For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
DSS Media Contact: Steve Long, firstname.lastname@example.org, 605.773.5465
Community wrap around support sets up foster families, children for success
PIERRE – In communities across South Dakota, there are individuals and businesses that are helping foster families provide safe and loving homes for children by wrapping around them with supportive services. There are plenty of opportunities available for South Dakotans to get involved with this program to serve more foster families around the state.
Currently there are 135 Wrap members and 50 foster friendly businesses registered in South Dakota as part of Governor Kristi Noem’s Stronger Families Together initiative.
“Being a foster family can be rewarding and life changing, but it is also a lot of work,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “Wrap Around Services can help lighten the load for families and provide additional healthy support for children.”
Both individuals and businesses can volunteer to “wrap around” foster families. People can help in many ways, like offering encouragement or providing services such as delivering a meal, helping with laundry, transportation, babysitting, lawn care, or maintenance of a house or car. Businesses can offer wrap around support by becoming “foster friendly” which means providing free or discounted goods and services to foster families.
“Wrap Around came to us at the right moment. We had our third child in foster care and once we received wrap around services, it changed fostering completely for us,” said a foster couple in Lead. “There is this community of people that know what we are trying to do and support us in a variety of ways. We are seen, we are cared for, we are prayed for.”
There is a need for more families and businesses to get involved to support foster families. South Dakota Kids Belong, a partner in the Stronger Families Together initiative, coordinates Wrap Around Services. To learn more, please visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and click on the Wrap Around Services tab.
Since the launch of the Stronger Families Together initiative in May, 190 families have become licensed foster families through DSS and many more have inquired about the process. The initiative is nearly two-thirds of the way to its goal of recruiting 300 foster families.
To learn about becoming a foster or adoptive family, please visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and fill out the online “Commit to know more” card.