Celebrating foster care month

To the editor:

May is National Foster Care Month and it is time for our community to recognize the special families that open their hearts and homes to children in need. There are over 17,000 Michigan children in foster care.

Being a foster parent is not an easy job, and is often thankless. Foster parents provide not only for the needs of children, but also work with agencies, courts, birth parents, and other service providers as a part of a team to remedy the problems in the family that brought the child into care. They are committed to supporting the most vulnerable children by providing a temporary, safe home to nurture the child while families rebuild for reunification.

Recruitment and retention of foster families in our community is an ongoing effort by Foster Family Support Services; a program of U.P. KIDS. Foster parents are needed for children with special needs, older children, and homes for sibling groups. We are always in need for more homes that are available for fostering; this making a better fit to make for a child’s placement.

Foster Family Support Services would like to thank these unsung heroes, because of their care, neglected or abused children and teens can be safely united with their parents, be cared for by relatives, be adopted by loving families and/or make a successful transition to independent living.

Foster Family Support Services was informed by MARE (Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange) that one of our local foster families had been selected as Michigan’s Top 30 foster families for their commitment and dedication to Michigan’s foster children. We would like to acknowledge Lynette Cruickshank as one of the 30 ‘Spotlight Foster Families’ in Michigan. MARE had stated, “When we recruit foster parents for our children, these are the people we wish we could clone.” Lynette will receive a certificate and award for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty of being a foster parent. Congratulations Lynette! We are so proud of you! Thank you again.

So no matter how much time you have to give, you have the power to do something positive that will change a lifetime for a young person in foster care. We urge you to get involved, volunteer, be a mentor, serve as a foster parent, advocate for children.

For more information about fostering, please contact U.P. KIDS’ Foster Family Support Services at corey@upkids.com