PIERRE, S.D.(KELO-AM) – In honor of foster parents across the state of South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has declared May as Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month.
Each month, there are approximately 1,000 children and youth in foster care from public, private and tribal agencies in South Dakota. South Dakota’s First Lady, Linda Daugaard, along with the Department of Social Services, encourages families to open their homes and hearts and commit to know more about becoming foster parents.
“Dedicated foster families provide opportunities for our youth to stay connected with their family, friends, culture, tribe, school and community,” said the First Lady. “They also provide a safe home while their families work through difficult situations.”
Communities across the state are seeking more foster families to meet the needs of children and youth of all ages, with a greater need for families who will support and care for teenagers, sibling groups and medically fragile children. There is also a need for Native American families who can care for children who are Native American.
Foster homes allow youth to live together with brothers and sisters, remain in their own neighborhoods and stay in their schools. Children and youth in foster care need licensed foster families to provide them with the strength and stability it takes to be successful adults.
“Foster parenting is a significant and rewarding opportunity that helps make a difference in the life of a child,” said Virgena Wieseler, director of the Division of Child Protection Services. “Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month allows us to recognize incredible foster families that make a real difference in the lives of children in South Dakota.”
To learn more about becoming a foster parent, visit www.FosterOneSD.org or call the Department of Social Services at 605-773-3227.