Woman honored as Salt Lake Valley Foster Mother of the Year

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- With the downturn in the economy, the Utah Foster Care Foundation is saluting foster and adoptive families for caring for children despite the extra cost.

Thursday, the foundation kicked off National Foster Care Month, which starts May 1. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Coroon joined in honoring Mandalina Groves as the Salt Lake Valley Foster Mother of the Year.

"There's so many good foster parents it's hard to accept an award like this, but I can share my experience and tell you how wonderful, hard and wonderful and good, foster parenting is," Groves said.

According to the Utah Foster Care Foundation, Groves and her family were the recipients of an extensive home makeover last year by the Heart 2 Home organization.

Many media outlets covered the project, which was started because the mold in the house posed a threat to Groves' children.

After the renovation, the Groves decided they would give back to the community by becoming foster parents and using their home as a safe, loving place for children to go.

Around 2,600 children in Utah are in foster care. Many foster families not only care for the kids, but also help to reunite the children with their biological parents.

For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive family, visit www.utahfostercare.org.

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