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A local couple was recently honored for their 25 years of involvement in foster and adoptive parenting with the Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS).
At the Champion for Children's 15th Annual Statewide Conference luncheon, held at the Abilene Civic Center on March 28, 2014, the Frizzells were presented with the Treatment Champion award.
Dean and Nancy Frizzell began their mission of caring for local children in need in 1988 when they began the licensing process to become foster parents for CPS (Child Protective Services). They became and remained foster/adoptive parents for 25 years.
They had 212 children placed in their home over those years. They have a wall-of-fame in their home where they keep photos of each and every child who was placed in their home and their hearts over those years.
In addition to the 212 formal placements, they provided short-term emergency respite placement for many more children. Their foster/adoptive home became iconic, and every mentor worker would take new caseworkers to the Frizzell home to show them what a model foster home could be.
Dean and Nancy were known as Grandma and Grandpa to so many children through the years. They nursed babies from Failure to Thrive to healthy infant status. They advocated for children to be reunited with siblings and to have the best medical care and medication review. They were never satisfied with "standard" when they knew the children deserved better.
Dean and Nancy worked to reunify families and served as role models to birth families to encourage healthy attachment and supervision so that children could be with their families of origin safely. They also adopted a daughter, Brittany, but they have maintained a family connection with children they fostered but weren't able to adopt.
They make road trips to see their grandchildren born to previous foster children, and they open their home at all times as a place to gather with loving family, even when legal ties do not exist. They retired in 2013 due to health concerns, and their legacy is missed but very honored.