May 12, 2004

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Alabama’s First Lady Hosts Blue Ribbon Rally at Governor’s Mansion

Alabama's Foster Care Awareness Blue Ribbon Rally was held on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 at 10:30 on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion. First Lady Patsy Riley hosted the rally and serves as Alabama’s spokesperson for foster/adoptive parent recruitment in Alabama.

Mrs. Riley had these grateful words for foster parents. "Those of you that are giving of your time, your unselfish time, to help raise these children and bring them into a wholesome family, I salute you and I thank you." In thanking foster parents Mrs. Riley added, " It takes special people to do special jobs."

DHR commissioner Dr. Page Walley also was in attendance at the rally and added that children are not the only people the department serves in foster care. "Typically when we talk about foster care we think exclusively of children but in Alabama we also have adult foster care." Alabama currently has 154 adult foster homes and 150 clients in those homes.

Dr. Walley also introduced Alabama’s Adult Protective Services Foster Care Provider of the Year, Mrs. Bertha Willis of Etowah County. In addition to providing regular adult foster care, Mrs. Willis also provides Emergency Shelter Care for protective service clients. She was commended by Etowah County DHR staff because she treats all of her residents with dignity, respect, love, empathy, and compassion.

The Rally was part of a National Blue Ribbon campaign. Alabama Foster/Adoptive Parent, Johnna Breland, is the National Chairperson for the campaign.


Donald and Lanell Bradley of Butler County are the 2004 Foster/Adoptive Parents of the Year. They were presented with the honor at a banquet held during the Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parent Association Annual Training Conference on April 16. The Bradleys have four grown children of their own and recently adopted a sibling group of five who were in the custody of the Lowndes County DHR.


Alabama has 5,560 children in Out of home care in Alabama:

151 live with relatives
2,576 live with in a traditional foster family home
1,308 live with a therapeutic foster family
The remaining children live in some sort of group home or other treatment facility.

Alabama has 1,903 Traditional Foster Family Homes. This includes relatives who are licensed as well as provisionally licensed homes.

A provisionally licensed home is when someone who had an existing relationship with a child who comes into our custody, steps forward and agrees to become a foster home for that child. They have six months to be trained, get background checks completed and finish the final approval process. 

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