There are currently over 14,000 children in the foster system in Michigan. When you stop to consider that number, you’ll realize that it’s larger than the population of some Michigan townships and municipalities. Thousands of children in need of loving families, and safe and stable homes to live in until their own parents can work through their struggles with the court, or they can find ‘forever families’ through adoption.
Fostering can be a very rewarding experience, for both the children and the families that take them in. However, while choosing to foster a child in Michigan is an act of incredible generosity and selflessness, there are some facts that you need to take into consideration before taking this step. Facts that may impact whether or not you choose to foster in Michigan.
Fostering provides CPS with a gilded invitation into your home at any time.
When you become involved with the foster system in Michigan, you become involved with CPS, whether you realize it or not. The agency that licenses you to foster is the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), which is the same agency that governs Child Protective Services. They are indelibly linked, and you are now operating under the CPS umbrella.
CPS has access to all of your personal information
When you apply to be licensed to foster in Michigan, you are submitted to a very rigorous investigation. This is to ensure that the children the state will be placing in your care will be safe and properly cared for, which is a completely legitimate reason. However, it also means that CPS has access to all of your personal information that was gathered during the licensing process. This includes everything from your personal history, your religious beliefs, your finances and even private interviews with your children.
You may no longer discipline as you see fit
Because many of the children in the foster system come from abusive homes, the state forbids foster parents from using any form of force when disciplining any children in their home. That means you may not spank your children, even though state law allows parents to spank their children if they choose to. Remember that this includes your biological children as well, because witnessing another child being spanked is also considered to be traumatic for a child with a history of abuse. This is especially difficult for foster parents when the foster child has violent outbursts towards other children or adults in the home. Even restraining a child from harming another child can get you into trouble with CPS.
You may be subject to false allegations of abuse
Most children in the foster system have been removed from homes where there is abuse or neglect of one kind or another. Whether it’s physical, sexual or psychological, these children have suffered trauma. Some of them use false allegations of abuse as a weapon, or a manipulation tool to get what they want. On occasion, a foster child will report abuse that never happened as a way to get attention and, in some instances, as a method of control over circumstances where they feel powerless and helpless.
If you are considering fostering in Michigan, which is both admirable and generous, we ask you to first consider speaking with an attorney that specializes in CPS defense. Many foster parents grow to love the children they care for, and that love is returned. However, there are more than enough instances where a family opens their home in the hopes of making a difference in a child’s life, only to be falsely accused, investigated, and charged by CPS.
The highly skilled parent defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent decades defending parents and families against charges of abuse and neglect in Michigan. We are familiar with how CPS operates, and can help you get ready for your time as a foster parent, so that you are fully protected and prepared. Call us today at 800-576-6035. We are here to help you.