For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 28, 2022
DSS Media Contact: Steve Long, firstname.lastname@example.org or 605.773.5465
Foster families provide safety and support for children in turmoil
PIERRE – Foster families provide safety, support, and hope for children in turmoil. Governor Kristi Noem proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month to help bring an end to abuse and neglect in South Dakota. When children must be removed from their home for safety, foster families play a key role in providing a sense of comfort and stability. However, more foster families are always needed.
“Children count on grown-ups to care for them and keep them safe,” said Department of Social Services Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “When a child’s family is in crisis, foster families are needed to provide shelter, empathy, and love to children going through a tough time.”
Since the launch of Governor Kristi Noem’s Stronger Families Together initiative last May, 242 new foster families have been licensed in South Dakota and many more have inquired about the process. That is a major win for children in foster care in our state. As a foster family you too can make a difference in children’s lives when they need it most.
Foster care is intended to be temporary. The goal is to safely reunite children with their birth family. While families work through issues that make their home unsafe, children are placed with a relative, and if a relative is not available DSS tries to find a foster family in the child’s home community.
“The positive impact of being a foster family can last a lifetime. You can help another South Dakota family become stronger,” Gill said. “By caring for children, you give parents time to work through their issues, so children can safely return home. Opening your home to a child in need can help save the whole family.”
To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call 888.201.5061 or visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and fill out the online “Commit to Know More” card.
To report child abuse or neglect, please call 1.877.244.0864. Intake Specialists are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If reporting an emergency situation outside of normal business hours or on the weekend or holidays, please contact local law enforcement.
To learn more and to find resources, go to dss.sd.gov/childprotection/nationalchildabuse.