Indiana MENTOR Names 2013 Foster Parent of the Year
17 September 2013
Mentors Joan and James Schoon came to Indiana MENTOR’s Merrillville program a year ago after fostering for various agencies over the past 20 years. The family quickly accepted a sibling group as their first placement with Indiana MENTOR’s Therapeutic Foster Care program. This was in addition to a teenager with disabilities already in their home.
“The Schoons consistently demonstrate a fantastic attitude toward the children in their home and advocate for them no matter what the need,” says Julie Villarreal, Program Director at Indiana MENTOR.
For their tireless work and dedication, The Schoons have been named Indiana MENTOR’s 2013 Foster Parents of the Year. They have worked with several children over the years who are medically fragile and have provided respite for children with high needs, as well. As a part of their commitment, they make several trips annually to a specialty hospital two hours away and continue to stay proactive and informed with the numerous therapists in and out of their home. Despite their busy schedule, the Schoons are punctual with paperwork and highly informative during visits.
“They treat the children as family and keep them involved in several activities throughout the year such as camping, family portraits, mall events, church events and going out to eat,” Julie said. “One child currently in the Schoon home proudly refers to herself as a ‘Daddy’s girl’—with the level of empathy Mentors Joan and James Schoon accepting their Foster Parent of the Year Award and compassion within the home, it is easy to see why!”