MICHIGAN — May is Foster Care Month, a time to honor the loving foster families across the state and encourage more to join their ranks.
Right now, there are more than 10,000 children in foster care across Michigan. These families provide a safe, stable environment for children of all ages with the ultimate goal being to reunify the children with their biological parents.
Right now, there is a specific need for foster parents willing to open their homes to teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs. While many may hope to care for a younger child, there is something special about seeing the milestones of a teenager and beyond.
Jane Cullen is the program manager for Orchards Children’s Services, she says families gain so much by being with a child through their older years. "It's so rewarding to see a child grow and see a teenager learn to drive, open a bank account, get amazing grades in their classes and go to prom. There are just so many rewarding lifelong rewarding aspects to it. They continue to celebrate birthdays and baby showers and weddings with the children that were once placed in their home. So, it is sometimes a lifelong commitment."
Right now, Cullen says they have a good problem. 73% of all adoptions in Michigan are done by foster parents, which makes the need for fosters even greater. There is a process to qualify, but there are wonderful resources to help you along the way.
Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can call a Foster Care Navigator at 855-MICHKIDS or visit http://www.fcnp.org.
Navigators are experienced foster care parents who can answer questions and guide prospective foster parents on their journey. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.
Learn more about Orchards Children’s Services at https://orchards.org/.