Seventh Annual Monroe County Christmas Party for Foster Children Was Held

January 17, 2020
Pictured Left to right:  Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick,  Children's
Division worker Mert Whitley, Children's Division worker Courtney Hirstein;
atttorney Dick Fredrick; Children's Division worker Emilee Shoemaker;
Children's Division Circuit Manager Stacy Martin; Deputy Juvenile Officer
Sue Walker; Santa Claus;  Children's Division worker Gayle Threlkeld; Judge
Michael Wilson; Children's Division Worker Stephanie McQueen, Children's
Division Worker Jadria Roberts;  Children's Division Worker Samantha
Gosney; Children's Division Worker Angie Yelton; Judge Rachel Bringer
Shepherd. Pictured Left to right: Prosecuting Attorney Talley Kendrick, Children's
Division worker Mert Whitley, Children's Division worker Courtney Hirstein;
atttorney Dick Fredrick; Children's Division worker Emilee Shoemaker;
Children's Division Circuit Manager Stacy Martin; Deputy Juvenile Officer
Sue Walker; Santa Claus; Children's Division worker Gayle Threlkeld; Judge
Michael Wilson; Children's Division Worker Stephanie McQueen, Children's
Division Worker Jadria Roberts; Children's Division Worker Samantha
Gosney; Children's Division Worker Angie Yelton; Judge Rachel Bringer
Shepherd.

Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd announced that the seventh annual Monroe County Christmas Party for Foster Children was held at the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center on December 11, 2019.
Judge Shepherd, Judge Michael Wilson, and the Monroe County Bar Association provided food, the Hannibal Arts Council provided craft projects, and Santa Claus, who was a

special guest of Robert Ensor, made a special appearance. Each child attending the party received Christmas gifts and books arranged by the Department of Social Services, Children's Division, and the children also received homemade Christmas cookies and a Christmas craft project. More than fifty children, foster parents, social workers, volunteers, and attorneys attended the festivities. Judge Shepherd stated, "I am so grateful to the Paris Senior Citizens Community Center, the Monroe County Bar Association, the Hannibal Arts Council, Children's Division, and Santa Claus for making this such a wonderful annual tradition for children in need."

In the State of MIssouri, more than 20,000 children are in the custody of Children's Division and placed in homes apart from their biological parents due to abuse or neglect. More than 300 of those children live in the Tenth Circuit, which includes Marion, Monroe, and Ralls Counties. If you are interested in more information about becoming a foster parent, please contact Courtney Hirstein at Children's Division at 573-406-6941, or if you are interested in more information about becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), please contact 573-221-3890.

Judge Shepherd stated, "The need for foster parents for the Tenth Circuit is very high. My husband and I have experienced first-hand the challenges and blessings of serving as foster parents, and we would be happy to visit with anyone interested in discussing foster parent interest or concerns."



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