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- Partner with your MDHHS county office, private agencies, and/or the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.
- Provide gathering space for foster care and adoptive visitations and support groups.
- Host a foster care/adoption orientation and PRIDE training with members of your organization.
- Share the need for foster parents to care for older children, siblings, and children with special needs.
- Schedule/host a child abuse and neglect mandated reporter training. Mandated Reported pamphlets are available online at www.michigan.gov/mandatedreporter.
- Request free safe sleep resources to provide in your community and organizations.
- Become a registered MDHHS volunteer to provide transportation assistance for local MDHHS county offices and foster families by driving children in foster care to visits with their parents and siblings.
- Request free posters, brochures, and/or bookmarks on foster care and adoption to display in your foyer, community center, etc.
- Post a link on your website to the MDHHS foster care and adoption site, www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.
- Invite a Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative youth to share with members of your organization.
- Become a licensed foster parent!
- Support the Michigan Education Trust Charitable Tuition Program to provide scholarships for students in foster care.
- Highlight the need for foster and adoptive families in your bulletins, newsletters, annual conferences, etc.
- Mentor foster youth through the Mentor Michigan Foster Care Initiative, www.michigan.gov/mentormichigan.
- Learn more and sign up for monthly emails on the MDHHS Foster Care website at www.michigan.gov/fostercare.
- For questions and more information about volunteer opportunities, please email RichardsonT12@michigan.gov.
Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange
Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, or MARE, is an information and referral service for prospective parents who are interested in adopting through the foster care system and for adoption workers looking for homes for waiting youth. MARE facilitates recruitment events and public awareness campaigns throughout the state and maintains a photolisting website, www.mare.org, and a toll-free information hotline at 800-589-MARE (6273). MARE’s adoption navigators, who are adoptive parents themselves, respond to families who contact MARE and help guide them along their adoption journey. There are many ways your community can become involved at every level.
- Feature a waiting child’s photo in your bulletin or newsletter, or on your website.
- Display the Michigan Heart Gallery - a professional photographic exhibit of Michigan’s longest-waiting youth available for adoption. Learn more at www.miheart.org.
- Host a “Meet and Greet,” where families approved for adoption and children waiting for adoption come together for fun, food and games.
- Host a large-scale adoption awareness event for 200 to 400 people.
If you are interested in or would like more information on any of the MARE opportunities, contact the MARE recruitment specialist at 800-589-6273 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming an adoptive parent, contact an adoption navigator at 800-589-6273.
MARE is a program of the Judson Center and is funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Post Adoption Resource Centers
Post Adoption Resource Centers, or PARCs, are a resource for families with children ages 21 years or younger who have been adopted in Michigan from the foster care system, or through an international or direct consent adoption, or who are placed in guardianship through Michigan’s foster care system and are eligible for guardianship assistance through MDHHS Adoption and Guardianship Assistance Office. PARC’s services are provided across the state through eight regional offices and include family activities, monthly groups and events, information about resources in the community, helping families to access and coordinate community services, and adoption sensitive in-home case management to support families who are dealing with challenges that sometimes arise in foster care adoption.
- Contact PARC for information about their services within your community.
- Invite a PARC Specialist to present at adoption awareness events.
- Provide information about PARC services to families interested in adoption.
For more information about the Post Adoption Resource Center, visit www.michigan.gov/adoption.
Foster Care Navigator Program
The Foster Care Navigator Program provides support before, during, and after the foster parent licensing process. All foster care navigators have experience as a foster parent and are eager to assist families throughout the licensing process. Navigators provide support, information and referrals in order to ensure that families have the resources they need to be successful as licensed foster parents.
- Contact the Foster Care Navigator Program for information on the foster parent licensing process and information about local child placing agencies.
- Invite a foster care navigator to present at foster care awareness events.
- Refer families interested in becoming licensed foster parents to the Foster Care Navigator Program.
For more information about the Foster Care Navigator Program, visit www.fcnp.org or call 855-MICHKIDS (642-4543).