South Dakota Kids Belong expands west to help children in need

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 4:57 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:06 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - An organization spreading awareness about the need for foster care families in South Dakota expanded Tuesday.

The South Dakota Kids Belong chapter is expanding its mission to Pennington County, and more specifically Rapid City, to encourage more people to become foster parents for children in need.

Nationally, there are far more children than there are foster families.

The president of the South Dakota Kids Belong, Damen Woolsey, said their organization tries to make it easier for people to take on extra children.

”Through that, we started creating innovation programs, collective impact with government, faith, and business owners to all come together and see enough foster and adoptive families throughout South Dakota,” said Woolsey.

Katlin Young is the Pennington County and Rapid City community catalyst for South Dakota Kids Belong.

His job is to find businesses that are willing to become foster friendly to make it easier for families to afford to eat out or do activities together.

He also goes into communities to find people to help support new foster families and the work and finances that come with it.

“These are our kids in our communities and it’s a collective effort and a collective impact effort. So, it’s super exciting to watch foster parents say ‘yes’ so the kids find permanency. We’re so grateful for the foster parents we do have that said ‘yes, we’ll be a forever home for a kid,’” said Young.

To learn more about South Dakota Kids Belong and how you can help, visit: https://americaskidsbelong.org/states/sd/