How to become a foster parent

Farm Forum

To become a foster parent in South Dakota, you must be 21.

Before becoming a foster parent, you must undergo training and a criminal background check. You must also provide references.

Who would make a good foster parent?

“It could be a single family or it could be a couple. What we really look for is that the foster family meets the individual needs of the children who enter care by matching the strengths of the foster family with the needs of the child,” Kristin Kellar of the State Department of Social Services wrote in an email. “We also look for families in the same community as the child, so that they can continue to be educated at their school with their friends and stay in their same religious institution.”

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, the first step is to contact a local office of the state Division of Child Protection Services. The Aberdeen office, 3401 10th Ave S.E., serves Brown, McPherson, Edmunds and Marshall counties. The phone number is 605-626-2388.

A packet containing information about foster parenting will be mailed to those requesting it. Once contact is made, a family services specialist will come to your home and discuss the responsibilities and requirements for becoming a foster parent, and you will have an opportunity to have your questions answered.

Prospective foster parents must attend Parent’s Resource for Information, Development and Education training. During this time, 30 hours of orientation and three or four home visits are also required.

A final assessment is done once training has been completed to determine if you meet or are in compliance with licensing requirements.

When the training, home consultations and paperwork are complete and a determination is made that you are in compliance with licensing requirements, a family foster care license may be issued. This license must be renewed annually.