Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero: Patricia ‘Miss Pat’ Dubert
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - For the past 18 years, Pat Dubert has been a pillar of the Therapeutic Foster Care community at LifeSkills, Inc.
However, her history with foster care goes back to California in 1974 when she saw an ad on television that said, “If you have room in your heart, why not share it with a child?”
She got her first foster child that year.
After arriving in Kentucky in 2003, she started doing “respite” which is when children stay for a night or weekend.
She started fostering again shortly after and continues to this day.
Dubert has shared her heart and home with over 800 children over the past 48 years.
She refers to every single one of them as her children; some still call her to talk.
“She is someone we all look up to and we all admire,” said Sherry Roy-Hunton, Director of Therapeutic Foster Care. “The epitome of a foster parent. She goes above and beyond all the time,” she added.
Roy-Hutson went on to say that Dubert, “has worn every hat in our program. We have her wisdom, and everybody responds well to her.”
The staff at LifeSkills also view her as a mother figure who has mentored and cared for them as well.
Sarah Miller, Therapeutic Foster Care Assistant, said, “As a mother, I wish I could be the mother that she is. I wish I had the grandparent that she is. The friend she is... I know that I have that, I have that friendship with her, and I know that she is that for everyone else.”
Dubert says it’s the challenge of foster care that keeps her going. “To see if I can help; to see if I can make a change,” she said. “Sometimes they have had a lot of traumas. They’ve had a lot of pain, and they don’t look at the world as a safe place. And I like to provide that safe place.”
The ultimate goal of foster care is caring for the children until they can go back to their biological parents or another natural relative. Dubert says, “If they can move forward into a positive atmosphere. If they can go with an aunt or uncle or somebody else that can give them the guidance, love, and care that I can give them, I’m 100% for that.” She added, “If they can’t then they can stay with me.”
Dubert has made a difference in the lives of everyone around her, even if it was a short time.
“I was there when they needed someone to be there,” she said.
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