With more children in the foster care system, the need for foster parents is great. The number of children in foster care on an average day increased by 51 percent from almost 6,200 in 2013 to almost 9,400 in 2016. The growing numbers of children in the child protection system are due, in part, to increased awareness about child protection issues, changes in how reports are reviewed, a growing opioid crisis, and children staying in care longer. All of these factors have led to an increased number of foster children.
During May, Foster Care Month, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and partners will host events to thank foster parents for all they do and to raise awareness of the need for foster parents for the growing number of children in out-of-home care. Events include:
- Celebrating Foster Families with the St. Paul Saints, May 15 at 7:05 p.m. at CHS Field in St. Paul. The St. Paul Saints donated tickets to foster families to attend the Saints vs. Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks game. In addition to posting scoreboard messages and making public address announcements, the Saints will recognize five foster parents on the field in a pre-game ceremony and first pitch. Foster families can register for prize drawings, compliments of the Saints, during the game. Foster care experts will be on hand to answer questions about foster care at an information table outside the main entrance. The department, as well as Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties, are hosting the event.
- Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Rally, hosted by Connections to Independence and Foster Alum of Minnesota, and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, on May 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Sabathani Community Center in Minneapolis. Human Services Assistant Commissioner Jim Koppel will welcome attendees and talk about the need for foster and adoptive families, and the supports available to them. Foster youth will share stories through performances throughout the day. Foster care and adoption experts will be on hand to provide information to those interested in learning more.
“Foster parents take in children who may have significant needs, and provide them with the stability, guidance and care they need each and every day,” Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said. “We are thankful for all they do, and these events are one way to recognize and appreciate them. At the same time, we hope when people hear about foster care, they take the time to learn more about it from the experts on hand, and consider it for their families. Children throughout Minnesota need them.”
More information about foster care, including information about becoming a foster parent, is on the DHS website