Foster Care

Every Child Just Needs Someone to Believe in Them

The philosophy of Judson Center’s Foster Care Program is that every child is entitled to grow up in a permanent family. During the time a child is placed in foster care, Judson Center works with biological families to strengthen them by reducing any barriers, so that their children can do just that – safely return home.

To help with this transition, Judson Center recruits and educates foster families, so they can provide a loving and nurturing home on a temporary basis, until the child can become reunified with their biological family.   Children who end up in foster care, are there through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, they come into care due to neglect and/or abuse.

With the support of our dedicated team of foster care and licensing professionals, we help individuals and couples navigate through the foster care process – from getting your license to providing guidance and helpful resources.  Foster parents are an integral part in helping foster children overcome obstacles, trauma and find success. Our Judson Center team is involved every step of the way, to help ensure both the child’s triumphs and achievements, and the foster family’s.

Becoming a Foster Parent

Qualifications

Are you qualified to be a foster parent?

Must be over 18 years of age

May be married or single

One or both parents may work

Must have an adequate child care plan

Income must be adequate to meet your own family’s needs

May own or rent

Must be adequate bedroom space (40 square feet per child)

Must be free from health and fire hazards

Must have a safe play area for children

Must have a telephone

A medical examination is required for each household member

A TB test is required for each household member over the age of 3

Three (3) non-relative character references are required

References from all birth or adoptive children are required, including adult children

Required for every person in the home over the age of 18

Criminal Clearance

Protective Services Clearance

Previous licensing record check

Fingerprint Clearance

Home visit(s) required

Personal interview with every member of the home required

Steps to becoming a licensed foster parent

Once you make the decision to become a foster parent, the following steps must be followed:

Call our Foster Parent line at (313) 255-8272 or email us at foster_care@judsoncenter.org.

Foster Care Orientation offers an overview of the foster parent licensing process and what is expected from foster parents. This training provides information about Judson Center’s policies, the foster care system, licensing rules for foster parents and the licensing process. A question and answer section allows for any concerns to be addressed. A video is shown to give you real-life experiences of the foster care system. You will be given a Foster Home Application and Criminal Clearance forms for every member of your household over 18 years of age. You will also be given instructions on how to get fingerprinted. (Only license applicants need to be fingerprinted). Orientation must be completed at our agency by attending one of our 2019 Orientation Schedule

Proper documentation will be provided to you during foster care orientation. Once you have been fingerprinted, please return the Application and Criminal Clearance forms to Judson Center for processing.

PRIDE is a competency-based program which provides greater detail about the foster care system and the responsibilities of foster parents. Topics covered include: attachment and loss issues, discipline, effects of abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and the effects of fostering and adopting on the family.

The home assessment/home study includes collecting all documentation; a physical assessment of your home; and interviews with each member of your household, including spouse, domestic partner, children, etc.

You are now able to provide children with a safe and secure home!

Judson Center does not discriminate against any individual or group because of race, religion, age, national origin, color, height, weight, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political beliefs or disability.

Orientation & Foster Parent Training

Judson Center provides training to foster families to help them be the best caregivers they can be. Opportunities are available in-person, online, one-on-one, or in a group designed to assist in parenting the children specifically placed in each home.

Foster Care Orientation

Orientation offers an overview of the foster parent licensing process and what is expected from foster parents. This training provides information on Judson Center’s policies, the foster care system, and the needs of Michigan’s foster children. Click here to view the 2018 Orientation Schedule. If you are unable to attend the dates listed above, please contact the Licensing Department or email
foster_care@judsoncenter.org.

PRIDE Training

PRIDE is a competency-based program which provides greater detail about the foster care system and the responsibilities of foster parents. Topics covered include: attachment and loss issues, discipline, effects of abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, and the effects of fostering and adopting on the family.

Trauma Training

Judson Center has partnered with the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) through Western Michigan University, and with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, to provide our consumers with training opportunities focused on addressing the needs of the children we work with. Specifically, these trainings address the traumatic experiences that children in foster care have had and how foster and adoptive parents can best understand and meet these needs. Judson Center is at the forefront of this important movement and is dedicated to servicing children and families in ways that appropriately address their needs and experiences.  

Additional Trainings

Judson Center regularly provides additional training for foster and adoptive families. Check back often for upcoming trainings!

Foster Care FAQs

Foster care is the temporary placement, by the Michigan Department of Health and 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.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent. Foster children just need to be in a safe, loving home, and Judson Center will provide you the support and training you need to meet the child’s needs.

Michigan’s foster home licensing rules do not require you to own your home. Your home does, however need to comply with the state requirements, ensuring it is safe and suitable for the children you wish to foster.

Yes! Judson Center does not discriminate and we welcome all families.

Placement occurs after you receive your foster home license and only when it is necessary to protect the child from abuse and/or neglect. You work with a licensing specialist to determine the number of children, age, gender 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.

There are no fees associated with becoming approved foster or adoptive parents. The home study and trainings are provided free of charge.

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, as well as a semiannual clothing allowance.

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.

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.

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, we require a 30 day notice, so we can find the child another home.

The entire licensing process may take anywhere from three to six months depending on how timely you are about completing the classes, submitting requested documentation (clearances, physicals, etc), and the availability to schedule and complete the home study.

Foster Care Resources

Building Community Partners

The Building Community Partners (BCP) program provides support to children and families involved in the child welfare system through a variety of services including: Parent Partners, Community Partner Meetings, Support Groups & Training. (Link to BCP information on website found here: https://judsoncenter.org/child-family/family-preservation/)

Adoptive and Foster Parent Recruitment and Retention Services

AFPRR is a contract program with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Through this program, Judson Center provides supportive services including: PRIDE training to prospective foster and adoptive parents, Foster Care Navigators, and recruitment and retention services. For more information visit: fcnp.org

Building Community Partners

The Building Community Partners (BCP) program provides support to children and families involved in the child welfare system through a variety of services including: Parent Partners, Community Partner Meetings, Support Groups & Training. (Link to BCP information on website found here: https://judsoncenter.org/child-family/family-preservation/)

Other Helpful Links

Foster Care Forms

Well Child Forms

For all Well Child Exams and Other Forms, visit Foster Care Forms.

Are you able to open both your heart and your home?

If yes, let us help you in becoming a foster parent. Call our Foster Parent line at (313) 255-8272 or email us at foster_care@judsoncenter.org.
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