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Sept. 15, 2008

Kinship care providers open homes, hearts to family

September is Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. When Roy and Nila Recountre completed the kinship care training program, they had no idea how much their lives would change. In September of 2007, the Recountres became kinship care providers for their great-niece. Since opening their home to her last year, the Rapid City couple has gone on to become licensed foster care parents for five other foster children.  

“We are open to caring for all children, but there is a large need for Native American foster care homes in South Dakota,” Roy said. “We are able to provide a home for children and it is a pleasure to see how quickly these children grow and become part of our family.”

This September is the second annual Kinship Appreciation and Awareness Month in South Dakota. 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.

“Kinship care allows individuals to remain connected to their families and communities,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “It is important to recognize family members who open their homes and hearts to provide support to kin in times of need. It allows individuals who need care to feel loved, settled and safe.”

The Collaborative Circle is also using this time to recognize the importance of kinship care. Nine tribal governments have signed a proclamation declaring the month of September as a time to raise awareness about kinship care. The tribes include: Sisseton-Wahpeton, Flandreau, Yankton, Lower Brule, Crow Creek, Rosebud, Oglala, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock.

About the Collaborative Circle: The Collaborative Circle was created to achieve better outcomes for Native American children who come into the care of the Department of Social Services’ Division of Child Protection Services. This group consists of 38 members who work together on all areas concerning Native American children. There are 18 tribal members, nine staff from the Division of Child Protection Services, six Native American family members and five providers from social services organizations.