Flags raise awareness of need for foster families

Blue and white lawn flags will dot Michigan’s landscape this month to demonstrate the need for loving foster homes for children.

Michigan has approximately 13,500 children in foster care. Children of all ages who have been victims of abuse and neglect need temporary foster homes to care for them until they can be safely reunified with their parents or – in a smaller number of cases – until they can find adoptive homes if it’s not safe for them to return home.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed May to be Foster Care Month in Michigan to encourage people to consider becoming foster parents and to recognize those who are already doing so.

“Every child deserves a safe, loving and stable home,” Whitmer said. “This month and throughout the year, I hope Michiganders will consider opening up their homes to children in foster care.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) oversees the state’s foster care system. “Foster parents are critically important in helping us meet our mission of protecting the safety and well-being of children,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “I want to express my thanks and gratitude to the many Michiganders who provide love, affection, support and security to children who are in need.”

The first step to becoming a foster parent is contacting a Foster Care Navigator. Navigators are experienced foster parents who can answer questions, help individuals find an agency that’s right for them and provide guidance along their journey to becoming a foster parent. They can be reached at 855-MICHKIDS.

To learn more about foster care, visit www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome. Find dates and locations for foster care flag displays and the times that child welfare staff will be available to answer questions on the Foster Care Awareness Month Flag Display page on the MDHHS website.

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