Become a CHS Foster or Adoptive Parent
We are with you every step of the way.
When you decide you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent, it can be confusing to know where to start or what you need to do next. When you choose to work with us, we help make the process as smooth as possible and guide you every step of the way.
All of the services we provide to help you become a foster or adoptive parent are provided at no cost to you.
Whether you decide you are interested in providing foster care or are interested in proceeding with adoption, the process to become a foster or adoptive parent follows the same initial steps. Many families decide over time what their journey will look like and how it might evolve.
Step 1 - Orientation Meeting
Contact us and we will schedule an orientation meeting with you. This meeting will help you understand how the South Dakota foster care system and our adoption process works while also exploring your options and identifying what your interests are. You will be able to ask any questions you may have and we will help you understand the needs of the children we serve.
This meeting does not commit you to becoming a foster or adoptive parent. It only suggest that you are interested in learning more and assess more closely whether foster care or adoption might be right for you or your family.
Step 2 - Training
All potential therapeutic foster and adoptive parents must attend training classes and complete a background screening. At this time, a home study is also completed. Training classes are a minimum of 40-hours. The training is designed to help you care for children with increased behavioral, emotional, or medical needs. The goal of this training model is to help you meet the protective, developmental, cultural, and permanency needs of a child who may be placed with you and help you succeed as a foster or adoptive parent. Additional training may be necessary.
Our training is intended to teach you how to help a child heal from their past trauma and abuse. We believe very strongly in creating a trauma-informed, nurturing environment in our foster-adoptive homes. You will learn how to be more than a placement, but rather to be a strong, safe, loving caregiver for these children.
Step 3 - Licensing
When you have successfully completed your training, background checks, and home study, you will become a licensed foster parent in the state of South Dakota. If your interest is in adoption, you will be eligible to begin that process.
Step 4 - Placement
Congratulations! You are now ready to care for a child in the South Dakota foster care system. During the placement process, we help match your personality and preferences with the child's needs. We typically don't place more than 2 children in a home because it is so important to have the time and energy to help these children heal. Also, you have a choice in who is placed with you. We will talk through this together and will never just bring a child to your home.
If your intention is adoption, you may choose to seek out providing foster care for children who are already available for adoption or you may choose to start by providing foster care for children who are a good match for you and in need of a temporary home. Some of these children become available for adoption and foster families are frequently the family chosen to adopt if it is an area of interest.
We can help!