"There were like hundreds of people wanting particular children so it depends on need," Willow said. "If a child has very high medical need, there are usually only a few families that apply. So children with less needs, there were more families."

Judson Center adoptive parent

Founding officer of the Michigan Chapter

Foster Family FAQ

What is foster care?
Foster care is the temporary placement, by the Michigan Department of Human Services, of a child under age 18 who has been abused or neglected. The child is placed in a licensed foster home and becomes a member of your household until it is safe for him or her to be returned to their biological parents.

What if I'm not a "perfect parent"?
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Foster children just need to be in a safe, loving home.

Do I have to own my home to be a foster parent?
No, Michigan state rules do not require you to own your home, but that your home complies with the state requirements.

What if I'm a working adult and cannot be home with the child 24/7?
The Department of Human Services can assist with payments for a daycare as long as a state licensed facility is utilized.

Can I be a foster parent if I'm single or in a same-sex relationship?
Yes! Judson Center does not discriminate! We welcome all families! 

How do I get a child placed in my home?
Placement occurs after you receive your foster home license and only when it is necessary to protect the child from abuse or neglect. You work with a licensing specialist to determine the number of children, age, sex and behaviors of the children placed in your home. When a child comes into care, Judson Center will contact you with a brief description of the child. You can choose to either accept or deny the placement.

What are the costs for potential foster parents?
Though there are no fees associated with becoming approved foster or adoptive parents, there is an emotional cost when the child returns home to their biological family.  The home study and training are provided free of charge. 

What services are available for foster and adoptive parents?
Personal support includes monthly newsletters, foster parent support groups, information on community resources, and free training. Foster parents receive a monthly payment based on a child's age and special needs.

Can I adopt children in foster care?
The primary goal is to return foster children to their birth families. However, it is not always possible for children to return home and the agency must seek an alternative permanent home. If the permanent plan for a foster child involves adoption, the foster parent may be given an opportunity to become the adoptive parent, if he or she can meet all of the requirements to become an adoptive parent.

How many children may live with a foster parent at one time?
The State of Michigan allows up to eight children under the age of 17 in the home at a given time, including biological and adoptive children.

What is my commitment time length?
At any time, you are able to close your license if you do not feel that fostering is for you. Judson Center is thrilled with any length of time that you can provide the children with a safe and loving home. You are not committed for any specific timeline. However, we ask that you stay throughout the child's duration in foster care if you have a placement. If that is not possible, a 30 day notice is required to provide Judson Center with to find the child another home.  

Do I get paid for taking a foster child?
Though foster parents do not get paid, there are state-rate reimbursements that are distributed bi-weekly to assist in covering expenses such as the child’s room, board, clothing, and other related expenses.

Do I have a choice in which children I take into my home?
You are able to choose the provisions of the children such as age, sex, race and behaviors. Judson Center will not place a child in the home that does not your specifications. Judson Center receives placement calls on an emergency basis. The licensing workers obtain as much information about the child as possible to help you make an informed decision if the child is a good fit for your family.

What happens if the child does not fit with my family? 
When problems do arise, we hope to find alternate ways to make the placement fit through resources, therapy, parenting classes, and supports groups, etc. to avoid the child being moved frequently. If necessary, Judson Center would need a 30 day notice before removing the child.

How long will it take to become licensed?
The entire licensing process may take anywhere from four to six months depending on how timely you are about completing the classes, submitting requested documentation (clearances, physicals, etc), and our availability to schedule and complete the home study.

How else can I help?
Volunteer your time; mentor a child; donate cash, clothing, books or toys; sponsor a party; tell your friends!

Where can I get more information about becoming a foster parent?
Visit Judson Center’s Foster Parent Licensing Process page for more information.  

Due to the nature of the work we do, Judson Center upholds the privacy of the children, adults and families we serve. Therefore, photos and names may be changed to protect identity.