Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2016

Contact Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or
(cell) 402-450-7318, or

Foster Parents Recognized in May;
Others Encouraged to Apply

Lincoln – While foster parents are recognized in May during National Foster Care Month for providing safe, compassionate and nurturing homes, other Nebraskans are encouraged to consider helping children and youth by becoming foster parents.

Courtney Phillips, CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), said foster parents play a vital role in providing a healthy family environment for children and youth who are removed from their family.

“Families are the foundation of our communities and our state,” Phillips said. “We all are strong when families are strong. That’s why we thank Nebraska’s foster parents for their unselfishness in helping children and their families move toward reunification.”

“Our first priority is for families to remain together whenever possible, and receiving the services and supports to make them strong,” said Doug Weinberg, director of Children and Family Services. “Oftentimes that isn’t possible and foster families fill that role. We applaud Nebraska’s foster parents for all they do. We also invite those thinking about becoming a foster parent to learn more about it.”

That starts by calling the Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association at 1-800-7PARENT (1-800-772-7368), which is funded by DHHS. Felicia Nelsen, executive director, said that when a person calls, they can ask questions about the role of a foster parent and discuss their preferred gender and age of a child, and their interests.

“We receive a lot of inquiries and we encourage people to call,” Nelsen said. “Every child has different needs and it’s important that we have foster care options that will best fit their needs.”

She explained the importance of working with the child’s family as well so they can reunify to a safe and loving home. National Foster Care Month was created to recognize the love and support foster parents provide.

In those instances where reunification isn’t possible, foster parents also may have the opportunity to provide permanency through adoption or guardianship.

“Across our state we see the positive influence foster parents have on the lives of children and families,” Weinberg said. “The children in our care have specific needs and foster parents can help them. During May we thank foster parents for stepping up to make the lives of these children better.”