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foster care

foster care

When a child is abused or neglected by his or her parent(s) or another family member, foster care provides the child with a temporary, safe and nurturing home. At Arbor Circle, our goal is to reunite children in foster care with their biological parents in a timely manner. Foster parents work in partnership with birth family members and child welfare professionals to provide support for the child during his or her time of crisis.

frequently asked questions

What do foster parents do?


Foster parents are 24-hour caregivers. They provide food, shelter, clothing and emotional support for the child. They are required to give the child the opportunity for recreation and social interaction. They must transport the child to appointments, doctor visits and school. Foster parents must also attend ongoing training classes and participate in monthly visits with caseworkers.

What kind of children are in foster care?


Children in foster care range from newborns to age 18. They come from many racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Some have never had a stable home. Some but not all children may have emotional, behavioral and medical problems, including aggressiveness, bedwetting, defiance, lack of motivation, anger and depression.

Can a single person become a foster parent?


Yes! All types of families can become licensed as foster parents, including single adults.

Do I have to make a lot of money to be able to be a foster parent?


You only need to have an income adequate to meet your family’s needs to be financially stable.

What kind of financial support would I get?


Foster parents receive reimbursement every month to provide food, clothing, and other things their foster children need. The amount depends on the needs of the child. Foster parents also receive a clothing allowance for foster children twice a year.

Do I have to own my own residence?


People who rent can also be licensed foster parents. Children are able to share bedrooms based on the needs of all children in the home.

I have a conviction on my record. Does this disqualify me from becoming a foster parent?


This does not automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster parent. There are certain felony convictions that could potentially disqualify you, but you are encouraged to discuss the details directly with a licensing worker to determine if you are eligible.

Will I have to work with the biological parents?


We do encourage foster parents to have regular communication with the child(ren)’s biological parents. Foster parents are also invited to participate with Family Team Meetings, which includes biological parents and their support systems.

Can I choose the age and gender of the children who are placed in my home?


Yes, each family works with a licensing staff to identify the types of children who would be best served in their home.

Can I adopt a foster child in my home?


The goal of foster care is to reunify a child with their family. In the event that the child cannot return home or be placed with other relatives, foster parents may be considerated as adoptive parents.

What type of support do foster parents receive?


They will work with a foster care worker assigned to the child who is responsible for providing support to each family. Supportive services (respite care, training, crisis lines, etc.) are available as well.

I am an LGBTQ person. Does this disqualify me from being a licensed foster parent?


Arbor Circle encourages LGBTQ individuals and families to become licensed foster parents.

Do I have to provide the children with medical insurance?


Every child in foster care has medical and dental insurance available to them through the state.

How can I support children in need without becoming a foster parent?


Foster parenting is not for everyone. If you have a heart for children in care, but have decided foster parenting is not right for you and your family at this time, there are still ways you can help. Learn more here.


average number of michigan children in foster care due to abuse or neglect


average number of months children spend in foster care

I’m ready to get involved. Where should I start?

To learn more about becoming a foster parent, please contact our team by email or by phone at (616) 396-2301.

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