For Immediate Release: Monday, January 24, 2022
Media Contact: Steve Long, email@example.com or 605.773.5465
Stronger Families Together making an impact
PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem’s initiative to recruit 300 new foster families in South Dakota is more than halfway to its goal. Since the launch of the Stronger Families Together project in May, 169 families have become licensed foster families through the Department of Social Services (DSS) and many more have inquired about the process.
“South Dakota families are stepping up to help kids in need and keeping us on track to reach this important goal of 300 new foster families,” Noem said. “Foster parents provide stability to children in their care during a difficult time, model a healthy family life, and inspire hope for a young person’s future. Stronger families serve as the foundation for us to build a brighter future for our entire state.”
The goal of Stronger Families Together is to recruit 300 new foster families per year for the next four years.
“Some of the rewards of being a foster family include knowing you’ve been there when children needed you, that you provided a safe place, and that you showed them you cared,” said DSS Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “If you want to make a difference, caring for children in need is a great opportunity.”
Foster care is meant to be temporary but the positive impact foster families make in the lives of children can last a lifetime. Safely reuniting children with their birth family is the ultimate goal but, while a child is in care, foster families help youth develop interpersonal skills that help with friends, family members, and school.
Foster families can provide youth the support and guidance they need while going through the trials and tribulations of adolescence. One example of making a lifelong impact comes from Sioux Falls foster parents Debbie and Dan Nichols.
“Our foster daughter came to live with us when she was 15 years old. We had three biological children that were 6, 3 and 2 months old,” the Nichols said. “A couple months after living with us, our bonus daughter became pregnant. We were able to give her the support and resources she needed throughout her pregnancy.”
They made a difference not only in their foster daughter’s life, but in the lives of the next generation as well.
“Today we are part of her children’s lives. We are that place to call home for her and her kids,” they said. “It wasn’t all easy, but it was worth it!”
To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call 605.221.2390 or toll-free at 888.201.5061 or visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and fill out the online “Commit to know more” card.