Michigan needs more loving foster families to temporarily care for children while the state works to reunify them safely with their biological parents.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed May to be Foster Care Month in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) during the month is recognizing foster families for their contributions while raising awareness of the need for more foster homes. There are about 10,500 children in foster care in the state. There is a particular need for families to foster older children, sibling groups and youth with special needs.

Demetrius Starling, executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency said they are facing an increased need for foster families to provide stable and safe care for children due to the department’s commitment to provide family homes for children and reduce the use of congregate care settings, as well as a significant loss of foster homes during the pandemic.

He thanked the 4,928 foster families in Michigan for stepping up to help children who deserve loving homes.

In most cases, MDHHS’s goal is to reunify the children with their families after providing resources to them. If that’s not safe, MDHHS looks to find them permanent homes through adoption.

Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can call a Foster Care Navigator at 855-MICHKIDS or visit www.fcnp.org. Navigators are experienced foster care parents who can answer questions and guide prospective foster parents on their journey.

Learn more at www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome.

—Michigan Department of Health and Human Services