Foster Care FAQs

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.

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 by completing an inquiry on the Michigan Foster Care Portal.

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.

In order for placement to occur, your family will be contacted via phone call, text message, or email; at this time your licensing worker will provide information about the child. If your family has additional questions regarding the child, you can ask your licensing worker and they will contact the referring worker. Placement cannot occur with authorization from your family.

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

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.

There are specific qualifications to become licensed foster parents. These can be found in the 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. You can only be licensed for service types that you either have experience with or have participated in training regarding the behavior and/or need.

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.

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 source of income that is sufficient to meet the needs of the foster child.

There is no requirement that a foster parent should be married; a foster parent can be single or in a relationship. If you have a partner that lives with you, even if not married, it is required that they are listed as an applicant. If you have a partner who does not live with you, it is required that they be listed as a household member as a Child Abuse/Neglect Central Registry and criminal background check will need to be done on persons who may have continuous or frequent contact with a foster child.