The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services serves Minnesotans in all 87 counties and 11 tribes. More than one million Minnesotans receive some sort of help from our department. Among these are our grandparents, neighbors, friends, relatives and classmates.
Many of the people we serve only need assistance for a short period of time, while others need longer-term assistance. At DHS our goal is to meet people where they are at, and focus on outcomes to improve life situations, and to get people the help they need so they can reach their full potential.
Here is one of their stories. Refresh this page to read more stories.
“I am good and I have potential. I am worth it and I can be loved.”
That was the fundamental message for all those considering adopting children from the foster care system that keynote presenter Bobby Noreen, 18, shared at the 15th annual Celebrate Adoption: A Circus of the Heart event, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its county, and private and nonprofit adoption agency partners in November. The event honored the 540 children adopted from the foster care system last year and provided information to those considering adoption.
In his videotaped presentation, Noreen spoke of struggles, multiple placements in foster care, and his eventual adoption at age 14. “Growing up in foster care is hard,” he said. “By the time I was 12, I convinced myself I was going to age out of the foster care system.”
Currently, more than 800 children are under state guardianship in Minnesota’s foster care system. Of those, 355, including siblings and older youth like Noreen, are in need of adopted families immediately. He said when he first met his now adoptive parents, he laughed and joked with them but thought, “Just another couple looking for a kid, but not a kid like me.”
But they were and they adopted him. “It is a good feeling to know they (his family) are there for me no matter what. Every time I pushed and tested them, they would say, ‘Sorry, you’re stuck with us.’ In the last four years, my parents have supported me in everything.”
Over the last few years, Noreen lettered in football, wrestling and track, won awards and has held a job since he was 16. A high school graduate, he now attends technical college.
He noted that some of his friends from previous foster homes and group homes have been waiting for families for years. He urged those in attendance to “Take a chance on a waiting child.”
For more information about adopting children under state guardianship, contact your county social service agency or visit the Minnesota Adoption Resource Network’s website, www.mnadopt.org, or call 612-861-7115 or 866-303-6276.