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Thousands of Michigan children in need of foster homes

Foster parents play a very important role in our society and for our children. A good foster care situation helps a child thrive while in transition or waiting for adoption. A local agency in Michigan is fighting to keep more foster parents in the system.

On Michigan foster family has brought children into their home for the past six years. They are currently caring for a 13-month-old boy and 20-month-old girl. The children's foster mother says the children are growing and developing, which is exactly what state officials like to see.

According to the Department of Human Services, in Michigan there are currently 14,000 children in foster care. But one foster care agency in Lansing says there aren't enough foster homes in central Michigan to care for all the children. The agency looks for stable homes and also tries to keep siblings together. This is difficult given the fact that the agency only has 77 licensed homes.

Another difficulty is that children in need of foster care often range in age from zero to 17 or 18. Older children often bring added challenges, sometimes having suffered from years of abuse or neglect within their own families.

Agencies often require training for foster parents, home studies and background checks. However, to the surprise of many, foster parents do not have to be married or own a home.

The goal for all these groups and agencies is to find good homes for children. For families considering adoption through foster care, an experienced family law attorney is often a necessary asset. The legal process can be complicated and in the instance of adoption, parents don't want to miss any important steps.

Source: WILX 10, "Agency Says Local Foster Families Needed," Caroline Vandergriff, Oct. 23, 2012

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