SCDSS Recognizes May As Foster Care Awareness Month

May 1, 2023 –The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) recognizes May as Foster Care Awareness Month to highlight the important role that kinship caregivers, foster parents, and relatives 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 in South Carolina.
This year’s National Foster Care Awareness Month theme is “Strengthening Minds. Uplifting Families.” It stresses the need to take a holistic and culturally responsive approach to supporting the mental health needs of those involved with child welfare.
When children and youth cannot remain safely in their own home, foster parents provide a safe, nurturing environment while in foster care. As of May 1, the online SCDSS Foster Care Dashboard shows there are 3767 children and youth currently in foster care in South Carolina.
“Foster parents are much more than just temporary caregivers,” said Michael Leach, DSS State Director. “They answer the call day or night to step up in times of need, serving as a bridge by supporting both children and parents on a road that will hopefully lead to reunification. Relative and kinship caregivers help maintain familial bonds and a sense of normalcy during what can be a tumultuous time. The need is great for foster parents in this state, especially for those that are willing to open their homes and their hearts for teenagers and sibling groups, as foster parents are resilient and continuously step up whenever they are called upon.”
South Carolina needs additional family-like homes so that whenever possible so that 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 continues to recruit foster parents year-round, not just in May, as the needs for the agency and the children and youth in foster care constantly change.
To become a foster parent or to learn more about ways to support foster parents in your community, visit or call (888) 828-3555. You can also learn more by texting “DSS” to 211211.

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