Foster Home Licensing Requirement for Relative Caregivers
In October 2008, the State of Michigan reached a settlement agreement on a federal lawsuit filed by Children's Rights, a child advocacy organization based in New York. The terms of the consent decree include the requirement that relative care providers should be licensed. Among the benefits of licensure are:
- Increased protection of children from abuse and neglect.
- Assurance that providers meet minimum foster family licensing requirements.
- Provision of financial support to caregivers.
- Access to training and services to enhance and improve the quality of child care provided to foster children.
DHS policy states that within five days of a child's placement in a relative's home, the assigned foster care worker must discuss licensure with the relative caregiver. The discussion must include completion of the form, Foster Home Licensing Requirements for Relative Caregivers, DHS-972. The relative is required to sign the DHS-972 and indicate if they are interested in pursuing licensure or wish to waive licensure.
Within 10 calendar days of the child's placement, relatives interested in pursuing licensure must be referred to a DHS or private agency certification worker for assessment and licensure. The certification worker must complete a home study within 30 calendar days of the child's placement into the relative home.
Note: Relative licensing is optional for children who are American Indian as defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act.