Children need caring foster and adoptive families

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

There’s an urgent need for child foster families – and adoptive homes as well. In 2022, 11,235 children in Minnesota experienced out-of-home care.  For children who left out-of-home placement, 20 percent were adopted by families, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  

Keatha and Dan McLeod, who knew of the great need to provide a safe, healing home for children, served as foster parents for 20 years. 

“This is an incredibly powerful way to impact a child’s life as they come into your home as a scared child, not knowing what’s going to happen to them, you can provide a safe space that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” Keatha said.

The McLeods, who have three biological children, also adopted five children with special needs from foster care. “Our kids give us as much or more than what we can give them,” Keatha said. “They have taught us and continue to teach us even as into adulthood. It's a journey we have taken that we have never regretted.”

If you’ve ever wondered about fostering children or adopting children from foster care, here’s what the McLeods want you to know:

  • All kids deserve to be part of a safe, loving family. Children grow and learn when they feel secure.
  • Be ready to care for children with special needs. While children may have mental health, developmental or physical challenges, a wealth of resources are available to support families and help children succeed.
  • It takes more than love. Children come from a space of hurt. Time, patience, and intention are needed to understand a child’s unique situation and provide support they need to thrive.
  • Openness with biological family members, when that’s possible, provides opportunities for children to connect with their roots and enrich their lives. 
  • Financial assistance is available to care for foster youth and support children after adoption. There is also free access to college for Minnesota young adults who spent time in care.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and its partner organization, Children’s Home Society of Minnesota, have been working with families for over a century to equip them with the education and support they need to welcome children into their homes and lives through foster care and adoption. For families who want to provide permanence for children in foster care, there is little-to-no cost for adoption and there is support available before, during and after placement. 

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