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Mother and Daughter Love

Your support is important to our work at Child & Family Services. There are many ways you can contribute towards our causes, and every little bit that you commit goes a long way in helping us fulfill our mission. Learn more about how you can get involved and take advantage of the opportunity to do some good.

Host Homes

Option 1: SHORT-TERM

Our short-term Host Homes program is for youth 12-17at risk of becoming homeless due to an unsafe or unstable home environment. While the youth stay with a host family for 2-3 weeks, CFS Helps facilitate family reunification by providing counseling and other resources. Host Homes for the youngest age group (12-15 years old) must be licensed.

Option 2: LONG-TERM

Our long-term Host Homes program is for youth ages 16-21 who are experiencing homelessness and need a stable home environment where they can gain independent living skills and prepare for adulthood.  This option is also available to some youth in foster care ages 16-19 who are more independent and need a different type of family setting to continue to grow and learn.  CFS will help the youth by providing counseling, case management, and more. The goal is to build permanent connections, self-sufficiency and overall well-being. 

Host Homes
Mother and Daughter


Respite provides an opportunity provide temporary and occasional relief to a child and the child's current caregiver to support the overall well-being of the family unit, by providing placement in a licensed respite home. Respite care is available to foster children, families who have had their children returned to their care while the foster care case remains open, families whose children are involved with the Juvenile Justice System through MDHHS,  and families who are approved for this service through their CMH plan of service or Post Adoption Resources. Respites can be either planned or emergency placements and can be as infrequent as just one night. 

Providing respite care requires full foster home licensure but the process is expedited through the specific help of the dedicated Respite Program Licensing Worker. Support Groups and Networking Events will occur throughout the year to connect Respite Providers with each other, the agency, and the homes that might have kids placed in their homes. There is an elevated daily rate paid to Respite Caregivers while the children are in their care, and the child's regular foster parents are able to keep their full regular board rate and DOC.


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.

Frequently Asked
Father and Children

Foster Care

Foster Care


Are you a good communicator? Are you unafraid to stand before a group of legislators to talk about why you care about CFS? Do you have a strong desire to advocate for children, youth and families, and their frontline social workers? We need volunteers to help us at all levels with varying degrees of involvement, from writing letters to the editor to attending Advocacy Day in Lansing (or Washington, DC!) Do what fits your schedule and interests.


Working at Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan means having a career that positively impacts your own community. Whether you’re looking for a full-time position, an internship program, or a volunteer opportunity, CFS is constantly seeking individuals committed to making Northern Michigan a safer and healthier community for children and their families.


Throughout our 80-year history, CFS has successfully served the community by training many high-quality professionals through our internship program. 

Interested in completing an internship? Contact Paula Smith, Director of Behavioral Health, at or 231-946-8975.


We strive to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities at CFS by offering a variety of experiences that can make a positive contribution to our organization.


Volunteers are an important link to our community and are integral to our mission and the important work that we do in northern Michigan.


We all have a role to play in supporting northern Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families. We welcome anyone or any organization to partner with us as we strive to create communities where people are safe and healthy. Please consider a donation of your time or money in order to offer a hand up to those in our community who need help.

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