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May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month





May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month

PIERRE – Governor Kristi Noem has named May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month to thank those families that have stepped forward to care for South Dakota children.

“Foster parents play an important role not just in the lives of children, but with their families and communities as well,” said Department of Social Services Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “We are so grateful for those who have chosen to open their hearts and homes and encourage others to consider it as well.”

There are more than 850 foster families in communities across South Dakota, but many more are needed to ensure children have a safe, stable, and supportive home close to their family, community, and school.

“Thank you is not enough for the foster families who do so much for children in foster care,” Gill said. “Being a foster parent isn’t always easy, but it can be very rewarding knowing you are making a difference in the life of a child.”

May marks the one-year anniversary of Governor Noem’s Stronger Families Together initiative aimed at recruiting and retaining South Dakota foster and adoptive families. Hundreds of new foster parents have been licensed with DSS and many more have inquired about it. Stronger Families Together set a goal to recruit 300 new foster families each year for four consecutive years for a total of 1200 new foster families by the end of May 2025. As of March 31, South Dakota was over three-quarters of the way to the current year end goal and 20 percent of the four-year goal. 

“There are a lot of other opportunities to help if you aren’t being called to be a foster parent,” Gill said. “Individuals, organizations, churches, and businesses have also been doing amazing things to support foster parents in South Dakota. Everyone can do something to help.”

Visit www.StrongerFamiliesTogether.com to learn more about becoming a foster parent or to find out how you can help foster families.

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The South Dakota Department of Social Services is dedicated to strengthening families to foster health, wellbeing, and independence. For more information, please visit dss.sd.gov.