Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 10, 2010

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

Change Lives – Become a Foster Parent

May is Foster Parent Recognition Month

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:

Lincoln Every year, hundreds of dedicated foster parents open their hearts and homes to children with special needs, teenagers, or brothers and sisters who want to stay together.

“I want to personally thank all of these wonderful unsung heroes,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Our foster families believe in creating brighter futures for children, and they can make a difference that lasts a lifetime.”

Nebraska has over 3,900 foster families that care for approximately 3,000 children and youth whose own families were in crisis and unable to provide for their essential needs.

Foster parents are part of a team that helps reunite children and their parents and focuses on keeping families together whenever possible. Recent changes to the child welfare and juvenile services system are geared to having more children stay in their homes and to also providing supports that can ensure safety and strengthen the family even if the child must enter foster care. When it is not possible to get the family back together, the goal becomes finding a permanent family for the child through adoption or guardianship.

“I can’t thank foster parents enough for what they do for children,” Reckling said. “They are truly special people.”

There’s an ongoing need for foster parents. A foster parent needs to be someone who is flexible, loving and caring and who can provide structure and consistency for children in their home.

Reckling encouraged anyone who’s interested in helping children grow and develop to call 1-800-7PARENT to learn more about becoming a foster parent.

Additional information on foster care or becoming a foster parent can be found at these web sites: or