Foster Care

Become a Foster Parent. Call 855-MICHKIDS to learn more.

In Michigan, there are nearly 13,000 children in foster care and 300 children who still need an adoptive family. We need your help to provide a safe, nurturing home for these children until they can be returned to their families. When children cannot be returned to their homes, foster parents are often asked to provide permanent homes.

5 Steps to Become a Foster Parent

  1. CALL A NAVIGATOR: Call our Foster Care Navigators at 855-MICHKIDS to get started. Navigators are experienced foster parents who can answer all of your questions, help you find an agency near you and provide guidance along your journey to becoming a foster parent. Use our Agency Checklist as a guide to choosing an agency that's right for you.
  2. ATTEND AN ORIENTATION: The comprehensive orientation will not only review guidelines, but help illustrate what you can expect as a foster parent. Agency representatives will be happy to answer all your questions during the orientation.
  3. COMPLETE THE APPLICATION: After orientation, the agency you selected will provide you with a licensing application packet. In general, the application steps are
  • Schedule fingerprinting with your licensing agency.
  • Complete the foster home licensing application.
  • Submit your application and fingerprinting clearance form to your licensing worker.
  • Complete medical records for the entire family.
  • Complete any other requested paperwork with your licensing worker.
  1. ATTEND FREE TRAINING: Agencies will help you schedule PRIDE training. PRIDE, or Parent Resources for Information Development and Education, offers valuable information to make sure you are ready to become a foster parent. Every licensed foster parent needs to complete 12 hours of PRIDE training. Once you are licensed, you have 18 months to complete an additional 12 hours of PRIDE training.
  2. PARTICIPATE IN A HOME EVALUATION: Before welcoming a foster child into your home, you must pass an on-site home evaluation performed by the licensing agent. The agency you selected will meet with your family several times for on-site home visits and interviews. After you attend orientation and submit your application, your agency will schedule your first home visit.


Foster children need caring individuals who can provide a safe and nurturing home. The primary goal during foster care is to reunite the child with his or her parents. This can take some time - we need caring adults who are willing to provide stability and safety for children in their care.

Foster parents should be committed individuals who are:

  • Willing to work with the child's birth parents.
  • Supportive of efforts to return the child home.
  • Able to work with children who have emotional and behavioral needs.
  • Able to encourage teens toward independent living.
  • Willing to provide a permanent home if necessary.


Understanding the Foster Care Program

Foster Care identifies and places children in safe homes when they cannot remain with their families because of safety concerns. Foster families provide these children with the consistency and support they need to grow.

Our main goal is to return children back to their homes when it is safe. If a return home is not possible, adoptive families are needed.

Check out our Foster Care Frequently Asked Questions for more details.

Check out the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange for details on foster children available for adoption.