Teen Foster Families Needed
The need foster families in the state of Michigan has never been greater. When most citizens think of adoption, babies and young children are the first that come to mind. However, only approximately 3% of children waiting to be matched with an adoptive family are under the age of 5, with the vast majority being 11 years old or older. In addition, the amount of licensed foster homes in Michigan has been steadily declining over the past two years, losing over 8% of homes in that timespan.
Today, according to the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) there are approximately 13,000 children in foster care statewide, however there are only 6,400 licensed foster homes, showing a significant need for more licensed homes. The current need for homes for teenagers is great, as we receive calls inquiring about homes for teens ranging from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula.
Unfortunately, many children ultimately age out of the foster care system without being reunited with their biological families or finding a stable foster or adoptive home. Many children interpret this lack of foster families as a message that they aren’t worthy of a family and are not loved, and enter adulthood without the safety net of a healthy, strong support system.
Due to this need, I wanted to share with you how fostering a teenager can be a very rewarding experience. Providing a teenager who has experienced trauma with love and support can be very enriching. Foster families not only impact the foster child and their family, but the whole community. By fostering a teen, you can help us create a healthier community.
If you feel the call to foster, I want to remind you that every child is unique. The biggest thing for any family, considering any age, is having patience and having grace. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent, please call Natalie Marshall at (517) 373-4734 Ext. 1614. Natalie can provide more information on upcoming orientation dates, foster parent requirements, and connect you with a current foster family to speak with.
We look forward to working with you,
Stephanie Stanley, LMSW
STVCC Foster Home Licensing Manager
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Supervisor