The need for foster parents increases in South Dakota
The shortage of foster parents can be found across the state. Now the greatest need is for sibling groups, teenagers, Native American children, and children with medical needs.
"I always saw myself as having, I was going to have six kids," Pamela Jacobsen, a former foster parent, said. "And just a big family and life just turned out, where I had one daughter. And I just had so much love in my heart to share, and that's why I started to do it."
Pamela Jacobsen has been a foster parent for many years and took care of 15 children. She still keeps in touch with many of them.
Right now, South Dakota is in need of more families willing to open their homes.
Doug Bartel is the lead pastor of Hillcrest Church which has a foster care program and knows how difficult the decision is to become a foster parent.
"It's a big commitment for people to enter into the foster care program," he said. "So, with the need being greater it's really hard already to find families that are ready to or feel like they're capable to do foster care. But, that's just part of the challenge of it."
Bartel believes the extensive training is one hurdle preventing families from becoming foster parents. He feels that if things were explained better more parents would want to help.
Every organization has a different way of training foster parents. But, Jacobsen feels the training is worth it. She ended up adopting her son, Lebaron and wants to encourage other families to consider the option.
"There's no reason not to," she said. "At least you're giving them a role model, you're just doing the best you can, and you'll see that. I know I am going to cry, but I know that they are going to give you a lot more than you'll give them."
If you want to become a foster parent or learn more information, you can visit this website: http://fosteronesd.org/.