As Juvenile Court Referees, the program founders saw the impact of neglect and abuse on children and families every day. Children in foster care are there because they have already experienced deeply damaging hardships. At the very least they have suffered significant deprivation and neglect; at worst, they have experienced the severe physical and emotional abuse by the people entrusted with their safety and well-being.
This trauma does not disappear when they are removed from their homes. They find themselves in a system that determines everything from where they live to whether they get to visit with their own sisters and brothers. In many instances they are placed by strangers with strangers and most arrive in foster care with only the clothing on their backs and a few other belongings tossed in a garbage bag.
The Detroit area’s foster parents, foster care attorneys, volunteers, judges, and social workers are doing everything they can to help these incredibly vulnerable young people – but Michigan’s foster care system provides only the bare basics for children in care. In fact, foster parents receive just over half the actual cost of raising a child as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The difference between what the state provides and children’s actual needs are particularly burdensome on kinship foster families, who are frequently given less than a days’ notice to prepare for the arrival of a child into their home while simultaneously being required to purchase big-ticket items like beds, cribs, and car seats right away.
Through We Care Foster Care caring members of our community have a chance to help these vulnerable children thrive,