You don't have to be a perfect parent, to be a perfect parent for a child.
When children are abused or neglected, they may be removed from their homes on a temporary basis by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect them from further harm.
Child & Family Services works with MDHHS to find homes for children, to provide treatment and support, and to resolve any issues that have made their homes unsafe.
Family reunification in a safe home is always the goal of foster care.
Our licensing staff are available to answer any questions you may have. They will be hosting virtual orientations through Zoom on the dates listed below. If these times don't work for you, request an individual orientation at the link below.
Intro to Fostering,
August 18 at 12:00 pm.
Talk to a licensing worker about the steps involved in becoming a foster parent.
WHO CAN BE A FOSTER PARENT?
Foster and adoptive families come in all shapes and sizes – just like the children they care for. CFS acknowledges all family structures.
Parents may be married or unmarried couples, or single adults. They may be childless or have kids living at home. Still others have raised their children to adulthood, but want to continue parenting. Some are parenting their nieces or nephews or grandchildren. They are your neighbors, co-workers, and
members of your church.
Foster and adoptive parenting takes a natural love of children, an ability to set guidelines, provide direction, and work with our staff as part of a treatment team.
Stamina, a healthy attitude, and special skills (which we help you obtain), are important too.
Click here for more info on adoption.
Do I have to be married? Do I have to have children of my own? Do I have to own my own home? Do I have to be employed?
No, you do not have to be married, have children of your own, or own your home. Likewise, you do not have to be employed. However, you must be able to show a stable income.
How long does the licensing process typically take?
Each case is different. Typically, individuals or families can be licensed in four to six months.
Do I get “paid” for having a foster child in my home?
Foster parents do receive some reimbursements that help to cover some costs associated with caring for a foster child. Additional resources and financial support may be available through CFS or our partners. If you have a need that is not covered by your reimbursements, you should contact CFS. We may be able to help.
What are some of the challenges that foster parents’ experience?
Being a foster parent is a tough, but rewarding job. We find that the most common challenges for our foster families include dealing with behavioral issues, working with the child’s biological family, and when the child is returned to their family. CFS will support you through any challenges that arise.
What if I only want to adopt?
The first goal in foster care is to try to reunite the child with their family. Foster families need to be able to support the treatment plan that is agreed upon by the treatment team, which includes social workers, therapists, judges, foster parents, and attorneys. When reunification is not able to occur, foster parents are asked if they could adopt the child into their family if it is in the best interest of the child. For more about adoption, click here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DO OUR FOSTER PARENTS SAY?
"I researched several different organizations and was very impressed with what Child and Family had to offer in terms of support to foster parents. I went from a single woman to a mother of three overnight, and I am so happy that I did. "
“It’s been so great for our biological daughter. It’s helped her understand that some people are less fortunate, and that in some small way, we can help – no ‘crusade’ – just sharing our pot of food with a kid who needs a place to stay.”
“For so many of you it probably passes your minds but you think “oh I could never do that – you have to give them up don’t you?” or “I couldn’t do that to my family” I have heard both of those A LOT. Yes, you think about the time that may come when they go back but think about the difference that you would make in their lives for the time that you have them. The difference between when we got our little guy and now is incredible. Our family had a huge part in that. It is REWARDING. So even if you think you can’t – I can tell you that you can…”