May is National Foster Care Awareness Month

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 12:18 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (RELEASE) -Governor Henry McMaster has declared the month of May as Foster Care Awareness Month in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Social Services wants to recognize the important role that foster parents, relatives and kinship caregivers play in working together with families to achieve reunification for children and youth in foster care. Their collaborative efforts are essential in helping to strengthen families.

Seeking to bring attention to the important role that relative and kinship caregivers play in the child and family well-being system, this year’s national foster care awareness theme is “Relative and Kin Connections: Keeping Families Strong.”

When children cannot remain safely in their own home, foster parents who open their hearts and homes to foster children provide a vital service. As of May 1, the SCDSS Foster Care Dashboard shows more than 4,000 children are currently in foster care in South Carolina.

“The success of Foster Care Awareness Month depends on efforts by all of us in the child serving system to engage the community and raise awareness about the need to invest in the lives of children and youth, especially teenagers and sibling groups,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “The most successful foster parents are those who embrace their role and answer the call to serve as temporary caregivers, supporting both the children and the parents, towards reunification.”

South Carolina needs additional family-like homes so that whenever possible, children and youth can remain in their counties of origin, sibling groups can stay together, and teens can be cared for in the home of a loving family. SCDSS is continuing the licensing process for families who have expressed an interest in fostering. The process to become a licensed foster parent in South Carolina requires criminal and central registry background checks, home inspections, and trainings along with monthly follow ups from the agency.

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