If you’re looking to become a foster parent and you live in Michigan, there are a series of steps you will need to go through before you can successfully welcome a child into your home. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) recommends that you contact the agency’s Foster Care Navigators to start the process.
What’s the difference between foster care and adoption?
Before you enter the foster care process, it’s important for you to understand the difference between foster care and adoption. Children who are placed in foster care typically come from a household where they were neglected, harmed, or weren’t provided with adequate care.
When a foster child is placed with a family, their stay could range anywhere from a few months to a few years. The child’s birth parents typically maintain some or all parental rights, though they are usually managed by the State of Michigan. You should understand that that the main goal of putting a child through the foster care system is to provide them with a safe and nurturing home until their birth parents are capable of taking care of them.
While some foster kids are able to return to their birth parents, others stay in the foster care system and are eventually put up for adoption. Each case carries different circumstances and therefore, the outcome will vary on a case-by-case basis.
Finding a foster agency in Michigan
One of the first steps you will need to take when entering the process of becoming a foster parent is finding an agency. The Foster Care Navigator website says that each agency is unique, although many offer similar services. To determine which agency is going to be best for you to work with, it is recommended that you schedule multiple orientations at different agencies.
Once you find an agency, you will work with it as you navigate the process of becoming a foster parent. If you have legal questions pertaining to what your rights are as a foster parent or how you can transition to adopting a child, Michigan family law attorney Stuart R. Shafer is available to address these questions.
Do foster parents receive financial support?
Foster parents are provided with a bi-weekly stipend that can be used to help cover child-related expenses. The amount is determined using the child’s age and their current needs. Foster parents are also provided with a semi-annual clothing allowance. The foster child’s medical expenses are also covered through Medicaid, a government program that pays health insurance costs for individuals who are lower-income earners, children in need, and those with disabilities.
If you have questions about how you can become a foster parent in Michigan or are experiencing an issue with your child’s birth parents, the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C., a family law firm located in Lansing, is here to assist.
The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906