PIERRE, S.D. — Stronger Families Together is an ongoing initiative of the Department of Social Services to recruit, prepare, and support foster and adoptive families.
Foster parents open their homes and hearts to children whose families are in crisis and play a key role in helping those families heal and reunify.
There is always a need for more foster parents to help children and families through what may be the most difficult times of their lives.
It takes many partnerships to make sure kids who are being abused or neglected are safe and nurtured.
Laurie Gill, S.D.D.S.S Secretary, says, “Sometimes families aren’t safe for the kids and when something like that happens, we do know that strong families are often times the children’s main source of love, support and self esteem and we need to make sure that kids are in an environment that is safe for them and that is where the foster families come in.”
Currently, foster parents are caring for more than 930 children and youth in our state.
D.S.S. helps recruit and train foster parents to provide a safe and stable environment to children who have been abused or neglected until they can return home, or to another permanent residence.
Their focus is to keep families strong when families falter in crisis, offering services to get back on their feet.
Gill adds, “Foster families in South Dakota provide the assistant needed when families are no longer safe and we have to have nurturing environments for the kids so this all fits into the vision that the governor has for strong communities and we know that strong families are a big part of that.”
There is always need for foster families across the state. D.S.S and other partners will have events going on this month to show appreciation of foster and adoptive families.
D.S. S. in partnership with South Dakota Kids Belong will host a kick-off event for the Stronger Families Together campaign to support children and families in South Dakota on Tuesday, May 11. Gov. Kristi Noem will be the keynote speaker.