DETROIT — A drive-in movie night in Detroit organized by state health and county officials will highlight the need for foster parents in Wayne County.
Wayne County residents can enjoy a night at the movies while finding out how they can become foster parents during an event on Friday night, July 9. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and its Wayne County Licensing Unit is hosting the event.
Michigan has approximately 11,500 children who are in foster care, including about 2,800 in Wayne County.
The Foster Parent Recruitment Drive-In Movie Event will be held from 6-10 p.m. at Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. Seven Mile Road in Detroit. The movie is “Peter Rabbit 2.”
Attendees can meet with the licensing team to find out the process for becoming a foster parent and speak to foster parents from Wayne County. Free concessions will be provided. Those interested are asked to register in advance by Thursday, July 8.
“Wayne County needs as many loving foster homes as we can find to best meet the unique needs of children who are in care,” said Lynette Wright, Wayne County child welfare director for MDHHS. “We are particularly in need of homes for teens and children with emotional and behavioral needs and for families who are supportive of efforts to return children to their homes once that is safe.”
Keenna Bell, Wayne County Licensing Supervisor, told The Arab American News of the urgent need for foster homes for young people in the both the state and the county.
“Foster care is really intended to be temporary, until we provide services to the family to be reunited with their children,” Bell said. “In the interim, we are looking for as many foster homes as we can get, to specialize in the different needs of the children.”
Bell said that her unit guides individuals through the entire process to becoming foster parents. This includes a general orientation, growth sessions, which comprise of 18 hours of intense education on fostering. Potential foster parents are given information on the different needs of the children they’ll care for, and how to handle those different needs.
An inspection of the home follows training, and the county will help bring a home up to proper standards if needed. Funds are also available for licensing foster families, depending on need.
Bell asks those interested in becoming a foster parents within Wayne County to contact her at 313-520-2603.
“We really need to find homes for teenagers and those children that are medically fragile and have special medical needs,” Bell said.
Outside of the county, anyone who is considering becoming a foster parent in Michigan can call Foster Care Navigators at 855-MICHKIDS. Navigators are experienced foster care parents who can answer questions, help find an agency and provide guidance along the journey to becoming a foster parent. More info can also be found at www.michigan.gov/HopeforaHome.