SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A portion of Tuesday’s State of the State address focused on promoting stronger families, including kids in foster care.
The Closet in Sioux Falls is part of The Foster Network, clothing kids in foster care from head to toe.
“Last year was a record-setting year for us. We served over 700 kids,” The Closet Director of Operations Holly Christensen said. “Nearly doubled what we served the year before,” Christensen added.
And the need for donations, volunteers, and new foster families will only grow in 2023.
“More foster families means less kiddos in every home, I feel like, and so that means healthier kids, better attachments, better relationships, healthier families,” The Closet volunteer Chelsea Jorgensen said.
The topic of family took center stage on day one of the Legislative session.
“Two years ago, I launched the Stronger Families Together initiative,” Governor Kristi Noem said.
As part of Tuesday’s State of the State address, Governor Kristi Noem unveiled the Stronger Families Scholarship proposal.
“Any child in the foster care system will have the opportunity to receive up to $4,000 in a scholarship to help them achieve their full potential, from Kindergarten through 12th grade. This money can be used to pay for tuition at a private school, pay for tutoring or teaching services, purchase curriculum, pay for standardized tests or AP exams and more help,” Noem said.
“A lot of them just need extra,” Jorgensen said.
Chelsea Jorgensen has adopted four kids who entered her home through foster care. She has an 8-year-old son who currently works with a tutor on reading skills.
“Makes him more confident in how he’s doing at school, academically, which makes him more confident socially which makes him make better choices. It’s all connected,” Jorgensen said.
She says it also costs a pretty penny and is all for helping foster families through scholarships.
Tuesday’s speech also focused on adoption and paid family leave.
If you’d like to volunteer your time or donate to The Closet, click HERE. The Closet’s biggest need is Boys Winter Clothing sizes 8 to 14.