Here’s a new update to Michigan’s ongoing quest to improve the state’s foster care system. As Michigan Radio recently reported, the state is piloting a new program designed to keep young children with their families and out of foster care. According to the report, DHS Director Maura Corrigan said: “Research confirms what most people instinctively know: All things being equal, the best place for children is in their own home with their own family. Under this federal waiver, the department will use funding to wrap around at-risk families with vital services- keeping children both at home and safe.”
I definitely think that children are better off with their first families, but it’s true that our family would not be what it is if this program had been in place in our county a few years ago. Our kids were both under five when they were placed in foster care, the exact age that this program targets. Naturally, I love my children and can’t imagine our life without them now. But would they be better off with their first family? It’s hard to know how things would be different and I try never to entertain “what if” scenarios because the fact is, things are the way they are and we can’t go back and change them.
At least other Michigan kids will have another chance with their first families in the future.