Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
First Lady Walker: Recognizes 2018 Governor’s Foster Care Award recipients
MADISON – First Lady Tonette Walker joined the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Eloise Anderson today to help recognize six foster families, a foster youth, and numerous foster care advocates as recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Foster Care Award at the State Capitol.

“Foster families are more than foster families, they’re forever families,” said First Lady Walker. “Research tells us that kids who have at least one caring and supportive adult in their lives are better able to bounce back when times get tough. Foster families have the power to help young people who face overwhelming stress. The relationships these families form have the power to change lifelong outcomes. Unfortunately, like other states across the country, Wisconsin is facing a shortage of foster families due to the opioid crisis. Today is a day to honor all the foster families who step up to help heal kids, families, and communities and to encourage others to consider becoming a hero to children in need of a safe landing place. “

The Governor’s Foster Care Awards are given out annually to honor outstanding members of Wisconsin’s foster care community in recognition of Foster Care Month across Wisconsin. A copy of Governor Scott Walker’s Foster Care Month proclamation is here.

  • Six families received a 2018 Governor’s Foster Care Awards recognizing the inspiring efforts of foster families throughout Wisconsin:
    • Josh and Jamie Blau of Seymour
    • Pam Mathias and Tammy Stodola of Verona
    • Roger and Phyllis Nagel of Bruce
    • Bob and Nan Pieper of Sun Prairie
    • Janice and Raymond Stelzer of Plover
    • Cary and Natalie Underwood of Menomonee Falls
  • ShawnaRae Bruch from Waukesha, received a 2018 Foster Youth Award for using her life experience and natural leadership skills to help make positive changes in the child welfare system.
  • Green Bay Packer Ty Montgomery and his mother, Lisa, received a special Champion of Change Award for their dedication to raising awareness of the ongoing need for more foster families to offer protection and support during one of the most difficult circumstances a child could ever face.
  • Representatives Patrick Snyder and Steve Doyle were recognized with a Stepping Up Award for their leadership in co-chairing the Speaker’s Task Force of Foster Care and for introducing the Foster Forward legislation packet.

The ceremony today also highlighted the nearly 8,000 foster youth throughout Wisconsin and the ongoing need for more foster families to offer care and support as they navigate this difficult period of childhood.

For more information on becoming a foster parent, visit

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