One of the first decisions a family makes when embarking on their foster care journey is with which agency they will work. Each state child welfare system operates differently. While many families have the option of choosing between a state or private agency, some states do not provide this option. It is important that you research what kind of system operates in your state.
There are currently no Muslim foster care licensing agencies, however all agencies have to follow the same licensing process in each state. Once you are licensed with a particular agency, you will usually only be able to foster children that enter that agency’s care.
Your experience with a particular agency may have more to do with the individual case worker assigned to your case than the agency. During the licensing process you can specifically request the age range, gender and religion of the child you are willing to foster.
In Michigan, the State agency is MDHHS.
The largest concentration of Muslim children entering the domestic foster care system in Michigan appear to be in Wayne County. Choosing an agency within that county will give a Muslim family the best chance of fostering a Muslim child that enters the system.
If you are interested in becoming a refugee foster parent, there are two agencies in Michigan that receive refugee foster children through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program : Samaritas and Bethany Christian Services
It is important to understand that the that agencies have no control over which Muslim majority countries refugee foster children are coming from. That is determined by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which determines eligibility for the program.
Our hope is that we eventually have enough licensed Muslim foster families to open up their homes to foster children of all faiths as Islam teaches.