Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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April 25, 2006

Make a Difference, Be a Foster Parent

PIERRE, S.D. - Strong families are South Dakota’s foundation and our future. They serve as the primary source of love, identity, self-esteem, and support in communities throughout the state and the country. In honor of the invaluable service that South Dakota’s foster parents provide to the state and its children, Gov. Mike Rounds has proclaimed May as Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota, in conjunction with National Foster Parent Month.

On average, 986 South Dakota children and youth require placement in family foster homes each month as a result of abuse and/or neglect, according to the Department of Social Services (DSS). Currently, 933 licensed family foster homes provide 24-hour care and supervision for these children.

“Our kids need help from people with good hearts,” said Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Please consider becoming an adoptive or foster parent to a South Dakota child."

Nearly every community across the state is seeking more foster parents to meet the needs of children and youth of all ages. Foster homes allow youth to live together with brothers and sisters, remain in their own neighborhoods, and stay in their schools. They need licensed foster parents to help them; so share your heart and open your home to change a lifetime.

“Foster parenting is a significant and rewarding opportunity that helps shape bright futures for South Dakota’s youth,” said Virgena Wieseler, Director of the Division of Child Protection Services. “Make a difference in your community and become a foster parent today.”, which is part of the DSS website, provides information on much of the following:

  • What foster parents do and how important they are to children and the communities where they live
  • How to become a foster parent in South Dakota
  • Community activities during Foster Care Month, May 2006
  • The Blue Ribbon Campaign
  • PRIDE Program: Parent's Resource for Information, Development and Education
  • Contact information and other resources on becoming a foster parent

There are many events happening statewide during the month of May to bring awareness and honor current foster parents and encourage others to become foster parents. To find out what is happening in your community and how you can help, log onto or call (605) 773-3227.