Our state has around 1,500 children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own. Of these children, on any given day nearly 70 are legally-free for adoption and are waiting for their forever family. The rest of the children need a loving, safe, and supportive foster family to care for them while they wait to go home to their biological families.
When children age-out of the system at 18 without a family, they are significantly more likely to experience homelessness, crisis pregnancy, unemployment, incarceration, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Trafficking.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF SOUTH DAKOTA CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
You’re probably wondering if a problem so large is really SOLVABLE.
We’ve been there, too.
But we’re happy to tell you that with two proven models and a first-of-its-kind solution, the answer is YES. Regardless of your occupation, skillset, and life stage, you have the unique ability & opportunity to impact the lives of children in foster care.
The Solution Is…
It takes a village. Countless influencers from different backgrounds, with unique strengths and passions all in the same boat, and all rowing in the same direction.
Together we can give South Dakota’s children a face, a voice, and a pathway to belonging – through reunification with their birth families, and when that’s not possible – adoption through foster care.
HOW IT WORKS
With a wide-variety of influencers on board, we can combine a number of our proven methods to help meet needs within the foster care system. Since beginning work in South Dakota, alongside numerous faith leaders, government workers, foster advocates, artists & creatives, as well as a host of generous donors, we’ve already seen amazing things happen:
I Belong Project
One of America’s Kids Belong’s signature programs is The I Belong Project™, which uses high quality videography to give children in foster care a face and a voice. These videos serve as individual recruitment tools for foster children who are legally-free for adoption and are waiting for their forever family.
South Dakota’s Department of Social Services and South Dakota Kids Belong have joint forces to give a face and a voice to the children eligible for adoption in our state through the I Belong Project. We will launch the South Dakota chapter of the I Belong Project in January of 2019 to create individualized videos of our children who are legally free for adoption and waiting for their forever family.
DISCOVER YOUR ROLE
Discover Your Role Today!
Not everyone is called to foster or adopt. But everyone can make a difference in the life of a child in foster care.
What is Your Sphere of Influence?
- Dedicate a sermon or sermon series to educate & engage your congregation around the needs of foster care
- Host a “Next Steps” Dinner and Foster Certification classes at your church for prospective foster parents
- Start a “Wrap Around” ministry to equip your church in serving foster families
- Get involved in the South Dakota Fosters Campaign CLICK HERE
- Champion legislation that improves outcomes for children in foster care
- Partner with the child welfare system to improve outcomes for children in foster care
- Engage your workplace in the movement
- Make your business “foster friendly” (think Military Discounts for Foster Families!)
- Donate to help us reach the unique needs of every child in South Dakota
- Use your unique voice and platform to create awareness and serve as an advocate for children in foster care
- Partner with us in writing stories, creating films, or be a part of a benefit concert, recruitment event, etc. to help us bring this issue to light
- Follow and share our stuff on social media and help spread the word
Every day we meet more individuals and families who are considering taking the leap to become foster parents. We know you probably have a lot of questions and would need more answers before committing. That’s normal.
Just don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from moving forward. Take the first step and contact the South Dakota Department of Social Services today by going to this link FosterOneSD.org/CommitToKnowMore and submitting your Commit To Know More Form. They will walk you through the process, help answer any of your questions along the way, and assist you in determining if becoming a foster parent is a fit for you.
Together we can give every child a face and a voice.
Together we can show each child that they are precious, seen, and worthy of belonging.
Will You Join Us?
South Dakota’s Kids Belong is the State Chapter to parent organization