National Foster Parent Appreciation Month: SCO Foster Parent Bernice’s Story
May 20, 2014 / SCO News
“My purpose is to help guide these girls to become productive citizens. I introduce them as my Godchildren because God gave me this purpose,” says SCO Foster Parent Bernice Bolden.
Bernice has opened her home to foster children for over 20 years. She fosters teenage girls because she knows what a young girl goes through, having lost her own mother at age nine. Five girls currently live with Bernice, or “Momma B.” as they call her, and she brings love, stability and a sense of family for all in her care. She also works with SCO to train new foster parents – teaching them how to deal with different age groups, different situations and teaming with birth parents to raise a child.
“I love living here. We have a family-oriented house. She’s embraced me as her own daughter,” says Shakena, 20. Shakena, who’s been living in foster care since she was 13, is currently enrolled at LaGuardia College studying early childhood education. She hopes to become a math teacher. “Foster care isn’t as bad as some of the stories you hear. There are good, caring people who are foster parents. Momma B. is the perfect example.”
There are more than 1,100 SCO foster parents who welcome children of all ages into their homes.
“Foster parents and their families make an enormous difference in the lives of these kids and provide stability and guidance that they need,” says Mary Hall, Director of Intake for SCO’s Foster Care program.
of graduates at SCO's high school for over-age, under-credited students received a NYS Regent's diploma.
children and young adults through foster care programs