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Communities Connected by Kids Names 4 'Going the Extra Mile' Foster Parents

Communities Connected for Kids
Communities Connected for Kids
Communities Connected for Kids

Vero Beach - Tuesday March 12, 2024: Sometimes, it’s impossible to choose just one. 

That was the case for Communities Connected for Kids when it came time to announce its most recent GEM – Going the Extra Mile – award to the foster parent who made the greatest impact over the last six months. 

So four were named – one for the most recent quarter and a team of three foster parents whose contribution last summer resulted in a sibling group of seven children being reunited with their family. 

Katherine McPherson, a foster parent in Vero Beach, received the award for the period spanning October through December. 

“Ms. McPherson has gone far and beyond for children in her care,” said Cori Degroat, a dependency case manager who was herself a recent GEM recipient for her excellence as a case manager. “She took in one teenager who needed licensed care, while the sibling entered relative care. 

“When the sibling’s placement disrupted, Ms. McPherson accepted the sibling in with no questions asked to ensure the siblings remained together.” 

The siblings grew up in an environment where they often found themselves caring for one another. Now, safe in Ms. McPherson’s home, Degroat said both children see their caregiver as someone they can rely on and go to for support. 

“She has shown great dedication to her children, and has provided love and care for these children that allows them to be kids, while at the same time shaping them into young adults,” Degroat said. 

Allison Hamilton, Jocelyn Fimiano and Mig McDonald also were recognized for their work in keeping siblings together. 

The trio has been lauded multiple times for their teamwork. In fact, they will be featured in an upcoming segment of Forever Family, a news segment that highlights children in the local community of care and the caregivers who care for them. 

Each of the foster parents cared for a different member of a large sibling group. They invited one another to birthday parties and outings and worked together to make sure the children could return to a safe home. Their hard work paid off, and the sibling group is now together at home. 

Recently, the team was honored statewide and invited to attend a recognition ceremony at the Tampa Zoo – an invitation they accepted together. 

“Their work is a living example of what can be accomplished for children when our caregivers and biological families work together,” said Jerra Wisecup, CCKids caregiver support coordinator. 

The award is one of a series of accolades honoring various members of the local child-welfare community. McPherson, Hamilton, McDonald and Fimiano were recognized in the Topaz category, which honors foster parents in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.

Fimiano Family
Communities Connected for Kids
Fimiano Family