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Board recognizes Stillwater woman as 'Foster Parent of the Year'

The Washington County Board of Commissioners took time during their Jan. 20 meeting to recognize Stillwater resident Jane George for recently being awarded as "Foster Parent of the Year" for 2008.

George, who has been a foster parent in Washington County since 1984 and taken in more than 500 children during nearly 35 years of service, was recognized by the commissioners and community services service worker Kris Harvieux with a resolution commending her service.

"For some people foster parenting is something they do, but for Jane and other, it's something they love," Harvieux said upon a reading of the resolution.

Throughout her decades working with Washington County community services, George has specialized in working with adolescent girls and has become known as the "teen girl expert" in the county, Harvieux said.

"(Jane) uses humor a lot in working with the kids and makes it easier to get them through difficult situations, Harvieux said. "She's also been the kind of foster parent who always volunteers whenever we've had committees that we needed somebody on."

In addition to her work at home, George has also served on the board of the Minnesota Foster Parent Association and as vice president for the regional chapter of the national association.

George said she felt grateful for the 500-plus children who have shared part of there lives with her over her 30-plus years of service.

"These children exemplify resilience," George said at the Jan. 20 county board meeting. "It's hard for us as adults to understand parents who choose partners instead of their kids.

"Imagine how it feels for a child to wait for a parent to visit only to find out they're not coming. That's my worst part of doing foster care, is watching kids stand at the window and wait."