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May Recognized as Foster Care Awareness Month in South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Will Batchelor
(803) 767-1488
Will.Batchelor@dss.sc.gov

May Recognized as Foster Care Awareness Month in South Carolina

May 1, 2021 – The month of May is being recognized as Foster Care Awareness Month by the Department of Social Services (DSS) and many statewide partners and stakeholders. The month-long observance is an opportunity to draw attention to the need for temporary caregivers for children and youth who enter foster care. While Kinship Care is the preferred placement option in South Carolina, this is not always possible and a non-kin foster family home is needed.

Children come into foster care when their parents or family cannot safely care for them and no other alternative for placement presently exists. As of May 1, the SCDSS Foster Care Dashboard showed more than 4,000 children in foster care in South Carolina.

“The role of foster parents play cannot be overstated,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “At a time when a family may be in crisis, they open their hearts to provide a safe, welcoming home for vulnerable children and youth. It is that environment that nurtures the child and provides stability as families hopefully embark on the path to reunification. That successful future starts with foster parents who step up to help. We at DSS are so thankful for all that they do.”

With many children and youth facing increased isolation over the past year, it is more important than ever for communities to work together to establish meaningful connections for children and youth in care. This year, National Foster Care Month focuses on how to strengthen these connections and the role of family and youth engagement at every stage—from ensuring all families and youth have meaningful involvement in court hearings and case planning to making it possible for youth to stay connected to their parents and extended support systems while in foster care. Authentically engaging youth and families can lead to increased family stabilization and expedite reunification and permanency.

South Carolina continues to need additional foster homes so children 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. Many of the steps to begin the process can be completed online and trainings are being offered virtually.

To learn about becoming a foster parent or ways to support foster parents in your community, visit https://dss.sc.gov/foster-care/.

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Editor’s Note: If a news outlet wishes to interview a foster parent in conjunction with Foster Care Awareness Month, DSS will try and help accommodate that request. Please email publicinfo@dss.sc.gov with your request and your deadline and every attempt will be made to locate a foster parent to participate.

DSS appreciates news outlets including contact information on how to become a foster parent in all articles and stories as Foster Care Awareness Month serves as an important tool in recruiting foster parents and families to serve children and youth in South Carolina.

 


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Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.