Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Foster parents deserve appreciation now more than ever

 


Even though many the special events normally held to recognize Minnesota’s foster parents are impossible this year, May is Foster Care Month, a time to pause and applaud the commitments foster parents make to support families in difficult situations.

“COVID-19 has created many challenges for foster parents as they adjust to supporting children with home learning, making alternative visitation arrangements and managing changes in services,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead.

County, tribal and private social service agencies have had to adapt to new ways of meeting the needs of foster children and families, including the need for foster parents to be familiar with evolving guidelines on COVID-19 from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2019, about 15,300 children in Minnesota were in foster care at some point. That estimated total is down from 16,488 in 2018 and 16,593 in 2017, but higher than totals going back to 2008, according to Minnesota’s Out-of-home Care and Permanency Report, 2018.

“Our goal is always to help foster children return home safely,” said Harpstead. “We greatly appreciate foster parents’ dedication and care for children. They play a critical role in supporting children who have experienced trauma, including being removed from their families and homes, and giving them the structure, nurturing and guidance they need daily.”

Foster parents can be married or single, homeowners or renters, with or without children. African American and American Indian foster parents are in especially high demand, with the greatest need for older children and sibling groups.

Training is provided, as is support along the way.

County or tribal social service agencies are the best initial point-of-contact to learn more about becoming a foster parent. For more information, visit the DHS webpage on steps to become a foster parent. MN Adopt’s Fostering Network also has helpful background on the process.

 

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