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Duluth's Lutheran Social Service raising awareness on need for foster parents

Updated: May 28, 2020 06:17 PM

May is national foster care month and Duluth's Lutheran Social Service(LSS) said there is a growing need for foster parents.

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LSS recently launched a new service in Duluth called therapeutic foster care.

Therapeutic foster care is a higher level of out of home care to children. It includes weekly support from a mental health professional and 24/7 support to foster families. Coordinator Kris Hanson says she sees a need in Duluth and has had several referrals already.

According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, on an average day, there were approximately 9,300 children and young adults in foster care last year due to parental drug abuse and child neglect.

Hanson said it is important to make sure kids are placed with the right families and has experience as a foster parent herself.

"Our experience as a family was really wonderful, it didn't come without challenges, but the kids were really fun. My children really enjoyed having the younger children as well as the teenagers and a couple of them played sports with our kids and they really became friends," said Hanson.

Hanson keeps in touch with some the kids she fostered, like Marqus Mickelson of Superior. He said he enjoyed the family dynamic and now has a family of his own.

"I had a great experience with Kris. They opened their family and their hearts to me and made a really big difference in my life and for that I'll forever be grateful," said Mickelson. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanson said they are taking precautions to keep families and kids safe while continuing to license new foster families. There are information sessions and trainings available online.

Hanson said they have a great need for families able to provide short-term respite care, foster sibling groups, school-aged children and older youth.

To learn more about the foster program, call 218-600-6996 or email kris.hanson@lssmn.org.

Additional information can be found here.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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