CommunityJefferson Awards


News 5 honors family for fostering 45 children in 6 years

Boateng Family.jpg
Posted at 7:31 PM, Jun 27, 2024

If you walk into the bathroom of the Boateng home in Peyton, Colorado you'll see at least 15 toothbrushes in a cup at the sink.

Desmond Boateng: You can see how clean the bathroom is.
Dianne Derby: It's immaculate.
Desmond Boateng: That just shows that special kids are living here because we want to live like normal people, too.

Every foster child who comes to stay quickly learns order not chaos is expected. Keeping a sense of normalcy may seem challenging when you consider the family of five, originally from Ghana, has welcomed 45 foster children into their home in the last 6 years.

Emelia Boateng: My house is clean and I like cleaning. So that's my hobby.
Dianne Derby: I don't know that most people would say that's a hobby, Emelia.
Emelia Boateng: That's why I say you need God's grace. If you don't have God's grace, you can't do all these things.
Dianne Derby: I love it.
Emelia Boateng: Thank you.

The children the Boateng family has fostered range in ages from 6-17, but the couple says they are welcome to stay until they are 21. The goal is to reunite children with their parents as soon as both child and parent, or parents, are stable but that's not always easy. The Boateng's ask the Colorado Department of Human Services to be matched with children who have complex intellectual and developmental disabilities. They say in one case the parents were scared of their son's behavior.

Desmond Boateng: He has been in 22 places in two years when I had him and he's been here for six years. Sometimes the same day he got kicked out (at other foster homes). He was too much.
Dianne Derby: What is too much?
Desmond Boateng:Too much means the behavior, anger, trauma, whatever he's been through. You don't know the story, we only know what is on the file. So with that, the first day he got here, he threw a tablet that I gave him to play with, to hit my wife and blood was oozing.
Dianne Derby: So how did you handle that as the dad?
Desmond Boateng: I took him out, we go for a walk because I know everything happens for a reason. I find out that everybody thinks he is a bad kid because of behaviors that is out of the system doesn't want him and mom just can't handle it. So then this means you have to double your love.

Doubling your love even when an attack becomes personal.

Desmond Boateng: I had a kid who came over here refused to come to my house because black people kill? Yes.
Dianne Derby: A foster kid?
Desmond Boateng: How do you love that kid?
Dianne Derby: But you did.
Desmond: It took three hours before he can understand. I don't kill.

The couple says Emelia's work with the elderly and Desmond's previous work at psychiatric hospitals has helped them to have compassion for every child who shows up to their home.

"When they find someone who really love and care for them, you see them turn around," said Mr. Boateng. "I give love, even though medication is there to help the kids, but I think love is the best therapy.

That love, that determination to help foster children in Colorado is why Emelia and Desmond Boateng are the latest winners of the News 5 Jefferson Award for community service.

Foster families do receive money from the state to help care for the children. The state tells me it varies based on the level of need of the child and also by age. To learn more about fostering click here.

To nominate someone to receive the News 5 Jefferson Award click here.

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