The Midland County Probate & Juvenile Court Foster Care Program was instituted in an effort to establish foster care as an alternative to the residential placement of delinquent youth. A full-time foster care coordinator is on staff to license, train, and support foster parents. The Midland County Foster Care Program provides out-of-home care for youth who have come under the jurisdiction of the court. The rationale of the program is that it is more effective - treatment wise and cost wise - to place youth in community-based foster homes close to their families rather than in out-of-county residential placement.
One of the primary goals of the Midland County Foster Care Program is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children by training and providing services and support to foster parents. These services range from specific training in how to deal with challenges of problem youth to moral support for the foster parents.
Be a Foster Parent
Foster family care is one way to meet the needs of children who for many reasons are unable to live with their parents. Foster care provides a temporary home for children in a family setting other than the child’s birth family. These children often have various problems that require understanding from a caring and compassionate adult.; Becoming a foster parent is an opportunity to provide the environment needed for healthy adjustment and growth for foster children. Fostering children with trauma can be filled with challenges as well as opportunities.
Many of these youth have special needs. Studies have shown that healthy and caring relationships build resiliency children need to overcome hardships. Providing foster children with a temporary loving home is better than sending them away to residential placement. We are in need of foster homes that will give children the guidance and nurturance needed for a better life. Foster children need the structure, love, and understanding your stable family home can provide.
The Court provides monthly foster parent support meetings, ongoing training and 24-hour support.
Who Are Foster Parents?
Foster parents are people who believe in investing in the future of children by giving them the hope for a happy and successful life. They are sympathetic people who have unconditional love and understanding for all children. They are able to provide a safe, nurturing and a stable home environment to foster growth in children. They are dedicated to helping children and families improve their quality of life. Please consider in making this every important investment and become a foster parent.
YOU can be a foster family even if:
- You do not own your a home and rent or live in an apartment
- You are not married and are single and live alone
- You are working and or are retired
- You do not have children or you do have children
Types of Placements
The youth that the Court is involved with range from 0-19 years of age. There is a need for homes of all ages, especially teenagers (13-17). As foster parents, you can specify which age range and gender would be most suitable for you.
Respite and emergency foster care homes accept youth on an emergency or short-term basis through Court referrals or Community Mental Health. Typically, the youth and the family need a short time-out period and these placements occur normally on weekends. The foster child will be placed in the home for a weekend, sometimes on a once or twice a month basis. An extension may be granted if the foster parent and the Court agree to a longer placement. During the placement, the foster parents will be asked to transport the child to school, counseling, etc. All mileage will be reimbursed.
Typically, youth placed in short and long foster care placements are delinquent wards place through the Probate & Family Court. The length of stay averages three to six months. Families with teens placed in this extended care are usually experiencing turmoil. Interventions with the youth and their parents are necessary to facilitate better relationships and re-entry of the youth back into the home. During placement, the youth and the parents work on improving their communication and socials skills in family counseling. Parents also attend parenting classes.
Youth involved in the Day Treatment Program at the Juvenile Care Center may need short-term placements. Typically, the placement is for three months or less and involves evening/overnight and weekend care. Youth involved in this program attend the Day Treatment Program five days per week Monday through Friday from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Juvenile Care Center provides three meals per day and transportation to and from the Day Treatment Program. There is no program on weekends. The Day Treatment Program operates during the summer months from Monday through Friday from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Does The Court Help With Foster Care Expenses?
Yes, the foster parents receive reimbursement from the Court for each foster child living in their home. The daily rate of payment is increased for children with multiple problems or more severe behavioral difficulties. Clothing, personal allowances and medical expenses are also provided.