The Arc Baltimore Presents Foster Care Excellence Award to Sherrian and Donald Jones
Sherrian and Donald Jones of Baltimore have won The Arc Baltimore’s 2023 Foster Care Excellence Award for their work as dedicated treatment foster parents with the organization for the past 14 years.
“Sherrian and Donald exemplify the program’s values and mission, and demonstrate unwavering commitment to their children, always prioritizing education and opportunities for enriching experiences,” says Kathleen Durkin, The Arc Baltimore’s Chief Executive Officer. “They also ensure that each child maintains connections to their primary family.”
The Foster Care Excellence Award in memory of Mary Ellen McCormack is given annually to a foster family that demonstrates an outstanding ability to provide an environment that meets the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of a child. Considerations include the ability to provide positive learning experiences, advocacy efforts, proficiency in supporting the child’s family and cultural connection, and participation on the treatment team.
Sherrian and Donald possess a particular ability to forge bonds that can last well beyond the time together in their home. Two young men who aged out of foster care in recent years, for example, remain in close contact and know they are always welcomed by the Jones’ and considered as their children. This is consistent with the Jones’ “never give up” approach to parenting and their advocacy for each child.
The Foster Care Excellence Award was presented during The Arc Baltimore’s recent Annual Meeting and Awards Reception. The event honors individuals who have gone “above and beyond” in their service to the organization and the people with developmental disabilities who are recipients of its programs and services.
“The Annual Meeting is our opportunity to honor all those who have given so much of themselves to the mission of The Arc Baltimore, from community partners and volunteers to supported individuals, staff members, and other heroes of the organization,” says Durkin. “It is their hard work that is at the very heart of our vision for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently, work in meaningful jobs, and enjoy friendships and activities in the community.”
As in past years, the 2023 Annual Meeting and Awards Reception featured a number of recognitions, as well as the election of The Arc Baltimore’s new board of directors and officers.
The Arc Baltimore supports people with developmental disabilities (autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability) to lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging, purpose, and meaningful relationships. The Arc provides employment training and support, day and residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, respite care, public policy advocacy, and information and referrals. For more information, visit www.thearcbaltimore.org or call 410-296-2272.