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Foster parents needed to provide safe homes

With about 7,300 children and youth in foster care throughout Wisconsin, foster families play a critical role in the lives of children who need a temporary home. To highlight their efforts and bring awareness to the need for additional kind, responsible adults to serve as foster families, May has been proclaimed as Foster Care Month in Wisconsin.

Foster care provides a safe, loving environment to a child who has been removed from their home, because of safety concerns, special care or treatment needs not met, or other circumstances where parents or family are unable to care for them. Through the help of foster families, children have access to a caring, temporary place to call home, while their families make the necessary changes for the child to return to a safe environment.

“Foster families are some of our communities’ greatest unsung heroes, providing love and shelter during a family’s most challenging moment,” said Department of Children and Families (DCF) secretary Emilie Amundson. “They put their needs aside to ensure children receive the love and care they deserve and need. We can never say thank you enough for the selfless contributions they make for others.”

While staying “Safer at Home” through COVID-19, the department is encouraging communities, to show their support for foster and kinship families, by putting light blue hearts, ribbons or other decorations in their windows, doors or yards during May. By doing so, they will display their gratitude for the selfless work of foster families.

Individuals, businesses and organizations who decorate their spaces are encouraged to share their photos on social media, using the hashtag #FosterCareMonth and by tagging @WisDCF.

Additionally, the DCF is providing a one-time payment of up to $300 per child, to all licensed foster parents who had a documented placement in April, to recognize and support foster families during the current public health emergency. The additional payment will be available to cover allowable increased costs of food, childcare, supervision, additional time and cleaning supplies, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin is always in need of more loving and caring foster parents. If someone is interested in changing the life of a child through foster care, visit DCF’s website at dcf.