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Thornwell Aims to Recruit New Foster Families Across South Carolina During Foster Care Awareness Month

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Clinton, SC – April 29, 2024 – Thornwell, a nonprofit organization committed to serving children and families in need across South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, is spearheading new initiatives this May during Foster Care Awareness Month aimed at recruiting foster families across the Palmetto state. As of April 26, 2024, 3429 children are in South Carolina’s foster care system. There are not nearly enough licensed foster homes to welcome them in. Thornwell is on a mission to change that. 

“Foster Care Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness of issues related to foster care and those impacted by abuse and neglect within our communities,” says Kaley Lindquist, Thornwell’s Program Marketing and Recruitment Specialist and a current foster parent herself. “Currently, there are not enough licensed foster homes to care for children in nearly every South Carolina County, and this is a crisis.”

According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the latest numbers show South Carolina needs 1719 new family-like placements for children and youth ages 0-18. Due to the lack of available foster homes, children may wait long hours in DSS offices, be placed hours away from home, and are likely to be separated from siblings. The greatest need for new foster parents is for those who are willing to foster teens and large sibling groups. 60% of children in South Carolina foster care are aged 7-17.  

“Foster care is hard and holy work, but it doesn’t take a superhero,” says Lindquist. “It takes an individual (age 21+) or a family willing to make space for a child or teen in their heart and home. Foster parents come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. You don’t have to be a perfect parent or have any prior parenting experience to be a great foster parent.” 

During May, Thornwell is hosting five (5) Foster Parent Information Sessions across the state and virtually to address the urgent and desperate need for more foster parents in the Upstate, Midlands, and Pee Dee regions. During these sessions, Thornwell staff and local foster parents will share stories of inspiration, detail the current foster care crisis in the Midlands, and provide resources and opportunities to get involved. Those dates and locations are:

  • May 2 | Irmo Branch Library, Columbia | 11 AM and 6 PM
  • May 13 | First Presbyterian Church, Myrtle Beach | 11 AM
  • May 14 | Horry County Memorial Library, Myrtle Beach | 11 AM
  • May 21 | Virtual via ZOOM | 7 PM

For more details and/or to sign up for the virtual information session, visit https://thornwell.org/foster-care-awareness-month/

Media Contact:  
Kaley Lindquist 
Program Marketing and Recruitment Specialist 
864-923-8446  
klindquist@thornwell.org 

About Thornwell  
Since 1875, Thornwell has been a leading expert in child and family well-being in South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. As its 148-year history demonstrates, Thornwell has worked to better the lives of countless children and families. Thornwell addresses the well-being of children not as a singular event but as a comprehensive, ongoing cycle of services and support designed to help children and families, no matter what stage of life they’re in. In 2023, Thornwell was named one of the “Best Places to Work in South Carolina” by SCBiz News and Best Companies Group. Thornwell is a Platinum award recipient for financial transparency by Candid and a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator. Thornwell believes in maintaining the highest levels of financial transparency and accountability.  Learn more about Thornwell and its services for children and families at https://thornwell.org. 

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