DSS finds loving adoptive homes for children in foster care

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Today, there are 81 children in South Dakota’s foster care system who are legally available for adoption. The greatest need is for older children, sibling groups, and children with emotional, behavioral, or medical needs.

“All children are born with potential for a bright future,” said Department of Social Services (DSS) Cabinet Secretary Laurie Gill. “We want children to have every opportunity for happiness and success and DSS helps find homes where children will be cherished, encouraged, and safe.”

Children and teens are placed in foster care with DSS as a result of child abuse and neglect court proceedings. The goal is to return children to their biological parents when it is safe and in the best interest of the children to do so. However, if a child or sibling group cannot safely return home, the court may terminate parental rights and place the child for adoption with DSS.  Most children adopted through DSS are adopted by their relatives or foster parents. Many children have brothers and sisters of varying ages and wish to be adopted together.

“DSS goes to great lengths to ensure adoptive homes are safe, and that adoptive families and children are the right fit,” said Gill. “We take the wellbeing and security of South Dakota children very seriously.”

When there is no adoptive family identified, DSS develops a child-specific recruitment plan to match each child with a family who is suited to meet his or her needs.

To adopt children in foster care, families must complete an approved adoption home study. The study includes interviews with the applicants and household members, background checks, reference checks, health report, and a home safety check. Training is provided to prepare families for the needs of children who have experienced trauma.

Families interested in starting the adoption process with DSS can find more information at www.FosterOneSD.org.