Foster Care FAQs

When do you need a license for child foster care?

You must hold a foster home license if you are providing care for an unrelated minor and the care will last for more than 10 consecutive days.

You should be licensed to provide care for a relative minor if the related child is a court or state ward and you need foster care payments to assist in providing the care.

How do I go about applying for a child foster home license?

Licensing of child foster homes is a joint effort between the State of Michigan and licensed child placing agencies. All foster homes work with and are supervised by a child placing agency. In order to apply for a foster home license, you will need to contact one of the child placing agencies conducting business in your geographic location.

If I become licensed to provide foster care, how will children be placed in my home?

Child placing agencies and certain courts place children into foster homes. The agency responsible for your home’s supervision can make placement. Other children placing agencies and authorized courts can borrow vacant beds within your home if they have the supervising agency’s approval and your agreement.

Is there any guarantee that children will be placed in my home?

There are no guarantees that a child will be placed into your home. Becoming a licensed foster home merely makes the placement of a child possible. Having a child placed is depending upon the “types” of children needing foster care, the availability of beds in the community, and on the placement specifications for each foster home.

I’m really interested in adopting a child. Should I seek a foster home license?

Generally, foster children are returned to their birth families. Foster families must comply with the plan when reunification is the goal. However, when parental rights are terminated, foster parents frequently adopt the children for whom they have been caring. We are able to facilitate the adoption of foster children legally available for adoption through our agency. However, if your primary interest is in adopting a healthy, newborn infant, please feel free to contact our infant adoption program at Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw.

What are the qualifications for becoming a licensed foster parent?

There are specific qualifications to become licensed foster parents. These can be found in the BCAL PUB-110 Licensing Rules for Foster Family Homes and Foster Family Group Homes for Children. You will receive this manual at orientation if you choose to proceed.

What should I expect to have happen while involved in the process of becoming licensed?

The child placing agency will provide orientation to all prospective license applicants. If you file an application, police clearances and a check for child protective services will be done on all adults in the home. Medical statements will be required for all members of the household. The agency will do a comprehensive study to assure compliance with the foster home licensing rules.

I do home schooling with my birth children. Will that affect becoming licensed?

You may home school your own children. The agency may require that you send foster children to an accredited, either public or private, school program.

I live in a rented apartment. Will that affect becoming licensed?

You are not required to own your own home to be licensed. You should check with your landlord before applying to be sure the landlord does not object.

Will I have any say in the “types” of children I’ll be asked to care for?

The agency will ask you about the types of children for whom you are willing to care. The final recommendation will be based on your preferences and the agency’s assessment of your skills and abilities.

If I become licensed, what will be expected of me?

You will be expected to work with the child placing agency to meet the needs of children placed in your home. Training is required prior to licensure and annually after that for each person named on the license. You will need to keep the agency informed about your family and to maintain compliance with the foster home licensing rules.

Can I be licensed if I work?

The agency will evaluate whether you have sufficient time to meet the needs of children who might be placed with you. There is no prohibition in the rules on working foster parents. Additionally, the foster family must have a legal source of income that is sufficient to meet the needs of the foster child.