Become A Foster Parent in South Dakota

Want To Explore Foster Parenting?

As you begin the journey to explore foster parenting, South Dakota Kids Belong will support you:

Adoptable kids

View kids in our state’s foster care system who are legally free for adoption.

connect with foster parents

Connect with other foster parents, experts and resources.

trauma aware

Become trauma aware and invite your support network to do the same.

foster friendly businesses

Connect with Foster Friendly Community businesses, faith communities and other organizations that are committed to supporting South Dakota’s kinship and foster families.

Let’s Connect

Foster Parent Requirements In South Dakota

South Dakota's Strong Families Together Foster Care Initiative
  • Stronger Families Together website is your best resource for information about becoming a kinship or foster parent in our state. Stronger Families Together is a call to action to recruit, prepare, and support foster and adoptive families based on the following principles:
  • All children deserve to grow up in a family where they are loved and protected.
  • Foster families are needed to care for children and support their families when they are experiencing challenges that cause the children to be unsafe.
  • Encouragement, support, and services are needed for parents, kinship families, foster families, and adoptive families to provide the best care possible for children.
  • Families are needed to provide children a safe, stable, and permanent forever family if they cannot return home.

Here are some key requirements to become a foster parent

  • Minimum age of 21
  • Demonstrate financial stability.
  • Housing must meet physical-safety standards (e.g., fire extinguishers, adequate bedroom space, reliable transportation), but there is no requirement of home ownership or size of home.
  • Demonstrate home stability.
  • To ensure the safety of children in foster care, potential foster families are screened for past criminal activity. Convictions are not necessarily disqualifying, but must go through a review process.

Note: This link will take you to South Dakota Department of Social Services. Be sure you submitted our connect form (above) before leaving South Dakota Kids Belong.

Two Reliable Paths To Become A Certified Foster Parent in South Dakota

Basic Level Foster Care

The first option is to work through South Dakota Department of Social Services.

Therapeutic Foster Care

You also may work with an approved private provider, including therapeutic licensing agencies designated by region. For more information visit Stronger Families Together

Pierre Area: Capital Area Counseling (60-mile radius) 605.224.5811

Rapid City and Sioux Falls (60-mi radius):

Children’s Home Society 605-334-6004

Lutheran Social Services  605-444.7500

Tribal Foster Care Programs

  • Oglala Sioux Tribe Child Protection Program; 605.867.5752
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Child Protection Program; 701.854.3431
  • Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Child Protection Program; 605.698.3992
  • Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Child Protection Program; 605.997.5055
  • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe ICWA Program; 605.245.2581

Fostering Well Means Caring For Parents As Well As Kids

his is the story of Richard and Rachel. They had been living a life filled with addiction. Their addiction stemmed from unhealthy coping of their own childhood trauma. They became a crutch to each other keeping the other stuck in the cycle of addition.

Their son was removed from them as result of their addiction and sent to live with foster parents. It seemed as if this case was headed toward adoption.

But things started to change for Rachel and Richard. Thanks to the court-ordered fit program and their personal commitments to working toward recovery they started to see they could be healthy, safe and loving parents to their little boy.

Richard and Rachel started meeting milestones at a record rate and became a source of inspiration to others in the program with them. The support of their son’s foster parents was a key piece of helping to motivate them. The foster parents encouraged them during visits and even attended their fit court graduation.

After meeting the goals set by the court Rachel and Richard were reunited with their son. Richard even helped with a new curriculum for people in fit court. A few years ago this family moved closer to family. 

Today they are active in their church and community, Richard shares his testimony every chance he gets, and best of all, their son is now thriving, surrounded by his large, loving family.

Got Questions?

Our team is standing by to help.

Use our connect form (above) or email State Director Kristi Woolsey.

What It Means To Be Trauma Aware And Why It Can Be Your Superpower

When you say yes to becoming a foster parent, you are saying yes to standing in the gap with kids during one of the most traumatic and vulnerable moments in their young lives.

Just as first-responders cannot effectively help others without properly equipping themselves, your ability to serve kids well in foster care depends in part on your awareness of trauma and its effects on kids.

Your trauma awareness can serve as a superpower in that it helps you see through walls to view the larger picture of what’s happening in and around the child or children in your care. That bigger picture can help guide your decisions and responses in ways that create safety, while providing much-needed support and encouragement.

Our America’s Kids Belong family offers a free, one-hour trauma awareness course to help you – and the people you do life with – prepare a strong and healthy support system for kids you care for as a foster parent.

South Dakota Foster Families Share Their Stories

Meet Jared and Keli Wilson, and some other South Dakota foster and biological parents, as they share their experiences.

SD_Foster Parent Story The Wilsons