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Mayor Gray Opens Resource Room for Foster Parents

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The facility is named for a former chief judge who was also a foster and adoptive parent

Washington, DC—Mayor Vincent C. Gray today cut the ribbon on a new resource room for foster parents at the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and dedicated it to the memory of the Honorable Eugene N. Hamilton (1933-2011), former Chief Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, foster parent to more than 50 District children, and adoptive father of four. Room 1206 at CFSA headquarters, 200 I Street SE, is now the Honorable Eugene N. Hamilton Family Resource Center.

"We lost a great man in 2011, but the 'Honorable Eugene N. Hamilton Family Resource Center' will help keep his legacy alive," Mayor Gray said. "Future generations of foster parents will be able to use this room to help them provide love and care to their foster children, every day echoing the great tradition that was exemplified by Judge Hamilton."

"I'm so grateful to all 200 of our CFSA foster parents in the District who provide temporary safe havens that allow children to stay in the city near their school, family and friends," said CFSA Director Brenda Donald. "This room is exclusively for them, where they can borrow educational books and videos, take online training, look up policies, hold meetings or just relax when they're in our building."

In 1993, Eugene N. Hamilton was appointed Chief Judge of the Superior Court, becoming only the second African American to hold that position. Over 30 years, his compassion and concern for juveniles in the court system became his hallmark and earned him the nickname "the People's Judge." At home during those same years, Hamilton and his wife Virginia David Hamilton had five children. In addition, they were foster parents to some 50 District children and teens and also adopted and raised four children with disabilities. Their family included two daughters and seven sons — and dozens of foster children who found a temporary safe haven in their home.

Also recognized at the event was C. Kenneth Johnson (1920-2012), District resident and caseworker at the DC Office of Paternity and Child Support. In 1981, Johnson answered the door of his home to a teen who attempted robbery and shot Johnson in the mouth. Johnson survived and decided to change his life. He went on to foster 144 children and adopt eight.

CFSA is currently serving 3,138 children, including 1,755 at home and 1,383 in foster care. Of those in care, over 700 are in foster homes in Maryland that CFSA purchases via contracts with private providers. CFSA is working to recruit more homes in the District so that children can maintain some continuity by staying in their own communities. District residents interested in fostering should call 202-671-LOVE.