Posted on June 1st, 2009 No comments
DHS has eased the requirement that relatives become licensed foster care providers in order to have a child placed with them. In October, a policy was implemented requiring foster home licensing for all family members who take custody of children who are relatives. Apparently, this policy did not go over very well with relative caregivers. Of the 1,521 relatives contacted before Dec. 19, only 53 percent said they were interested in becoming licensed, according to a letter recently written by Ismael Ahmed, director of Michigan’s human services department, to state legislators.
Apparently, family members who step in to care for children that have been removed from their parents due to abuse or neglect are a little wary of government oversight. One can hardly blame them. The requirements for licensing include foster parent training, fingerprinting of all adults in the home, and minimums on square footage of bedrooms in the house.
In a formal memorandum issued in March, Terry Salacina, DHS’ acting director of field operations, instructed county and local welfare directors to allow placement of children with relatives who refused licensing, as long as safety checks were completed, the child’s interest was met and relatives signed a waiver saying they were informed of their options but declined.
Licensing still has its privileges. Licensed foster homes receive monthly foster care payments between $399 and $493 a month, plus allowances for clothing and holidays.
The Detroit News published a nice article on this story. Click here to read the article.
Quick Fact: Of the 20,142 children in out-of-home placements, 7118 are in relative placements. That’s 35.3%.