Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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September 9, 2009

Governor Rounds declares September as
Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. Governor Rounds has declared the month of September as Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota, to recognize the many families who have opened their homes to care for their kin in times of need.

Kinship care is a living situation in which a relative takes primary responsibility for the care of a family member, most often a child or elderly individual. Kinship care enables family members to live with people they know and trust, provides a sense of hope, and reinforces the family member’s sense of personal and cultural identity.

“Family members serve as the primary source of love, identity and support,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “They are the foundation of our communities and of this state.”

There are currently 218 children in kinship care in South Dakota, and an additional 39 children placed with relatives who are also licensed foster families.

This is the third time the State of South Dakota has declared a Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month. The month of September will continue to be a time to honor and recognize kinship care, promoting awareness to those who play a valuable role in supporting children and elderly individuals in South Dakota.

To learn more about kinship care, contact your local Department of Social Services office or visit

Media Note: To view the Governor’s Executive Proclamation