November 26, 2013

Social services: HELP!

By April Baumgarten

Amidst a growing need for foster care, Dakota Central Social Services officials are asking for help.
“Our need for foster homes historically has been fairly small because there is so much family,” child welfare supervisor Dan Foster said. “It’s a different day and a different time.”
DCSS, which serves Mercer, McLean, Oliver and Sheridan counties, has seen a surge in how many children need foster care. The group hopes individuals and families will consider taking on the responsibility of becoming a foster parent.
“We need help now. We really do,” he said. “In the last six months I have started to panic a little bit because we are getting more calls for kids that need placement. We just don’t have homes for them.”
An oil boom in western North Dakota has brought more people to the area, Foster said. With more people comes more needs and services, and DCSS is no exception. The child welfare supervisor said he started feeling the need about two years ago, but it didn’t hit hard until this spring.
“It’s not just transient people,” he said.

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