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Research Paper: Foster Care In Michigan: How Tedious Is It To Become A Foster Parents

1035 words - 5 pages

Foster care is a substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians because the guardians are no longer able to care for them. This includes, but is not limited to, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre adoptive homes. To become a foster parent there are many steps. Each step is tedious in order to make sure that the parent(s) are safe and reliable enough to take care of children not their own.
The first step to fostering is making the decision to foster or to not foster. Because foster care is considered to be a temporary placement, it is not a good idea to become a foster parent with the expectation that one will always be able to adopt a child placed in their care. A foster parent is expected to work with the agency and birth parents in the hopes that the family will be reunited. Fostering is a tough decision to make; one needs to take into account all the lives that would be affected, the financial stability of the household, and the amount of patience needed to work with the children, the families, the agency, and the courts. Once the decision is made to foster, find an agency that is right for the family. There are many different agencies that are privately owned. Some of the agencies are associated with certain religions, but it is not required to believe in that religion in order to be a part of that agency.
The second step to getting started in foster care is going to an orientation about foster care. This will help an individual learn what to expect when he/she becomes a foster parent. It makes them aware of the guidelines and expectations of a foster parent. The license requirements for Michigan: must be between 18 and 65, may be married or single, must have a good child care plan, an income that covers the family’s needs, each member in the house must have a yearly medical examination, a police record check, an abuse/neglect check, and go to all required training. The home requirements include: the living space may be a home that is owned or rented but there has to be at least 40 square feet per child, the house has to be free of health and fire hazards, have a safe play area and a telephone, and the home must undergo a homestudy once a year. Going to orientation is something that one has to do before receiving an application. There is no minimum amount of time that an orientation has to take, though most take roughly two hours./ During the orientation one will be given a brief overview of the system and how it works. Next the soon to be foster parent(s) will go over the attachment and separation issues of children and their families and how to handle the situation with delicacy. Once that has been done, the next step is to learn the impact that foster care has on everyone involved. After all the basics are gone...

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