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Opening your heart and home to a foster child

WIS News at Noon is a full hour of news and lifestyle stories Monday through Friday.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:23 AM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2022 at 12:55 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - This month of May is a key time for the children in our state in the foster care program. It’s Foster Care Awareness Month in South Carolina. The theme this year is Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong.

Foster parents, relatives, and kinship caregivers are working together with families to achieve reunification for children and youth in foster care. Foster parents play an important role in strengthening families.

When children cannot remain safely in their own homes, where can they go? Amber Peeples is a foster parent liaison with the South Carolina Department of Social Services. And Kaley Lindquist is a foster parent herself and is with the group, Fostering Great Ideas. They joined Dawndy Mercer Plank on WIS TV Midday to talk about the need for more people to open their hearts and homes to children.

As of May 1, the SCDSS Foster Care Dashboard shows more than 4,000 children are currently in foster care in South Carolina.

”The success of Foster Care Awareness Month depends on efforts by all of us in the child-serving system to engage the community and raise awareness about the need to invest in the lives of children and youth, especially teenagers and sibling groups,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “The most successful foster parents are those who embrace their role and answer the call to serve as temporary caregivers, supporting both the children and the parents, towards reunification.”

South Carolina needs additional family-like homes so children and youth can remain in their counties of origin, sibling groups can stay together, and teens can be cared for in the home of a loving family. SCDSS is continuing the licensing process for families who have expressed an interest in fostering. The process to become a licensed foster parent in South Carolina requires criminal and central registry background checks, home inspections, and trainings along with monthly follow-ups from the agency.

For additional information, please visit www.dss.sc.gov, www.scfamilies.org, or call 1-888-828-3555.

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