Foster Care in Michigan

Foster Care in Michigan

According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, approximately 13,000 Michigan children are currently in foster care. This means that 13,000 children had to leave unsafe situations in their homes to seek help and care in order to gain a chance for a better life. However, there is a severe shortage of foster care homes available in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services officials has stated that some children have been sent several miles away from their homes in order to find a licensed foster care home that is available, which can be detrimental to a child if they are taken away from their community. State officials are always looking for families willing to open up their home to vulnerable children in need of foster care.

 

Why Foster Care Matters:

Foster care is important for the nurturing and development of a child because it provides them with a safe and loving environment until they can be returned to their families, which is not always the outcome. The primary goal of foster care is to reunite the child with their parents. However, in many cases, foster parents provide permanent homes for the children in their care or alternatively, seek adoptive families. Foster families provide children with the consistency and support that is so crucial to their growth and development.

 

Quick Facts on Foster Care in Michigan:

  • Michigan children spend an average of 23.3 months in foster care
  • In 2010, 4,664 (50.8% of the children in care) were returned to their families after leaving foster care
  • The highest amount of children in foster care were between the ages of 13 and 21 years old, accounting for 37.7% of the children in foster care
  • 44% of children in foster care only reside in one foster care home for the duration of their time in the foster care system

 

Who Needs a Foster Home?

Foster homes are needed for infants, toddlers, young school-aged children, teenagers, siblings, children with disabilities, and children with varying cultural backgrounds and religions. These children need the role of the foster parent to be a loving mentor and to accept the child, provide them with a normal family life, a good structure, and a feeling of belonging. Many children are missing out on what is “the norm” for most of us, such as nutritious meals, good daily hygiene routines, and attention to health needs. Without foster care programs, these vulnerable children lack the guidance needed to help them become good citizens, and they also lack community involvement; one of the many beneficial activities a foster parent can introduce into a child’s life is recreational community activities.

 

Take the Time to Learn More about Foster Care in Michigan

Taking the time to learn more about foster care in Michigan can help raise awareness, which means more children can find love and acceptance in a new, safe home with a caring foster family. Whether you take a few minutes to research the latest facts on children in foster care, or attend a local event that offers information and support to interested families, taking the opportunity to learn more about foster care in Michigan can become a life changing experience, for you, your family, and potentially children in need.

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