Simply Smiles, Inc. is seeking Native American foster parents for the Simply Smiles Children’s Village on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation (SD).
The Simply Smiles Children’s Village is an intentional community that provides the forum and infrastructure for Native people to intervene, protect, and help to raise the most vulnerable Native children.
The project is being executed in collaboration with Cheyenne River tribal governance and elders, and with licensing from The State of South Dakota Department of Social Services. Native foster parents at the Simply Smiles Children’s Village will ensure that Native children who have been removed from their homes on Cheyenne River can remain with their “kin and community,” fulfilling the letter and spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
Simply Smiles empowers its Native foster parents to raise Native children in an environment that is rooted in Lakota traditions and guided by trauma-informed, therapeutic healing practices. Applicants do not need to be certified foster parents. Training and certification is provided.
Native foster parents will live at the Simply Smiles Children’s Village in La Plant, South Dakota. They will work with the other foster parents in the village and be supported by mental health professionals, Simply Smiles staff members, and community elders to create a safe, supportive home environment in which the children in their care can heal, thrive, and become strong leaders, role models, and Lakota citizens of the world.
The situation surrounding at-risk children in Indian Country reveals a widespread, generations- long, ongoing crisis with demonstrable far-reaching consequences that are of grave concern to the tribes — and, that should be of grave concern to all Americans. The Simply Smiles Children’s Village seeks to be a solution to this crisis.
For more information about the Simply Smiles Children’s Village and to apply to become a foster parent, please visit simplysmiles.org/crst-childrens-village.