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First Lady's Column: Commit To Know More About Foster Parenting

          Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.


(605) 773-3212






For Immediate Release: Friday, Sept. 28, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212



Commit To Know More About Foster Parenting


A column by First Lady Linda Daugaard:


In any given month over the last year there were around 1,600 children across South Dakota in state custody. These are children who have been removed from their homes by a court order for safety reasons. They are victims of abuse and neglect who, by no fault of their own, have no other place to go.


These children are in need of a loving home. Like any child, they need unconditional love, guidance and support. That’s where foster families come in.


Foster parents make a difference in the lives of children and their birth families. In many instances, they provide healing by offering a safe and stable environment until a child can return home. In some situations, they become the permanent guardians themselves through the adoption process. Whether it’s a short- or long-term placement, foster families provide selfless care to children in need of affection and direction.


As a former teacher and librarian, and as a mother and grandmother, I know how important it is for children to have unconditional love as well as limits. That is why in 2013 I worked with the Department of Social Services to launch the FosterOne program by which we encourage South Dakotans to commit to know more about becoming a foster parent. Since the initiation of that program, we have had 2,128 families sign up to learn more and we’ve seen an increase in foster homes, including American Indian foster families.


This is encouraging, but the need for more volunteers still exists. There is a particular need for foster parents who can take sibling groups, American Indian foster parents and families who are willing to care for teenagers. Foster parents must be 21 years old, trained and licensed, and can be related or unrelated to the child. 


We need more South Dakotans who are willing to provide this selfless, life-changing care. Please consider opening your heart and your home to help a child in need. You can commit to know more at fosteronesd.org