Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, First Lady Kathy Evers and Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary-designee Emilie Amundson honored five outstanding foster families and a foster youth during the 2019 Governor’s Foster Care Award ceremony on May 28, 2019, in the Assembly Chamber of the State Capitol.

Jennifer Dickman and Hudson Doolittle of Sun Prairie, Ruth Donalds of Kenosha, Patricia and Leonard Kawleski of Stevens Point, Bill and Cindy Schlegel of Baldwin, and Martin and Cassie Schroeder of Seymour were recognized with a 2019 Foster Parent Award for their inspiring efforts in providing care and guidance to children who need a temporary, loving home.

“Providing care and love to children who cannot remain in their home is an incredible act of kindness,” said DCF Secretary-designee Amundson. “Foster families step in to provide a safe, nurturing, and loving environment for children to call home, and we cannot thank them enough for the important role they play in strengthening our communities.”

Also recognized was Shantavia Vornes from Milwaukee who received a 2019 Foster Youth Award for overcoming challenges, graduating with honors from a technology training and placement program, and for helping foster youth aging out of care prepare for their first apartment.

The ceremony today also highlighted the need for additional kind, responsible adults to step forward and care for foster children. Currently in Wisconsin there are about 8,000 children living in out-of-home care. For more information on becoming a foster parent, visit