Foster parents play vital role in community
During National Foster Care Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) wants to stress the important role that foster parents can play in a child or teen’s life.
“When children are unable to stay with their families because of safety concerns, foster parents step up to provide love, consistency and support,” said Nick Lyon, MDHHS director. “Foster parents play a critical role in communities across the state, and by adding additional licensed foster families we have a greater opportunity to match a child with the best possible family and keep them in their community with their familiar school and surroundings.”
In Michigan, MDHHS needs foster parents to provide care and safety to a wide array of children of all ages. MDHHS encourages those who love children and have a big heart, to consider these four reasons to become a foster parent:
•Transform a child’s life. Welcoming a child into a safe and loving home environment can improve well-being, help with separation and brighten a child’s future.
•Receive support along the way. Foster parents are not alone when they become licensed. In fact, they receive training, support services, foster care payments and support from an entire community.
•Keep children in their community. In Michigan alone, there are approximately 13,000 children in the foster care system. When children enter foster care, they face many uncertainties. They have to leave their homes and families, and they may have to move to an unfamiliar community. By becoming a foster parent, you can help keep children in their community and school.
•Strengthen the foster care system. The foster care system relies on strong, good-hearted, responsible foster parents. With each licensed foster parent or family, we add greater options and diversity to best serve children in care.
In Michigan, there are approximately 13,000 children in foster care and 300 children who still need an adoptive family. MDHHS needs foster parents to provide a safe, nurturing home for these children until they can be safely returned to their families.
The first step to becoming a foster parent is contacting a Foster Care Navigator. Navigators are experienced foster parents who can answer questions, help individuals find an agency that’s right for them and provide guidance along their journey to becoming a foster parent. They can be reached at 855-MICHKIDS.