Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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Becoming a Foster Parent

The decision to become a foster parent is an important one. Hundreds of South Dakota children need foster families while their own families work to overcome circumstances that make the child unsafe.

The more foster families there are in communities, the easier it is to keep siblings together and keep children in their own neighborhoods and schools. Foster families of every culture are needed to help children build and maintain positive identities.

Basic Licensing Requirements

  1. Foster Parents must be 21 years of age.
  2. Your house must be a safe place, without structural or health hazards.
  3. A family must have sufficient income to meet the essential needs of their family. The Department of Social Services provides monthly financial assistance to support the needs of the children in foster care.
  4. To ensure the safety of children in foster care, potential foster families are screened for past criminal activity and reports of abuse and neglect.
  5. Attendance and completion of a 30-hour foster parent education and training program to prepare and support families for success as a foster parent. Learn More about the PRIDE/Unity Program

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent and you are 21 years of age, the first step is to contact a local CPS office.