Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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May 1, 2008

Foster Parenting: The Ultimate Community Service

Become a foster parent in your community today!

PIERRE, S.D. Do you often wonder what you can do to make a difference? By becoming a foster parent to children in foster care, you can help shape their lives and get them on the right track toward a successful future. May is Foster Parent Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota. Gov. Mike Rounds and Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, along with the Department of Social Services, encourage families to open their homes and hearts and give hope to children whose families are in crisis.

“The individual commitments to becoming a foster family for children in need represents the ultimate expression of community service,” said Lt. Gov. Daugaard.  “These individuals and families play a vital role in helping children and their own families heal and reconnect."

Dedicated foster families provide safe, nurturing homes to more than 975 children and youth in South Dakota.

Communities across the state are seeking more foster parents to meet the needs of children and youth of all ages; there is especially a need for families who will support and care for teenage youth and sibling groups. Foster homes allow youth to live together with brothers and sisters, remain in their own neighborhoods, and stay in their schools. The children and youth in foster care need licensed foster parents to provide them with the strength and stability it takes to be successful adults.

“Foster parenting is a significant and rewarding opportunity that helps shape bright futures for youth in South Dakota,” said Virgena Wieseler, Director of the Division of Child Protection Services. “Make a difference in your community and become a foster parent.”

Many communities throughout the state are honoring and recognizing foster parents in various ways.

Please visit to learn more about these activities and what you can do to get involved. The events and activities occurring statewide during the month of May bring awareness and honor current foster parents and encourage others to become foster parents. Individuals can also call 605-773-3227 to learn more.