For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 15, 2022
Media Contact: Steve Long, DSSMedia@state.sd.us or 605.773.3165
Keeping brothers and sisters together: More foster families needed
PIERRE – When families are in a time of crisis and it is not safe for children to remain at home, keeping brothers and sisters together is a high priority. Unfortunately, this priority is not always possible. More foster families are needed in South Dakota to ensure that brothers and sisters are able to remain together.
For many children in foster care, living in the same home with their brothers and sisters means more than any gift wrapped in a box. Sibling relationships provide children comfort, stability, and hope during a time when these things are especially important.
“It can take a little more space, time, and energy to care for brothers and sisters,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “Yet the loving kindness and encouragement in a safe home can have an impact that lasts a lifetime.”
If you are considering caring for siblings, DSS has resources to help and will assist you with every step of the process.
“There are not always enough foster families to keep brothers and sisters together,” said Gill. “The great news is, every additional family that is ready, willing, and able to commit to this, means another sibling group can have the stability of staying with each other in a safe and loving foster home.”
Benefits to foster parents caring for a sibling group include:
Foster families help facilitate healing in both children and their families. Foster care is intended to be temporary as parents work to make necessary changes so their children can safely return home. When this is not possible, there is a need for safe, loving, adoptive families.
Governor Kristi Noem’s Stronger Families Together initiative launched in May 2021 with a focus on helping recruit, prepare, and support more foster and adoptive families in South Dakota. The initiative is now in its second year.
To find out more about Stronger Families Together, becoming a foster parent, or helping support foster parents in your community, visit StrongerFamiliesTogether.sd.gov and fill out the online “commit to know more” card.