Wednesday, January 10, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle receives annual Community Hero Award

Chronicle foster-care editorials lauded
San Francisco Chronicle Staff Report, Jan. 10, 2007.

The Chronicle's editorial board has been named the recipient of the annual Community Hero Award by the Oakland-based First Place Fund for Youth foundation for its series of editorials on California's troubled system for foster care.

The foundation, in announcing the award Tuesday, praised editorials by former staff writer Pati Poblete that "informed the public about the serious defects in the statewide foster-care system."

"The Chronicle's editorial board articles not only increased the public's awareness of the foster-care failures, they also allowed those organizations working with foster youth to have the opportunity to share the information with decisionmakers," the foundation said. "The breadth and clarity of the editorials left no doubt as to the need for change."

Editorial Page Editor John Diaz said the board was "humbled and grateful" for the award. "The real heroes are all the young people who are overcoming the odds of a dysfunctional foster-care system," he said.

The First Place Fund for Youth, founded in 1998, provides services, housing and counseling to young people as they leave foster care for independent living. The foundation distributes reprints of The Chronicle's editorials to its staff as a training tool.

First Place Fund for Youth plans to present the award to editorial board members during the group's annual benefit dinner April 27 in Oakland.


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