What it Takes to Be a Foster Family

  • Willing to work with and be supportive of U.P. Kids and the child’s family through-out the reunification process.
  • Understand and be able to work with the children's emotional and behavioral challenges.
  • If accepting teenage children, work with them to encourage independent life skills.
  • Willing to provide a safe, loving, nurturing home for a child who needs it!

Licensing Process

The Foster Care Licensing Process & Requirements

The first step in becoming a Foster Family is to complete the licensing process. U.P.Kids provides support before, during, and after the process of becoming a licensed Foster Home and can guide you through the entire process. It generally takes about six months to go through the Foster Care licensing process. It could take more or less time depending on circumstances.


Orientation usually occurs during a home visit with the family, but also may take place at an event for several families.

The licensing worker will discuss the foster care licensing process and answer any questions.  If orientation occurs at the family’s home, the licensing worker may walk through to assess the appropriateness of the home.

Enrollment Process

To begin the Enrollment Process a family submits an application.

Criminal background checks are conducted on all adults in the household using fingerprints, Central Registry (Michigan’s database of those with proven allegations of abuse/neglect), and Michigan's Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT).

Home Study/Family Assessment

The Home Study (also called a Family Assessment) can be done by a caseworker from U.P.Kids, and typically takes around six months to complete.

This will be an ongoing part of your licensure process from application to completion. The home study consists of a series of meetings between the family and the licensing worker, with at least one meeting occurring in the family’s home.

It provides an educational opportunity for the family to learn more and seriously consider their motivations and expectations for foster care. It also gives the licensing worker a chance to get to know the family. The home study generally includes the following:

  • Assessment of the Home/Property for Safety and Licensing Rule Compliance
  • Questionnaire for the Family to Fill Out
  • In-Depth Interviews with each Member of the Family
  • Assessment of the Good Moral Character of applicants for licensure.
  • Discussions About: family functioning, parenting styles, discipline techniques, family of origin, past relationships, criminal history, substance use, physical and mental health, stability of relationships, motivation for foster care / adoption, and finances.  These discussions provide a basis for determining whether a family is eligible to be licensed for foster care, and are also useful in determining what types of children will be a good match with the family.

You will be asked to provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Three Personal References. The References are unrelated individuals who can share their knowledge about your experience with children, the stability of your marriage and/or household, and your motivation to provide foster care.


Once you've begun working with our agency and have had your Home Visit, you will be referred by your worker to attend a GROW Training.

  • G - Grow culturally responsive relationships
  • R - Recognize children’s developmental needs and the impact of trauma
  • O - Obtain Information and resources
  • W - Work in partnership with families to support healthy relationships


Compliance with State of Michigan Licensing Rules for Foster Family Homes

When the Home Study is complete, the licensing worker will compile all the required documentation and prepare a complete home study narrative along with a recommendation, if appropriate for a foster care license.  The home study is sent to the Department for Child Welfare Licensing (DCWL), where it is approved and a foster care license is issued.

Twelve hours of Continued Training is required per year as long as the family is a licensed foster family. U.P.Kids provides various training opportunities throughout the year and connects families to training resources.

Licensing Rules for Foster Family Homes

More Information on Foster Care

The Foster Care Navigator Program (FCNP) is made up of a dedicated team of individuals throughout the state of Michigan, committed to providing information, resources, and support to all current and prospective foster families.

Whether you're considering becoming a foster parent in Michigan for the first time or have been doing it for years, the Foster Care Navigator Program (FCNP) is available to you with information and resources for Foster Care in the State of Michigan.

Quote from a Foster Parent or Maggie here