Child Foster Care
Watch Foster Care videos featuring the perspectives of current foster parents and St. Louis County staff.
Children thrive best in their families. We work to preserve families to prevent out-of-home placement whenever possible. Most often foster care is temporary and children are reunited with their parents within a short time.
In Minnesota, when children must enter foster care, we first seek relatives to care for their children. Preserving relationships with family members is crucial to a child’s sense of safety and well-being. When relatives are not available, county social services recruits community members to become foster families. In Minnesota, more than 70 percent of children in out-of-home placement are in a home setting.
How Foster Care Helps
Foster Care provides a safe place for children who cannot live with their family, or on their own. Children enter foster care because of neglect, abuse, a family crisis, or the child's own needs. Foster parents help by providing stability, affection, consistency, and nurturing.
Foster Care is not meant to be forever. It is a temporary living situation, and children typically continue to visit their own families until they may be reunited. While the child is out of the home, St Louis County Public Health & Human Services works to provide services so the child can return to his/her parent(s). In most situations foster families will have some contact with the child’s family.
Foster parents help children and their families
Children need to feel safe and nurtured in order to learn and grow. Foster parents provide for the child’s educational, health, cultural and social needs. Foster parents bring children to doctor appointments, participate in the child’s education and attend cultural events in the community. Of approximately 11,300 children in out-of-home placements in St. Louis County in 2010, foster families provided temporary care to 7,900 of them. Approximately 78 percent of children in out-of-home care are reunited with their birth parents or find permanency with relatives.
Foster Care enables children to:
• Remain in their communities
• Remain close to their siblings, other family members and friends
• Attend the same schools, team events, cultural and social activities.
Foster families play a critical role. Foster families may provide:
• Temporary, short-term care for children in crisis.
• Longer term care as families work through the reunification process. When reunification is not possible, foster families sometimes make a permanent commitment to their foster children.
• Respite care for children whose families may need a short break from their daily routine.