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Foster Care

A Safe Home

A love that changes lives: Support, stability, and care as parents work toward reunification.

A child enters foster care when they are not safe at home. DABSJ comes alongside families with our foster care programming and works on our number one goal: family reunification

We firmly believe that children belong with their families. We will work tirelessly as an agency to make that happen. While that work is being done, we prioritize finding relatives who can provide a secure environment for the child. If no relatives are available, we have amazing community foster homes with families who unconditionally love and care for our children.

An undeniable truth in foster care is the presence of trauma. Being removed from family, from home… and all the challenges that led to that point. But no one is in this alone. We provide case management and additional supportive services for those involved. From the child living in a complicated system, to the family working to be back together, to the foster family opening their home and their heart… DABSJ is here. 

FAQs About Foster Care

As a foster parent, you are responsible for:

Foster Parents Come From All Walks Of Life

There are many misconceptions about who is eligible to be a foster parent! The key requirement is your ability to provide a safe, loving home. You can be single or married, work full-time or stay at home, a home-owner or a renter, young or older. We also seek foster parents from the LGBTQ+ community, as many youth in foster care identify as LGBTQ+ themselves and need loving, affirming homes.

The truth is, children in foster care come from all walks of life. We need foster parents from different walks of life, too. We are proud to work with all children, all families, all individuals.

We Support You Every Step Of the Way

Foster families are critical in the success of our children and families. Because of this, we provide case management and additional supportive services to foster families every step of the way. When a child is placed in your home, you will be part of the child’s team which includes the child’s parents, case manager, foster care supervisor, the child’s attorney, doctors, therapists, and other professionals who know how to connect you to specific resources to meet the child’s needs.

For some cases, a program called Enhanced Foster Care is available. This approach provides specialized and targeted support for the child and family, along with strong coordination for all the people and programs involved in the child’s life.

The Biggest Needs

With over 10,000 children in foster care in Michigan right now, and about 500 just in Kent County, the overall need is simply for foster homes. But we also have particular need for homes willing to work with older youth, sibling groups, and medically fragile children.

A Safe, Temporary Home

Yes! Sometimes, youth simply need a place to go.

How To Become A Foster Parent

Foster love. Foster hope. Foster care.

As a foster parent, your love could change a life – yours included. You provide a temporary and nurturing home until children can be reunited with their parents or families, becoming an unforgettable piece in their lives.

Safe and loving foster homes are one of our greatest needs at DABSJ. Many don’t realize they could be eligible to become a foster family. If you have the heart, we’d love to talk more with you about this incredible experience.

Attend an Info Meeting

Find out more about what it takes to become a foster parent and get your questions answered.

Complete an application

After attending an information meeting you will be provided with a licensing application packet.


Attend foster parent training classes. This training offers valuable information to make sure you are ready to become a foster parent.

Complete A
Home Study

Before welcoming a foster child into your home, you must pass an on-site home evaluation performed by the licensing specialist.

Enhanced Shelter Homes

A Safe, Temporary Home

Sometimes, youth simply need a place to go. Right now there are youth bouncing from home to home, sometimes on a day-to-day basis, because they don’t have a steady place to land while their foster care staff find a more stable placement. Sadly, some of these youth wait at the agency all day while we figure out a plan.

We are actively recruiting Enhanced Shelter Homes. You provide a safe, temporary home for youth 12+ for 14 to 30 days while DABSJ foster care staff prepares the youth for their best placement. You must be a licensed foster parent, and daily and monthly stipends are available for those who support in this critical way.

“The lifelong impact we are making on their lives, that’s why we do it.”

-Cyndi, foster parent

Foster Care Stories

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Independent, But Not Alone 

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It’s Family Time

A SHIFT CHANGING LIVES IN FOSTER CARE  Jayden is sitting with his mother, reading a book. He doesn’t know the details of court filings, or ...
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How Therapy Changed Our Family | Julie and Marcus’ Story

Not long after I became a licensed foster parent I met a boy named Marcus and he stole my heart. He had been living in ...
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Interested in being a Foster Parent?

Foster Care Information Meetings

August 2024
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DABSJ is inclusive and welcoming – from our team members, to the children we serve, to the families we license as foster parents. You could play a part in providing homes and hope for children who need a place to be themselves.