Shadonna Bell: The Unsung Hero of Foster Care

Shadonna Bell is a single woman who has been fostering children for six years in Los Angeles County. She made headlines when she was honored with one of the highest honors in the community, “Unsung Hero.” She is an example of how foster mothers like her are making the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) sleep better at night, knowing that dozens of foster children in their charge are safe and cared for while the search goes on for permanent homes for them.

This year, 3,880 out of 7,700 children who exited the L.A. County child welfare system were reunified with their parents. But thousands of children still require foster care, and people like Shadonna Bell are doing a great job in providing them with love and structure, and preparing them for permanent homes.

Shadonna’s journey started when she received a call from her foster care social worker, asking if she would take in a newborn baby boy — Spencer. He was just a day old when she got him, and almost three years later, she made the decision to adopt him. Since then, she has fostered six children and adopted one.

Shadonna believes that treatment of foster children should be like your own. She wakes up early to get her nine-year-old ready for school, takes the four-year-old and Spencer, who is turning three next month, to work with her at KinderCare in Santa Clarita. She is particular about dinner time, baths, and bedtimes. As a mother, she believes in providing a structured environment while also making sure they have fun during the weekends.

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