The 25 active foster care families and others on the way in Wadena County are being recognized for their service during May, Foster Care Appreciation Month.

A proclamation made by Wadena County Commissioners May 21 states family is the foundation of the communities and state. It recognizes the effort of those who have opened up their lives to foster those in need.

The proclamation urged all citizens to volunteer their talents and energies on behalf of children in foster care, foster parents and the child welfare professional staff working with them during this month and throughout the year.

Speaking on the topic was Kristy Brown, child protection social services supervisor and Naomi Van Batavia, current child foster care licensing social worker. Their plan was to share the proclamation with foster care providers in the county. There are 25 active licenses in the county, about eight of those are families open to foster care that may not be a relative; about 17 are relatives. There are also corporate options when an a non-relative home or relative is not a good option.

Van Batavia said that there are about 10 homes going through the process of licensing.

"There's quite a long process that foster parents have to go through, the training requirements and background checks," Van Bativa said. "All foster homes go through a home study, which would enable them to also be an adoptive home for children either in their home, state or through the country."

Erica Keppers, who was in attendance, was recognized as both a county employee and a foster parent in the county.

Commissioner Sheldon Monson said that as a former foster parent, the work of foster care is well worth recognition.