By Judith Fischer, president of AACFA
May is National Foster Care Awareness month, a time we set aside to honor foster children and the families who provide them with safe, loving homes, as well as the foster care workers who make it all possible.
We thank the families who open their homes to children in need and make a difference in their lives. The not-for-profit, accredited child welfare agencies that make up AACFA provide a full continuum of services to foster children and families, and foster care is a huge part of what makes our child welfare system work.
In Michigan, there are approximately 13,000 children in foster care and 300 children who need an adoptive family, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. AACFA agencies have resources for those interested in giving a loving and safe place to call home to children in need.
AACFA members are some of the largest child welfare agencies in Michigan and we are working hard to ensure children have the resources they need to thrive. This year, the agencies have called on Michigan lawmakers to provide an 18% pay rate increase for foster parents, and we’re working to help mitigate the current shortage of foster families.
Dedicating more resources to foster families would help them meet the needs of foster children and allow more families to open their homes and take care of the children who need it. We appreciate the administration and bipartisan support we have received from the Legislature in hearing this request. AACFA is also very pleased that the Michigan House and Senate have passed an 18% increase in pay rates for foster families. This support is a step in the right direction.
During National Foster Care Month and year-round, we will continue to push for the best possible care for children and families in our state.