Embrace FAQ

Foster Care - Frequently Asked Questions

(Source: Department of Human Services)

Who are the children needing foster care?

Children of all ages, races, cultures and religious backgrounds are in need of foster care. Sometimes there may be a need to place a single child with a family and sometimes there may be siblings needing placement.

How long will a foster child stay with us?

Foster care is intended to be a temporary placement for the child. Reunification of the family is the primary goal. The majority of children in foster care are reunited with their parents or primary caretaker. If that's not feasible, workers try to place the child in a permanent adoptive home as soon as possible. Each case is unique; you could keep a child for a few months or even a year.

Do foster parents have full responsibility for foster children in their home?

The Department of Human Services (DHS) shares responsibility with them. The parents are responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, while DHS carries overall responsibility for the decisions about the child.

How do I become licensed?

Attend our P.R.I.D.E. Orientation and Training or contact your local Department of Human Services or a private child-placing agency in your area. The foster care supervisor will explain to you what you need to do to become licensed. You may be married or single and can either work outside the house or stay at home. You will be required to attend training, agree to submit medical statements for your family, be interviewed in your home, have a criminal background check done and provide letters of recommendation. The entire process takes between three and six months.

What does "foster-to-adopt" mean? What about "dual licensing"?

"Foster-to-adopt" means families seek to 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 because they won't move as often.

Will I receive a stipend to help with food and clothing costs?

Twice monthly you'll receive a payment based on the age and needs of the child. You will also receive a semi-annual clothing allowance. Children in foster care are eligible for Medicaid, which pays for medical, dental and mental health care. Many foster families will qualify for reimbursement for the costs of day care.

Foster Care Adoption - Frequently Asked Questions

(Source: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption)

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the transfer of parental rights from one person or couple to another person or couple. It is a permanent and legal process, which means adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents.

What types of adoption are available?

In addition to working with your adoption agency, many states provide photo listings on their websites. You can also visit the following websites, which feature photo listings of waiting children in Michigan and Florida:

  • Adopting a child from the U.S. foster care system
  • Adopting an infant in the United States
  • Adopting a child from another country
  • Adopting a stepchild or stepchildren

What are the qualifications to adopt?

Foster care adoption is not expensive and financial assistance is available for parents who choose this path. Adoptive families are as diverse as the children waiting to be adopted.

However, there are requirements for other types of adoption. If you adopt internationally or privately with an attorney or agency, parents are typically under 40, are financially stable, and have been married for at least three years.

Is Foster Care adoption just as expensive as private infant or international adoption?

Foster care adoption normally costs little or nothing.

How much does it cost to adopt?

The cost of adoption depends on a number of things: the type of adoption, the agency you work with, the state in which you live, attorney fees, and any necessary travel expenses.

  • Foster care adoptions: $0–$2,500
  • Licensed private agency adoptions: $5,000–$40,000+
  • Independent adoptions: $8,000–$40,000+
  • Intercountry adoptions: $7,000–$30,000

Can a biological parent come to take a child back?

This is a fear for two-thirds of the people considering adoption. Biological parents have NO WAY to gain back custody of the child or children once their parental rights are terminated.

How do I begin the adoption process?

Select an agency to work with and attend their adoption orientation. Your agency will guide you through the application process, paperwork, home study and required background checks.

Where do I begin searching for waiting children?

In addition to working with your adoption agency, many states provide photo listings on their websites. You can also visit the following websites, which feature photo listings of waiting children in Michigan and Florida:

Mentoring - Frequently Asked Questions

(Source: Orchards Children's Services)

How long will I be a mentor?

We ask that you make a one-year commitment to your mentee.

How often do I meet with my mentee?

There is a minimum of two required meetings a month; however, you're welcome to meet more frequently.

What is the goal of Youth Mentorship?

To help the youth build upon life skills, career and educational development through fun activities.

What are the requirements to become a mentor?

You must be at least 21 years of age, complete training, and participate in an interview and background check.