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Stronger Families Together for the Holidays

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Media Contact: Steve Long, steve.long@state.sd.us or 605.773.5465

Stronger Families Together for the Holidays

PIERRE – Sharing the joy of the holiday season can mean even more by choosing to become a foster or adoptive family for a child in South Dakota.  During this season, one of the greatest gifts a family can provide is the commitment to open their safe loving home to children or youth in need.

Foster families provide encouragement and support to the entire family as they work to make the changes needed for children to safely return home. Foster care is intended to be temporary with a goal of safely reuniting children with their birth family. 

“Foster and adoptive families give children hope for a bright future and hope is a wonderful gift,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “Foster families are a blessing for both the children and their families. Families helping families is a tradition here in South Dakota.”

The goal of Governor Noem’s Stronger Families Together initiative is to recruit 300 new foster families per year in South Dakota. Since its launch in May, 149 families have become licensed foster families through DSS and many more have inquired about the process. South Dakota families are stepping up to help, but there is a need for more families to do the same. 

One South Dakota foster mother describes her motivation this way, “I lost my oldest son Braden to a tragedy and although I can never be reunited with him, if I can help other parents be reunified with their children...that is my gift to them.”

One boy she fostered has now been reunited with his single father. This Christmas that child is home with his dad.

“I was in a bad place. I found myself homeless and without a job,” the father said. “We helped each other take care of my son. With a lot of hard work and prayer, I was able to provide for my son and I am in a much better place.”

He says the foster mother continues to support them.

When children cannot be safely reunited with their birth families then nurturing, loving, and stable adoptive families are needed.

To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call 605.221.2390 or toll-free at 844.344.9482 or visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com and fill out the online “Commit to know more” card.