YOU can raise hope and foster dreams by becoming a foster parent. Michigan has approximately 13,000 children in foster care at any given time. As of March 2020, Kalamazoo county alone has 492 kids in care and only 121 licensed homes. We need foster families here and around the state to keep these children safe and to care for them until they can be returned to their family or find a loving adoptive family.
When children enter foster care, their lives are turned upside down. They must leave their homes and families and are often sent to live in other communities. This means they lose everything that is familiar and safe.
Kids in foster care need caring adults to provide loving homes while their families sort things out. The right family can help a child get through an exceptionally tough time. The main goal of foster care is to reunite the child with his or her parents. This can take time. Without caring adults to help them, children suffer even more.
Foster parenting requires a lot of patience, compassion, and skill. Foster parents understand that the children that come to them are hurting and that it takes a long time to reduce that pain and change the resulting behaviors. We take the tremendous consideration needed to find the right fit for both the foster parent and child.
THE LICENSING PROCESS:
The process to becoming a foster parent takes on average six months. The first step is to call a foster care navigator. A Foster Care Navigator is an experienced current or former foster parent who can answer any of your questions, help you find an agency and provide you with guidance along your journey to becoming a foster parent.
Next, you would participate in comprehensive orientation and complete a licensing application from the agency you choose. You will also be asked to participate in on-site home evaluation visits by the licensing agent and lastly, you will participate in Parent Resource for Information Development and Education training.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT:
There are some expectations when becoming a foster parent; you must be 18 years old, of good moral character, be in good health, have an adequate income, and meet other basic standards. Foster parents are not expected to pay all expenses for foster children. Twice monthly, you will receive a payment, based on the age, and needs of the child in your care. You will also receive a semi-annual clothing allowance. Children in foster care are eligible for Medicaid, which pays for medical, dental, and mental-health care. Many foster families will also qualify for reimbursement for the costs of day care.
HOW TO GET STARTED:
If you are considering becoming a foster parent, call a Foster Care Navigator at 855-MICHKIDS.
You can also learn more on our website: www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome