Love, kind, teaching, challenging, family, saints, fulfilling, amazing, heartwarming, and an adventure are all wording foster parents use to describe Child Foster Care. The month of May was Foster Parent Appreciation Month. Being a foster parent is a calling not all are able to do, but of the homes we do have we greatly appreciate you!

Currently on the Iron Range, we have about 140 child foster care homes made up of relatives and open homes. What is the difference between a relative foster home and an open foster home, you ask….well I have the answer for you!

A relative foster home is a family that has had a significant relationship with a child prior to the child needing placement in foster care. The relative could be a blood relative, or it could be a teacher, a neighbor, a best friends’ parents, a church member, etc. An open foster home is a family that is willing to take a child that does not have a significant relationship with the child prior to placement.

To become a licensed foster care provider, you will have training hours to complete (in-person and DVD videos to watch), lots of paperwork, pass a background study and fingerprinting, and complete a home study assessment. Being a foster parent is very rewarding and very challenging at the same time. I’ve heard many of our foster parents state that even during those difficult and challenging times, the good times always outweighs them.

In St. Louis County we have some of the best foster care providers that go above and beyond to care for children and ensure visits/contact is taking place with their families! Our foster parents also support children reunifying with their parents. We can’t thank our foster parents enough for what they do! They open their homes and their hearts to children in need.

St. Louis County is always looking for more people interested in learning about foster care as well as being willing to open up their homes to welcome children in. Currently, our greatest need for foster children and youth placements on the Iron Range are: teenagers, children/youth that have difficult behaviors, and large sibling groups. We are always accepting applications as well for people interested in young children and school agers. If you are interested in learning more about being a foster parent please go to: www.stlouiscountymn.gov/childfostercare. Also, we recently launched a new system so you can apply to be a foster parent all online! The new system is called BINTI and can be found on our website: www.stlouiscountymn.gov/childfostercare.

Thank you again to all our wonderful and caring foster parents that have been willing to open their homes and hearts to help children in need. We can never thank you enough for everything you do!

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