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Meeting Tuesday for prospective foster parents

WILLMAR — Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota needs more foster parents for children and youth in Kandiyohi, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties.

Host families are also needed for homeless youth.

An informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar for prospective parents who are interested in learning more about becoming a foster or host parent.

The need for foster care homes is especially great in Willmar, according to Brooke Rustad, foster care coordinator for the LSS office in Willmar, which covers a seven-county area.

LSS currently has four foster homes in Willmar and needs at least five more, she said.

Because the LSS program is classified as “therapeutic” foster care that comes with additional training, supervision and support for foster parents, it is slightly different that county foster care, said Rustad.

LSS foster care includes long term care, concurrent care — where parents are willing to adopt children, respite care — which could last a couple days or a couple weeks, and short-term care that’s up to six months.

Rustad said LSS has “a lot of excellent foster care parents,” including some who’ve been doing it for 30 years and some who were licensed this spring.

She said there is a need for more homes in western Minnesota.

She said foster parents find it “very rewarding” to provide a “safe home” and to see kids after they’ve left foster care.

LSS is also looking for host homes to provide temporary shelter for homeless youth. Host families would typically house youth for up to 21 days.

For more information about LSS being a foster parent or host family call Brooke Rustad at 320-235-5411.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750