Wow, congratulations – and thank you – to Kim and Tyson Moore. The Missoula couple are this year’s Montana Foster Parents of the Year.  So if you see them around town with their kids – they have two bio kids, a foster kid and are adopting a 1-year-old foster child – give them a round of applause.

Another Missoulian you’ll want to applaud: Cori Stern, who is being given the CASA Volunteer of the Year award.

Read on for more details on the awards ceremony this Monday, as well as the full list of Montanans receiving awards for their work preventing child abuse and neglect:

Montanans to be honored for efforts

to prevent child abuse and neglect

Missoula couple to be named 2014 Foster Parents of the Year

Awards ceremony is Monday, April 21 at 11 a.m.

Montanans dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect will be honored Monday, April 21 at the annual Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference in Missoula, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced today.

The awards ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 3720 North Reserve Street. Those being recognized this year are from Missoula, Trout Creek, Helena, Billings, Kalispell and Browning and include licensed foster parents, youth in foster care, child advocates, and DPHHS Child and Family Services Division staff.

“DPHHS and our numerous partners work hard every day with children and families to ensure they have the best chance possible for a bright future,” DPHHS Director Richard Opper said. “I often hear success stories where children are reunited with their family, or adopted into a forever family. It’s such an honor to recognize those people who work so hard to give our kids hope and keep them safe.”

Two of those people are Missoula’s Tyson and Kim Moore, who are this year’s Montana Foster Parents of the Year. Lauren Kelso of the Missoula Child and Family Services Division field office nominated the Moores because of their ongoing dedication and commitment to foster children. The Moores have two biological sons, and are in the process of adding another son to their family with the adoption of a 1-year-old foster child. At this time, they also have another foster child living in their home temporarily.

“Words cannot begin to explain how amazing Tyson and Kim are and the lengths they go to help others,” Kelso said. “They are a family I wish I could clone multiple times.”

Missoula’s Courtney Callaghan, a CFSD employee, will receive the Engaging Families in Positive Change Award. This award goes to an individual who works with families to carry out the mission of CFSD in a manner that is positive and respectful of each family’s strengths.

According to CFSD Administrator Sarah Corbally, Callaghan consistently demonstrates the ability to engage families. “She truly understands the importance of active listening and proactive problem-solving as a partner with families,” Corbally said. “Her compassion and commitment to families, while ensuring child safety, is obvious and impressive.”

In addition, the Montana Children’s Trust Fund, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies-MT and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation will be honored by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome for their commitment and work to prevent child abuse and neglect in Montana. These awardees will receive special recognition for their support of PURPLE MT, a statewide Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program.

Additional CFSD award winners are:

  • Youth Achievement of the Year, Cory Radcliffe, Trout Creek and Austin After Buffalo, Havre. This award is given to a foster or adoptive youth(s) who exhibits a drive to be successful and makes positive changes in their life.
  • Above and Beyond Award, Student Assistance Foundation, Helena. This award goes to an individual or organization that performs above and beyond the call of duty, gives their time to support the unit, team, agency and /or community.
  • Creative Solutions, Janice Basso, Helena. This award goes to an individual or team that utilizes creative problem-solving and resource allocation to better serve children and families.
  • Montana’s Children’s Trust Fund Award, Roberta Kipp, Browning. The Trust Fund, administratively attached to DPHHS, provides financial support to local programs across the state to prevent child abuse and neglect and strengthen families. The Trust Fund board honors an individual every year that has gone above and beyond to help children and families.

CASA Awards

The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) organization refers to trained community volunteers appointed by a judge to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. This year’s CASA award winners are:

  • Judge of the Year. Judge Susan Watters, Billings.
  • CASA Staff Person of the Year. Cindy Basnett, Kalispell.
  • CASA Volunteer of the Year. Cori Stern, Missoula.

The annual Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Conference brings together about 500  foster/adoptive parents, CFSD staff, tribal social services staff, county attorneys, judges, counselors, attorney’s and teachers for three days of training. Some of the breakout session topics this year include Interviewing Children with Disabilities, Child Abuse and Neglect Through the Eyes of a Physician, Recognition of Dangerous Drugs, Prevention of Sexual Abuse, and When Grandparents are the Parents.