This past week the LSS Adoption and Foster Care programs went through the annual process of being licensed as a Child Placement Agency in South Dakota. Kevin, the Licensing Specialist from Department of Social Services – Child Protection Services, made the trek out to the Rapid City LSS location on a Monday and traveled back to be in Sioux Falls on Wednesday. He reviewed several files of Foster Children, Foster Families, Adoptive Families and Pregnancy Counseling clients to ensure LSS maintains compliance in providing high quality services to clients. Although Kevin is not scary and, in fact, is quite helpful, there is always a little anxiety when it is time to be reviewed! At the end of two days we found out that indeed LSS again passed licensing another year. We did so in pretty good shape -thanks to great and dedicated staff!
As I was putting away files after Kevin left I started to think about how many times LSS had been through the licensing process as a Child Placement Agency. We were the first agency in the state of South Dakota to be licensed as a Child Placing Agency in 1939. Wow – 74 years of reviews and of working together with the state of South Dakota! During that time LSS has grown a great deal from the original mission of assisting persons experiencing unplanned pregnancies and helping families grow through adoption – just in child placing services alone. In 1969, LSS started a Specialized Foster Care program for children who had developmental delays, physical challenges and medical needs. In 1997, LSS worked with the Department of Social Services to establish a Treatment Foster Care Program for children and youth with behavioral, emotional and social needs. It is awesome to think of how many lives we have been able to touch over these many years – birth families, adoptive families, children, foster families. What a blessing to be part of such a wonderful history!
Submitted by Dede Mogck, Director of Adoption and Foster Care Programs