FCC selects Devereux Florida foster parents as its ‘Foster Parents of the Year’
During the Florida Coalition for Children’s (FCC) annual convention in July, the organization selected Devereux foster parents Bobby Sharp and Everett Kamuchey as its “Foster Parents of the Year.”
Sharp and Kamuchey – Devereux Florida foster parents since 2013 (and an LGBTQ couple) – have provided tremendous support to LGBTQ and other foster children who have been lucky to be part of their family.
“These foster parents embody unconditional love and acceptance, and the authentic family experience that every child deserves,” said Vice President of Operations – Florida and Georgia Gwendolyn Skinner. “By sharing their story, they have been successful in recruiting many new foster parents, and have become a constant source of support for both youth and other foster families. We are thrilled to see them receive this award, and to be recognized as role models for others.”
The FCC cares for more than 50,000 children and families in crisis each year, providing programs and services throughout the state, including residential/group home care, emergency shelters and residential treatment centers.
It all started by watching TV
Several years ago, Sharp and Kamuchey saw a news story about a child whose family abandoned him to the streets after self-identifying as LGBTQ. The story propelled them into action, and they made one of the most meaningful decisions of their lives – to become foster parents. The couple contacted Devereux, went through foster parent training, and became licensed foster parents in Florida.
“You have to be a foster parent for the right reasons,” said Sharp. “It should be about taking care of these children, wanting them to be with their families, and being prepared to go the extra mile for them.”
Early on, the couple fostered a teenage boy with extremely challenging needs, which made him difficult to place with a family.
“Finding placement for teenagers can be tough, especially for this particular youth, who was facing some significant obstacles,” explained Skinner. “Bobby and Everett stepped forward with open arms and did everything they could do to meet his needs. They provided the specialized care he needed and even invested their own personal resources to ensure successful treatment.”
The teen – now a young adult who has aged out of foster care – continues to call Sharp and Kamuchey family, and their home remains his home base as he looks ahead to the future.
Meet the Sharp family
Doing what’s best for their foster children is always first and foremost when it comes to decision-making for Sharp and Kamuchey.
Sometimes, that means helping these youth create a bond with biological family members – and stepping aside when that happens. For instance, a few years ago, the grandfather of one of the couple’s foster children expressed an interest in being in the child’s life. Sharp and Kamuchey encouraged this relationship and served as a support network for the child, who later was able to move in with his grandfather.
Sharp and Kamuchey’s current foster children also had unique and complex needs but, through the couple’s love, support and nurturing, the youth are making significant and positive strides. The best news: The couple recently adopted these three children, giving them a forever home. At the court appearance to finalize the adoption, the boys were dressed in coordinated fashion (see the photo!), and the court bailiff remarked, “My, you boys look sharp.” Without hesitation, the youngest boy replied, “That’s because we are the Sharps!”
Congratulations to this amazing family!
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