Governor Parson signed a proclamation designating May Foster Care Month in Missouri to recognize the vital role of foster parents and their support of children who have been abused or neglected.
“I want to thank those thousands of noble Missouri foster parents who are an important part of the Missouri child welfare team, providing a safe and caring home for children whose families are temporarily unable to care for them,” Governor Parson said. “More often than not, it is the child’s relative or someone the child knows that steps up to provide foster care. These dedicated relatives and licensed foster parents help our most vulnerable children get through the darkest moment of their young lives, to heal and become stronger.”
Nearly 14,000 children and youth are in Missouri foster care. Foster parents can also be an important support to the child’s parents when family reunification is the goal.
Throughout COVID-19, foster parents have remained steadfast in their commitment to children and in fact, some Missourians became foster parents during the past year. However, there is always a need for more foster families, especially for older youth or sibling groups. When a community has more foster families, it means it is more likely a child can remain close to the life, community, school, friends, and people they know and be matched with a family that can best serve the child’s needs.
During COVID-19, the Department of Social Services Children’s Division introduced on-demand foster care trainings to give a potential foster parent greater access, ease, and flexibility to start and complete the required coursework.
You could potentially become a foster parent if you:
• Are at least 21 years of age
• Complete a child abuse/neglect check and criminal record check including fingerprints
• Are in good health, both physically and mentally
• Have a stable income
• Are willing to participate in and complete a free training and assessment process
• Are willing to voice perspectives and concerns as part of a professional team
• Are willing to partner with the child's family