John and Christina Hayes: Prince William County’s Foster Parents of the Year

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — John and Christina Hayes were recognized among this year’s outstanding foster parents on Wednesday.

Foster parents from 10 jurisdictions in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia were honored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors as the region’s 2019 Foster Parents of the Year.

John and Christina Hayes originally requested to care for young children and infants, but when they were asked to take care of a 15-year-old, special needs child, they immediately agreed. They made sure that all of his medical and educational needs were met in addition to participating in activities like basketball, baseball, and golf.

They have worked with both of his biological parents to make sure they continue to be involved in his life. He is now 18 years old and they want him to remain with them as part of their family. In addition, the Hayes family welcomed a three-week-old baby girl, who was placed with them last October.

COG partners with local and state child welfare agencies around the region to recognize these outstanding parents on an annual basis. Child welfare workers strive to keep families together, but when that it is not possible, foster families can provide the necessary support. In the region, the number of children in foster care has declined by 47 percent since 2008, according to data compiled by COG.

“These outstanding foster parents have gone above and beyond to provide children a safe and nurturing home until they can be reunified with their birth family or achieve permanency through adoption or guardianship,” said COG Community Planning and Services Director Paul DesJardin. “We appreciate their service to the region and making a difference in these children’s lives.”

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We will walk along a scenic multi-purpose trail in a wooded setting with sufficient signage to meet the needs of the walkers at Locust Shade Park, 4701 Locust Shade Drive, Triangle, Virginia 22192.

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