Newsroom > DHHS News Release


May 6, 2008

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287 or


Change a Lifetime for a Child in Foster Care

May is National Foster Care Month

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:


Lincoln – Over 3,000 Nebraska children are in foster care because their own families are in crisis and can’t provide for their well being due to neglect, abuse and abandonment. Foster Care Month celebrates the difference foster parents make in the lives of children, and encourages people to learn more about foster care.

"You can change a lifetime for a young person by becoming a foster parent," said Todd Landry, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services. "Our youth in foster care need and deserve positive relationships with caring adults. "

In 2007, Nebraska had an average of 2,267 licensed foster homes and 1,848 approved foster homes (usually relative placements), and more are needed every day.

Foster families help brothers and sisters remain together and have made a commitment to ensure that all children have the opportunity for healthy growth and development. A foster parent can be anybody who is flexible and caring and who can provide structure and consistency for children in their home, according to Landry.

"Each May, we honor the families who take care of our foster children and celebrate the difference they make in the lives of so many children," Landry said. "I’d like to encourage people to call 1-800-7PARENT to learn more about becoming a foster parent."

There are four ways to provide foster care:

  • Respite Care: Providing care for a child so that the foster parent(s) can take a vacation or break.
  • Emergency Foster Care: Providing care for children in crisis. You would be available for a child on a 24-hour basis with no prior notice. The care can last a few hours to a maximum of 30 days.
  • Foster Care: Providing temporary care until the child is placed back with their parent or another permanent living situation is located.
  • Foster-Adopt: Providing a foster home to a child that you would adopt if the child became legally free for adoption.

More information can be found by going to