What is the first step in becoming a foster parent?

The first step is to find an agency to complete your licensing process. Every county has a local Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) agency, and many counties have private agencies contracted with the State of Michigan to provide foster care services to families.

A complete list of agencies providing foster care services can be found at:

When you first contact an agency, be sure to ask them plenty of questions. You may want to ask:
1) How long will the foster care licensing process take?
2) What types of children are typically placed in foster homes through this agency?
3) What services are provided to me once my license is opened and a child or children are placed in my home?

4) When and where are the orientation and foster parent training classes held?

We recommend calling several agencies and ask them the same kinds of questions before making a final decision. Be sure you feel comfortable with the agency you choose; you will be working closely with them for a long time during the process, and will be sharing private and personal information. They will also become your strongest advocate in this process, which is outlined below!

Below is a flowchart showing the best practice time-frames for foster care licensing.