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Foster Care FAQs

LSS Answers All Your Questions About Foster Care & Resource Parenting

Fostering is a big step. Start by learning about how to become a foster parent in South Dakota. LSS takes the placement of children seriously and we help adoptive families determine if it is right for them. There are a lot of reasons to consider and we are here to answer all the questions.

Who are foster care families?

Foster families, or resource parents, are people who enjoy parenting and who are willing to share their homes, time, energy and love with children who are separated from their families.

Is there a cost to be a resource parent?

There is no monetary cost. Foster parents are reimbursed for room, board and level of care. However, there is a commitment of your time for training and care for the children.

Are you a part of the foster care placement process?

Through the training and home study process, a social worker will assist you in identifying your strengths as a foster family to match those with the needs of a potential foster child. At the time of referral, the resource parents receive information on the child to determine if he/she is a child they could provide care.

What is the role of the LSS social worker in the foster care placement?

The social workers at LSS are responsible for:

  • Training
  • Licensing
  • Presenting referrals to resource parents
  • Supervising the foster care placements
  • Coordinating services for the foster child
  • Developing a treatment plan for the child in conjunction with the foster parent, child, parent/legal guardian
  • Ensuring you receive support services
How are the child's medical expenses handled?

In the majority of situations, Medicaid covers medical, dental and visual needs of the foster children. The foster family is not responsible for a foster child's medical expenses.

What is the foster parent's role in working with the child's birth parents?

The LSS social worker, the parents and the legal guardian determine the amount of contact and involvement with the birth family.

What are the qualifications to be a resource parent?

All resource parents must be at least 21 years of age, be able to pass the necessary background checks, and be able to meet their financial obligations independent of the foster care reimbursement. LSS has a home safety checklist to ensure all safety standards are met throughout the home.

What are the agency expectations of resource parents?

We provide an abundance of training such as attachment, understanding the effects of trauma, adverse childhood experiences, and de-escalation techniques. Our expectation is that resource parents rely on training and the treatment team to manage difficult situations as they arise.

Can I choose the age of the foster child?

Our resource parents are active participants in the referral process. During the licensing process, we work with each family to identify the ideal placement parameters including children’s chronological age, developmental age and needs. We develop a relationship with each resource family to understand which children will thrive in their home.

How long will the foster child be in my home?

The length of time a child remains in the resource home varies greatly, depending on the status of their case. During the referral process, we can generally anticipate the length of placement. We offer anything from short term or emergency care to long term foster care. If the anticipated length of placement is unknown at the time of the referral, we prepare resource parents to anticipate the child(ren) to remain in the home for approximately one year.

I am a single person. Can I become a resource parent?


What type of support do foster parents receive?

Our resource parents receive 24/7 support from the LSS team! We celebrate successes and work through challenges together. We provide ongoing training opportunities for our families and encourage networking for families to build their support network.

Do foster children require their own bedroom?

Not necessarily. There are bedroom guidelines that we discuss with each family regarding who can share a room.

Can I adopt my foster child?

It is possible. The primary goal of foster care is reunification. If reunification is not an option, placing agencies can be considered as an adoptive resource if they choose.

Can the foster child go on vacation with my foster family?

Yes, it is encouraged to include foster children in all family activities. Depending on the destination and length of vacation, the resource parents will work with their LSS social worker to complete the necessary documentation and seek approval from the placing agency.

What is the first step in becoming a resource parent in South Dakota?

The first step is to contact us. We encourage anyone interested in becoming a resource family to schedule an initial meeting with our highly qualified and experienced foster care professionals. The LSS team provides the information to help families make a decision that is right for them. We invite you to inquire about being a foster parent to take that next step.