At any one time there are approximately 13,000 children in the state of Michigan in foster care. In April 2007 MCLC launched a new initiative. Because of the critical shortage of licensed foster homes for children who had been abused and neglected, we decided to hold forums, which have the purpose of providing information to individuals and couples who were thinking about becoming foster and/or adoptive parents.
The first program was held in Lincoln Park and was co-sponsored by the Exchange Club of Lincoln Park and other Dowriver Exchange Clubs. Former Justice Maura Corrigan was a panelist along with foster care workers, adoption specialists, foster and adoptive parents and foster and adopted children.
Since its inception, MCLC has sponsored over 20 foster parent forums in the Metropolitan Detroit area. The forums have the support of the Third Judicial Circuit and have been attended by Chief Judge Robert Columbo, former Chief Judges, including Mary Beth Kelly, William J. Giovan, and Virgil Smith. Presiding Judge Virgil Smith, and Judges Frank Szymanski, Alexis Glendenning, Christopher Dingell, Jerome Cavanagh, Leslie Kim Smith, Lynn Pierce, and Mark Slavens have also been panelists.
Many of these forums have been conducted in the city of Detroit at community churches. In May 2014, MCLC conducted a very successful forum which was attended by over forty individuals. At the conclusion, several attendees expressed interest in becoming foster parents. In September 2014, MCLC expanded its reach and co-sponsored a forum in Oakland County with the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care. Three attendees indicated an interest in becoming licensed foster parents.
In October 2015, MCLC had one of its most successful programs to date at a church in Taylor, Michigan. Close to forty individuals attended and eleven couples have gone forward to become license foster parents. Chief Judge Robert Columbo, along with the church Pastor and foster home licensing specialists, served as panelists.
Since beginning this program, it is estimated that over 90 individuals and couples have gone onto become licensed foster parents and approved adoptive parents. Some former program attendees now serve as panelists.
MCLC is committed to continuing the recruitment of foster and adoptive parents. For more information regarding these forums, please see our Facebook page.
For more information about becoming a licensed foster parent, please visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services information page here or call 1-888-MICHKIDS.
For more information about the current children available for adoption, please visit the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) website at www.mare.org.