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Letter: Recognize foster families this month

May is National Foster Care Month and Stevens County Human Services would like to take this opportunity to thank our child foster care families for the work they do. They open their homes, share their hearts, and give hope to children and families. Often foster care is needed during times of crisis, and foster care parents often play a vital role in helping children and families heal from the ordeal.

Foster parenting can be both a challenging and rewarding experience. Helping vulnerable children through difficult times can be a very gratifying experience. These youth need stable, loving care until they can either safely reunite with their families or establish other lifelong relationships. Foster care parents strive to offer the best care possible for children in need, not only during Foster Care Month, but on a day to day basis.

Each year, more than 400,000 American youth reside in foster care. Here in Stevens County, developing an adequate number of foster care homes to meet the varied backgrounds of children in crisis continues to be a need within our community.

For some families, opening their home to foster care can feel like too much of a commitment but would still like to help children in some way. For these families respite care can be the perfect fit. Respite care homes provide short term care ranging from a few hours to a few days a month. Children in need of respite care live at home with their families and respite care helps support the child’s continued placement at home. As with foster homes, there is always a local need for respite care homes.

Please take time this month to consider making an investment in a child’s future by becoming a foster or respite care home. For more information about becoming a respite home or a licensed foster parent, contact Stevens County Human Services at 320-208-6600.

If you know a family providing respite or foster care, thank them for making a difference in the life of a child in our community. Their hard work often goes unacknowledged, but is greatly appreciated by all those involved in that one child’s life.