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State recognizes Hudson foster parents

First Lady Jessica Doyle and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Secretary Reggie Bicha recognized foster parents Fred and Toni Chambers of Hudson Monday for their commitment to foster children. The Chambers have fostered children in St. Croix County since 2004 and were presented the 2009 Governor's Foster Care Award.

"Toni and Fred provide a warm, loving home for children in need, but their contributions to the foster care community go much further," Doyle said. "They are always willing to share their opinions about how foster care can be enhanced and improved."

In addition to her responsibilities as a foster parent, Toni Chambers is involved in other activities that support fostering. She provides training for the Western Wisconsin Partnership and serves on several state committees, including the Foster Care Training Committee and the Foster Parent Handbook Committee.

Although social workers and families across the county have recognized the Chambers as model foster parents, Bicha said, "Fred and Toni let their actions speak for themselves. Their dedication to improving the lives of children and families is an inspiration to parents and all of us in the field of child welfare."

Eleven foster parents and four foster youths received awards during the ceremony Monday afternoon in Madison.

The event highlighted the need for more kind, responsible parents to step forward and care for foster children. Today in Wisconsin there are more than 7,300 children living in out-of-home care, and there are approximately 4,100 foster homes.

For more information on becoming a foster parent, visit the Department of Children and Families Web site at