Will a caseworker visit our home to check on us?
Yes. Once a month while a foster child is placed in your home. This is a state requirement. Other assistance may be available as well depending on your or the child’s needs.
Who are the children needing foster care?
Infants, toddlers, school-aged children, and teenagers need foster care. A single child, or a child and his/her siblings need foster care. Children with varying religious and cultural backgrounds need foster care. Children of all races and cultures need foster care.
What will I need to do for the children placed in my home?
Love and accept them without trying to replace their biological parents. Give them a normal family life and a feeling of belonging. Provide nutritious meals and give good daily care. See that their health needs are met. Give them the training and guidance that will help them become good citizens. Help them become a part of the community, by involving them in community recreational activities. Cooperate and work with the local educational system to ensure continuity of the foster child's education.
Do foster parents have full responsibility for foster children in their home?
The State of Michigan Department of Human Services shares this responsibility with Hands Across The Water and the foster parents. The foster parents are responsible for the day-to-day care of the child, while DHS/HATW carries overall responsibility for decisions about the child.
What if there is a problem with the child placed in my home?
A foster care worker from HATW makes regular visits to the home to help with problems that arise. Foster parents are expected to discuss with the foster care worker problems that come up throughout the placement and other plans may be made if necessary. Changes in placement must be planned carefully to prevent further emotional distress to the child.
How do I know if I’d be a good foster parent?
Foster parenting requires a lot of patience, compassion and skill. Foster parents understand that the children that come to them are hurting and that it takes a long time to reduce that pain and change the resulting behaviors. You have to be willing to commit to the children placed in your home and ask for help if needed. It is also helpful if you have a strong support base such as extended family or religious community to help your family when needed.
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. 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.
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 a portion of the costs of day care.
How much does it cost to become licensed?
Becoming a licensed foster parent is free to you. You may need to pay for medicals or criminal clearances or other such paperwork, but the training and process of becoming licensed is of no cost to you.
Will I be able to adopt the child in my home?
Often this is possible but the original intent of foster care is reunification with the biological family. Some children may go home before you are able to adopt.