Tilleda foster parents recognized by state

Jeskes receive award from DCF

Contributed Photo Doris and Wayne Jeske received a 2017 Governor’s Foster Care Award on Tuesday.

Foster parents Doris and Wayne Jeske, of Tilleda, on Tuesday received the 2017 Governor’s Foster Care Award for their commitment to the children of Shawano County who have needed a temporary, safe place to call home.

The award was presented by Eloise Anderson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

“Foster Care Month gives us an opportunity to thank the families who care for the vulnerable children in Wisconsin who need to be removed from their homes for their own protection,” Anderson said. “Foster parents offer these children shelter and play a critical role in helping them take the first step of their journey towards healing and recovery.”

Foster parents for 25 years, the Jeskes see their role as not only foster parents, but also as teachers, according to a press statement about the award. Using their farm in Tilleda as a teaching tool for many life lessons, the Jeskes incorporate creative and flexible approaches tailored to the child’s specific needs to succeed in life, whether in their home or with their biological family.

By teaching the foster children to care for the many animals at their farm, the Jeskes help them understand the importance of empathy for others, something that can be tough following a traumatic event. The Jeskes style of foster parenting instills a sense of belonging and connection, with many youth remaining in touch through their adult years.

“For those times when children must be placed in out-of-home care, foster families step in to keep them safe, nurture them, and give them a place to call home,” Anderson said. “I know the joys and challenges of being a foster parent can be significant, although the joys far outweigh the challenges.”

Anderson recognized the Jeskes and five other foster parents from throughout Wisconsin at a ceremony at the state Capitol.

The ceremony also highlighted the need for additional kind, responsible adults to step forward and care for foster children. Currently in Wisconsin there are about 7,300 children living in out-of-home care.