President salutes local family for fostering kids of addicted parents

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

President Donald Trump mentioned a Dayton family, Jesse and Cynthia Swafford.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATED Feb. 11, 2019:

A Dayton-area couple recognized by President Donald Trump for fostering children affected by the opioids crisis is continuing to add to their family.

WATCH: Foster care kids: Why some are calling Ohio's foster care system a crisis

Jesse and Cyndi Swafford have welcomed nearly 20 foster kids into their home in the in the last decade.

With Montgomery County seeing the amount of children in foster care rising, the Swaffords don’t mind keeping some beds open for new kids.

News Center 7 looks into foster care and how the county works to handle the increase of kids and costs. Tune in Monday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. to learn more.


In declaring the opioids crisis a national public health emergency Thursday, President Donald Trump called attention to a Dayton-area couple and foster parents, Jesse and Cyndi Swafford.

MORE: Overdose crisis: The times Montgomery County has been the national example for filmmakers and media

Jesse and Cynthia (Cyndi) Swafford have cared for 13 foster children in the past decade, all who have had families affected in some way by the opioids crisis or other issues.

President Donald Trump recognized a Dayton family for their efforts in coping with the opioid crisis. Jesse and Cyndi Swafford are shown with their children and with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. CONTRIBUTED
President Donald Trump recognized a Dayton family for their efforts in coping with the opioid crisis. Jesse and Cyndi Swafford are shown with their children and with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman. CONTRIBUTED

Trump referred to them and those like them as “guardian angels.”

“Jesse and Cyndi Swafford of Dayton, Ohio have provided a loving, stable home to children affected by the opioid crisis,” the president said.

Reached Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., Mrs. Swafford said she and her family were simply trying to process a whirlwind couple of days.

“I don’t know yet,” she said when asked what the invitation from the White House meant to her and her family. “It has been a whirlwind -- overwhelming, to say the least.”

“I am calling on every American to join the ranks of guardian angels like Chief Goonan and the Swaffords, who help lift up the people of our great nation,” Trump said in his address Thursday.

Mrs. Swafford said she felt the president’s attention represented progress that the issue needs.

The family has adopted two foster children and is in the process of adopting a third. They also have a biological child.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Jesse and Cynthia Swafford of Englewood, Ohio, talked to NewsCenter 7 about their shout out by President Trump at the White House during Trump's comments surrounding the Opiod epidemic.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

“I’m incredibly honored and thankful,” she said. “We give all glory to God for all of this. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

The couple were married in 2005, according to Sen. Rob Portman’s office. They first became licensed as foster parents in 2007. Kalib and Brandon joined their home in May 2008 as foster children due to parental drug addiction and neglect.

The Swaffords adopted Kalib and Brandon in October 2009 then welcomed their only biological child, Cole, in March 2010. Cyndi resigned from a position as an emergency dispatcher to invest full time in therapy and ongoing care of the boys, according to Portman’s office.

RELATEDOpioids cost Ohio $8.8 billion

Currently, the family has two long-term foster placements, the senator’s office said.

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"It blows my mind," CNN quoted Cyndi as saying. "There are babies in the hospital waiting because of this heroin epidemic for a family that will be able to take care of them."

MORE: Dayton Children’s Hospital is treating two children a week for opiate overdoses

Swafford is employed at Hofacker Precision Machine where he is the office manager and quality systems administrator.