NEWSBRIEF: Foster parents needed

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is seeking foster parents for children and youth in need. If you have a special heart for children, consider becoming a foster parent.

Changes in child welfare practices and the rise of parental drug abuse have contributed to the increased need for foster families. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, on an average day there were approximately 10,050 children in foster care in Minnesota in 2018, up from 9,900 the previous year.

 Children in foster care have experienced trauma. They need a safe home and supportive adult relationships to succeed, a key factor that helps children develop resilience, according to Harvard University researchers.

“Foster parents provide that stable, supportive home environment, teach life skills and model positive relationships with others. They recognize that children come from all different backgrounds and may have been raised with different values,” explained Tim Ollhoff, LSS Therapeutic Foster Care program director.

Ollhoff added that children need foster parents who can take time to listen, help them sort through problems and establish positive relationships in the family and community. Foster parents can be single or married. Following are some of the characteristics of foster parents that serve children and youth best, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services: Foster parents are flexible and can adapt to changing situations, show love and care for children despite behavioral challenges, are able to discipline consistently and with patience, and have a healthy sense of humor.

LSS Therapeutic Foster Care is a highly supportive, trauma-informed service that provides nurturing foster homes with therapeutic supports geared to the specific needs of each child. If you would like to provide stability and support to a foster child or sibling group, please contact Twin Cities area LSS Foster Care Coordinator Brianna Roskam at 612-879-5345. You can find more information on fostering with LSS Therapeutic foster care services at fostercaremn.org. Lutheran Social Service will also offer an information session on foster care on Thursday, May 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville. For comprehensive information about the work of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, visit www.lssmn.org.

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