It means a lot," Dean said. "I've actually learned a lot more from them than they've learned from me."
The event was hosted at Talent Plus by the FFTA, an association that works with foster agencies.
Guest speakers included Mayor Buetler, LPS Superintendent, Dr. Steve Joel and Sen. Mike Johanns. There to personally say thanks and bring attention to the growing need of foster families.
"You might be the exact person that that child needs at that specific time," Sen. Johanns said.
One of Dean's daughters, who we aren't naming because she is a ward of the state, was recognized at the event for an essay she wrote about her foster mother. It's called "Angel Shining Bright," published in the book Heroes Among Us.
While Superintendent Joel thanked parents for their hard work with LPS foster kids, he read the essay. It centered around the first day she met her foster mom.
"I talked and you listened and it gave me hope that life can be better and it's not too late to start over," Joel read.
That daughter will graduate LPS this year.
Different events like this were held throughout the state to support families who open their homes to foster kids.