When people ask Sandra Barnaby when she’s planning to retire, they’re not necessarily referring to the time she splits between serving as a nanny and cleaning houses.
For more than 30 years, Barnaby, 74, has welcomed children into her Greensburg home as a foster parent and guardian. She plans to continue in that role as long as possible.
“I’m glad God still allows me to do it at my age because it’s something I enjoy doing,” she said.
Last month, with both biological offspring and foster kids along for the ride, Barnaby traveled to a Pocono Mountains resort to receive the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network’s 2019 Permanency Family of the Year award at the organization’s conference.
“Shocked” when she learned she’d been selected for the honor, Barnaby “had a great time at the conference, and the kids had a great time going to the water park.”
Barnaby was nominated for the award by Maria Houser, a caseworker at Latrobe’s Adelphoi foster care program who has worked with Barnaby for a little more than a decade.
“She has that grandmotherly way about her that kids take to,” Houser said of Barnaby, adding, “She has a good support system with her family. No matter what child is placed in her home, the whole family takes to him or her.”
Barnaby was recognized more than a decade ago as Foster Family of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Foster Parent Association. Through the years, she’s given more than 125 children a place to call home.
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