Ann Clark of Rialto doesn’t consider herself a foster care parent as much as a parent to many teens in need over the years. The high school vocational education coordinator and her husband, Michael, a logistics worker, are currently parenting four adolescent girls in their home through Knotts Family Agency.
“It’s very challenging but at the same time it’s very rewarding,” Clark says. “You are able to instill the qualities and values that you would on your own children. What you expect of your own children, you expect of them also.”
Knotts, a foster care and adoption services agency in San Bernardino, will honor the Clarks and other parents at a jazz and wine tasting fundraiser from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 15 at Edwards Mansion in Redlands. The other honoree foster care parents are Deborah Martelly of Highland, Belita Foster of Rialto and Jeannette and Charles Howard of San Bernardino.
Proceeds from the annual fundraiser will help support the Knotts Family Agency Educational and Cultural Enrichment Initiative. The program exposes over 75 foster care youths in the Inland region to fun and educational activities, from Magic Mountain to math and science camps.
More than 2,500 individuals and families are served each year by Knotts Family Agency, which was founded in 1992. They receive critical support for resilience, mental health, care coordination, parenting, youth mentoring and leadership development, financial and environmental literacy and job training.
CEO Gwen Knotts says that education positively changes the direction of a young person’s life. “We really emphasize that with education and tutoring, we’re hoping to change the outcomes when the youth are emancipated or transition back to their biological family.”
Knotts provides social services to foster care families and stay in constant contact during the child’s stay. “They really go the distance to make sure these kids have what they need,” Clark says.
For tickets to the Knotts Family Agency jazz and wine tasting fundraiser, contact Sandy Oquin at (909) 880-0600. Tickets are $50/$65 at the door. Table sponsorships are also available.