FOSTER CARE

FOSTER CARE

FOSTER CARE

If you are interested in learning more about the ways to support children and families involved in the foster care system, please take a look, and click on the links below

Foster Care identifies and places children in safe homes when they cannot remain with their families because of safety concerns. In the State of Michigan, there are approximately 11,000 children in foster care. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for coordinating the placement of children and monitoring their health, wellness and safety. Foster families then provide these children with the consistency and support they need to grow.

In recent years, the number of Chaldean children experiencing the need for out of home placement into foster care has increased. We know that keeping children in homes with similar cultural and religious identity reduces the trauma they will experience.
The main goal is to return children back to their homes when it is safe. We need your help to provide a safe, nurturing home for these children until they can be returned to their families.

We are hoping to highlight the need to recruit families willing to accept the calling to become foster parents to Chaldean children. In some cases, these children may not be able to return to their parents and becoming a foster parent will give you the opportunity to be a forever home through adoption.
What it Takes to Be a Foster Parent:

Foster children need caring individuals who can provide a safe and nurturing home. The primary goal during foster care is to reunite the child with their parents.

This can take some time – we need caring adults who are willing to provide stability and safety for children in their care.

Foster parents should be committed individuals who are:

  • Willing to work with the child’s birth parents.
  • Supportive efforts to return the child home.
  • Able to work with children who have emotional and behavioral needs.
  • Able to encourage teens toward independent living.
  • Willing to provide a permanent home if necessary.

Not everyone may be called to become a foster parent. There are other ways to offer your time, talent and treasure to help children and families involved in the foster care system. Below are some suggested ways to you can offer your support: 

  • Christmas & Holiday gifts – provide a child in foster care with a holiday gift
  • Chaldean Care packages – create a care package in a suit case to be provided to a child when entering foster care. Include: pajamas, books, toiletries, pillow, stuffed animal and other age-appropriate non-perishable items.
  • Mentoring/tutoring – volunteer your time to mentor or tutor a child in foster care
  • Sponsorship for camps and retreats – provide financial scholarship for a child in foster care to be connected to their community through summer camps or religious retreats
  • Support for families involved in the child welfare system – offer support to parents that are dealing with the removal of their children. Offer parenting help and emotional support.
  • Support foster parents – provide respite care, make a meal for a foster family or offer your time to help the children placed in their home short time
  • Mental health support
  • Professional mentorship to youth aging out of foster care
  • Employment support for families involved with the foster care system
  • Donate to help a family reunify

FAQs

Here you will find some information that will help guide you into answering some of the most sought after questions

Foster care differs from adoption in a few ways.  A foster parent assumes care and responsibility for the foster child, but the State maintains all legal guardianship of the child. Adoption transfers legal responsibility and care over to the adopting parents.

A foster parent’s primary role is to help in efforts to reunite the child with their birth family. This may include visits between the child and birth parents, taking a child to counseling, and working closely with the foster care worker.

Sometimes, a child is unable to return home; it is then that the court terminates parental rights and the child becomes available for adoption.

Adoptive parents become the child’s legal parent agreeing to a lifelong commitment and responsibility no less important than if the child was born to them.
It is important to remember that children in foster care have the same needs as children who live in a stable family environment. They are placed in foster care based on the actions or inactions of the adults, not because of something that they did wrong or because of bad behavior.

However, it is important to realize that children in foster care have had traumatic past experiences that may include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and/or neglect. Others may have been drug and/or alcohol exposed. Most children in foster care have some level of special emotional, cognitive, learning, physical, health or developmental need based on these traumatic experiences. All of these children have experienced the grief and loss of having been separated from their families.

Your agency will ask you about the types of children for whom you are willing to care. The agency’s final recommendation will be based on your preferences and the agency’s assessment of your skills and abilities. Ongoing training opportunities are offered to foster parents to increase the knowledge and skills needed to meet the needs of the children placed in their home.

Some Chaldean children may have experienced the effects and impact of war. These children may need special help to overcome the symptoms of PTSD.
Because foster care is considered to be a temporary placement, not every child that comes into your home will be eligible for adoption. A foster parent is expected to work with the agency and birth parents, in the hopes that the family will be reunited. A foster parent must be objective, and must be able to assist a child if and when it comes time for that child to leave the foster home. Sometimes, however, children are unable to return home. If parental rights are terminated, relatives and foster parents are given consideration for adoption.

“Foster-to-adopt” means families become foster parents with the hope and intent that they will adopt a foster child that comes into their home. In Michigan, we call this same process “dual licensing.” Families complete the foster care licensing requirements and the adoption requirements at the same time. It saves time and reduces duplicate paperwork. It is also beneficial to children whose parental rights are terminated because they won’t move as often.

You don’t have to be married to adopt or foster a child or children. Many children will thrive in a single parent home. Only one parent of a non married couple can legally adopt a child in Michigan.

You don’t have to own your own home to adopt or foster a child. A rented house or apartment is fine, as long as there is adequate bedroom space per child. The home must be free from health and fire hazards, and must have a safe play area for children.

You do not need to give up your job and stay home full time in order to foster children. Foster parents are eligible for day care payments for the time that they are working or continuing their education.

You do not have to be rich to adopt or be a foster parent. Even if you receive some type of financial assistance, you are still eligible to adopt or provide foster care as long as you have adequate financial resources to provide for your family and the additional children you with to bring into your home.

The home study (also called a family assessment) is done by a social worker at a licensed child placing agency, and typically takes at least six months to complete. The home study consists of a series of meetings between the family and the licensing worker, with at least one meeting occurring in the family’s home. It provides an educational opportunity for the family to learn more and seriously consider their motivations and expectations for foster care. It also gives the licensing worker a chance to get to know the family.

There is financial assistance available for those who provide foster care. Foster care payments are not meant to cover all expenses incurred in raising a child; rather, these payments are meant to help offset some of the cost. Foster parents are given a modest initial and semiannual clothing allowance as well as a holiday allowance for youth placed in the home. The amount paid is dependent on the needs of the child, not the family. The amount is set by the state agency responsible for the child’s care. Children in foster care are also eligible for dental, medical and vision coverage through Medicaid, daycare subsidies, free school meals, WIC, high school graduation and prom expenses and tuition assistance for older youth. Eligibility for these and many other supportive services for families caring for youth in foster care are not based on the foster parents’ income.

Email us at [email protected] or you can fill out the form below.

Foster Care Contact Form

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