Imagine opening your door to a little girl.
Her entire life bundled in a big blue suitcase.
At age six, she already knows things a child should never know.
She knows hunger roaring in her empty belly.
She knows violence in the shape of a closed fist.
She knows it’s her job to change her sister’s diapers and if she doesn’t…
Well, that’s a story you don’t want to finish.
But then someone like you stepped in.
And this little girl’s journey changed forever.
You see, she was fostered by angels.
She was taken in by two loving foster parents.
She was held, fed, hugged and loved.
Her foster parents pulled back the curtain on a brighter future.
One where she can run with reckless abandon.
Where she doesn’t have to worry about her next meal.
Where she can learn to be the child she was born to be.
Care-free and happy.
Isn’t that what every child deserves?
This is only one true journey where real-life angels interceded in a child’s life.
We call them foster parents.
And we are in desperate need of more.
We invite you to read the stories of just a few real-life foster journeys.
We invite you to consider being one.
Thousands of children are waiting.
Every child needs an angel. Let it be you.
Be a foster parent.
Foster parents don’t have to be a certain age, religion, ethnicity, straight or even married. We believe a good foster parent is someone who has our children’s best interests at heart. It’s about finding the right match, not about choosing from a specific group of people.
May is National Foster Care Month. Please join us as we celebrate all foster families, host home providers, caregivers, Child Welfare staff and amazing supporters every where for their unconditional love, unwavering commitment, and many sacrifices to make life better for children and young adults in foster care.
We invite you to help raise awareness and educate the public about the urgent need for more foster parents for Detroit children in foster care and host homes for young adults aging out of the foster care system.
We have all been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Which is why now it’s more important than ever that we come together as a community to raise awareness for youth and young adults in foster care. There is so much you can do from your home! You can share the real-life stories and foster care journeys below. You can upload our campaign Facebook cover photo to your personal Facebook page, add a custom Facebook picture frame to your profile photo, and copy/paste our social media posts – or write your own – and you can like and share our social media posts and tweets. Just click “Raise Awareness” to get started!
National Foster Care Month is the month of May where we all put in extra effort into letting the world know about the urgent need for more foster parents and host homes. We educate our communities and take to social media and let people know about the need and what we all can do about it.
Below, you’ll find sample posts, quick bits of information and catchy images to get help you spread the word. Let everybody know about the need for more foster parents and host homes!
Help us spread the word about the urgent need for most foster parents and host homes by making this campaign image your Facebook cover photo on your Facebook page. Just click on Facebook Cover image below and then right-click to save image to your computer or smartphone.
Sign into your Facebook account and then visit Profile Picture Frames.
Next, type “TCC be a foster parent” in the box that says search for themes, owner names and more. Then click “Use as Profile Picture” to save your selection!
Help us raise awareness using these social media posts
Sharing posts to your social channels for National #FosterCareMonth is one of the best ways to quickly raise awareness about the urgent need for more foster parents and host homes!
Copy and paste one or more of these posts:
May is National #FosterCareMonth! Visit https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels and read real-life, inspiring stories about youth in foster care and how you can help raise awareness about the need for more #fosterparents and #hosthomes. #beafosterparent ❤
May is National #FosterCareMonth and on any given day in Michigan, approximately 13,000 children are in foster care due to abuse or neglect. https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #FosterCareMonth #beafosterparent
Each year approximately 6,700 children enter Michigan foster care for the first time. ❤ https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #FosterCareMonth #beafosterparent
May is National Foster Care Month! Join us and Go Blue to raise awareness about the urgent need for foster parents and host homes. Take action by visiting https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels and find tools and resources to help raise awareness. #beafosterparent
WANTED: More #fosterparents and #hosthomes! A child needs an angel. A child needs you. #beafosterparent https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels
Reasons children enter #fostercare: 23% abuse; 77% neglect. A child needs an angel. A child needs you. #beafosterparent https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #FosterCareMonth
THE NEEDS IN MICHIGAN ARE GREAT. AND WE NEED FOSTER PARENTS. WE NEED YOU. https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #beafosterparent ❤ #fosteredbyangels
Children in foster care spend unnecessary time in residential or shelter placements because of the lack of available foster homes. A child needs an angel. A child needs you. #beafosterparent https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels ❤
Children in foster care experience greater uncertainty, increased trauma and poorer outcomes due to multiple placement moves. A child needs an angel. A child needs you. #beafosterparent ❤ https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels
Children in foster care are more frequently separated from their siblings because of a lack of available homes to accommodate all siblings. Children need an angel. They need you. #beafosterparent ❤ https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels
Go Blue to raise awareness about the urgent need for more #fosterparents and #hosthomes and get involved with National #FosterCareMonth this May! #beafosterparent https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels
Start a Facebook fundraiser to raise money your way to help children in foster care heal, grow and thrive! A child needs an angel. #beafosterparent https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels
I took the @ChildrenCtr Foster Care Pledge during National #FosterCareMonth to raise awareness about the urgent need for more #fosterparents and #hosthomes! You can help! To get started, visit https://bit.ly/fosteredbyangels #fosteredbyangels #beafosterparent
We pledge to find more foster parents and host homes. Help us!
Each year approximately 6,700 children enter Michigan foster care for the first time. And on any given day in Michigan, approximately 13,000 children are in foster care or a residential placement due to abuse or neglect.
Thousands of children are waiting. And we are in desperate need of more foster parents and host homes.
You can help! We’ve created a #beafosterparent pledge sheet that you can use to help bring visibility to the urgent need for more foster parents and host homes year-round!
To help raise awareness:
You can copy and use this social media post or write your own:
Wear your favorite blue items sometime in May to raise awareness about the dire need for more foster parents and host homes and encourage others to donate!
Whether it’s a blue shirt, hat, sunglasses or more, Go Blue and share why you’re wearing blue and support our efforts to find more foster parents and host homes by either raising funds or making a donation below. Tell your friends and family how they can donate and get involved. We can’t fight this disease alone, we need your help.
You can be a part of the growing number of individuals, communities, media and celebrities that are making a difference this National Foster Care Month to help children in foster care find foster parents and host homes.
Subsidized housing is available. But, not nearly enough. Many sleep under bridges, in shelters and in cars. That’s why we desperately need you.
Support from our YASS program
Host home providers team up with our Young Adult Self-Sufficiency (YASS) program when they host a young adult. In this program, we empower young adults aging out of foster care with critical life skills and support. This includes:
We do all of this by teaming up with angels like you!
To learn more about how you can become a host home provider for promising young adults, call us today at 313.324.8584 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook makes it easy to tell others how you’re working to help find foster parents and host homes for children in foster care and invite them to join you.
Why should you start a Facebook fundraiser?
Because it’s easy, quick, and allows you to raise funds for children who need treatment so they can heal, grow and thrive.
Every penny of the money raised through your fundraisers comes directly to us and supports our mission of improving the quality of life for all those impacted life. Through a fundraiser, your friends and family can donate to The Children’s Center of Wayne County in just a couple of clicks.
And when you ask for donations, it gives donors a connection that we can’t offer: you! When the request comes from someone they know, people can give more comfortably and with a greater sense of why their donation is important.
To create a fundraiser for a charitable organization, click here or follow these steps:
Interested in being a foster parent?
We invite you to explore how you can help foster youth have a promising tomorrow, empower them to succeed, build bigger dreams and have a chance to experience the pure joy of simply being a child.
Give us a call at 313.262.1119 or email email@example.com to learn how you can change a child’s life.
Interested in being a host home?
To learn more about how you can become a host home provider for promising young adults, call us today at 313.324.8584 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were considering multiple avenues to having children, biological and potentially adopting. We wanted to look into fostering because we knew that there was a need. And we have a very tight knit community of friends who have gone through the fostering process, so we were well acquainted with what it entails. We had many sobering conversations because we didn’t want to go into this with rose-tinted glasses. But after our initial meeting with The Children’s Center, we decided to do it.
It was almost like a light switch went off. We filled out the application, we transformed our home, we saved up a lot of money. We returned our applications within a week. We were fully licensed in June and we received our first placement on July 24.
Both of us had a mix of emotions. We both left work. We got welcoming baskets. We up a welcome board and got snacks to put in the new play room. Our neighbors gave us some girls’ clothes and toys.
There’s not really a word to describe that day. Image a six-year-old child who arrives at your door, her entire life in a little blue bin and her eyes filled with uncertainty. She had to care for her sister because she was the adult in the family. She had to learn how to change a diaper. She had to worry about violence in her home and where her next meal was coming from.
This was our experience. What you get when you foster is not like in the movies. It’s not a Kumbaya moment. It’s constantly holding different emotions in balance: the excitement that is happening, but also sadness that this is happening to these beautiful children.
The reward of fostering is watching a child becoming a child again.
You get to see that same little girl running with reckless abandon in a park. She’s not concerned any longer. She’s not worried about what her sister’s doing. You get to see her light up like every other six-year-old. You get to see her enjoying being a child. That’s the reward.
When I was growing up, I had a very different life. I was living in Tijuana with my parents and we were participating in organized crime. Drug trafficking. Minimum wage was 50 cents an hour so we really had no choice. You had to do what you needed to do to survive.
I went through things the average kid doesn’t experience. My father was murdered. My mother was put in federal prison.
At 15, I came to Detroit to traffick drugs. I ended up getting caught by the DEA. That one day turned into a long stay. I got put into a juvenile detention center and then Detroit Behavior Institution.
After I got out, something unexpected happened. My life completely changed. I got put into foster care with a host home provider named Mr. Able.
When I first moved in, I was traumatized because it was my first time really living on my own with a different set of people. All of my life I lived in Tijuana.
And my host, Mr. Able, is blind. It was difficult for me at the beginning to create a bond with a total stranger that is blind. I’m like, “You’re blind. You don’t understand.”
He would do the little things that my mother and father would have never have done like tell me, “Get up and go to school,” or “Go get a job.” And I used to look at him like … ‘What?’ Because nobody ever really told me what to do or had that demand of going to school.
But after a while, I started to adapt. Mr. Able and I would just sit down and talk about life. If I was having a rough day, I could speak to him and he would tell me exactly how he felt like I was his own kid. He’s a person that I can trust.
We created so much of a bond that in 15 years of him being a home provider, I’m the first person who has a key.
I would equate Mr Abel to some type of angel.
It’s pretty amazing. Just having that loyalty and keeping it 100 percent. I guess he sees that in me.
I was also a part of The Children’s Center’s Young Adult Self Sufficiency program. They enrolled me in school. They gave me a Mac Pro, and a $5,000 voucher on a vehicle. They gave me a grant so when I go to college, it’s free.
Now I’m working in the Shinola Hotel. I also recently accumulated enough money to move out and live in my own apartment.
I’m pretty grateful for what I have right now. It’s like coming from hell to heaven. Back home, people used to look at us as monsters, as odd people. But here, they look at me and they treat me like I’m just a regular person. My life is pretty beautiful right now. I think it’s beautiful.
My mom was 15 years old when she got pregnant with me in Utah. Her stepdad was raping her and everyone looked the other way. They weren’t sure if she was pregnant by him. My mom said someone else was my father and we moved in with him. The man who was allegedly my father threw me up against the wall, broke my collar bone and cracked my skull.
As a result, I was taken away from my mother and he subsequently went to jail. By the time I was two, my mom married someone else and had visitation with me. She basically stole me from Utah, and brought me to Michigan. When we got here, she became addicted to heroin. She became a prostitute. At the same time, her brother was molesting me.
I remember having weird little habits as a kid. I would crawl under cars and watch the world. I was in survival mode, just numb, roaming around the street hungry. I’d never had a haircut. I was severely malnourished. The home I was living in had no electricity, no utilities whatsoever. It was basically an abandoned home with a mattress on the floor. No sheets, no blankets, nothing. Finally I was taken away and put into foster care. My first experience was awful. I was physically and emotionally abused, and thank god, my fate changed.
I met my next foster mom three days before my 15th birthday. She changed my whole life.
We just kind of clicked right away. I was one of several teenage girls she was fostering and a lot of them were out of control. We had a lot of different walks of life in there. She did things for all of us that you just wouldn’t think foster parents would even fathom doing, you know? She taught us discipline and responsibility. She showed us the world. I’ve gone places that I would have never imagined. She took us to St. Louis and New Orleans. I remember going to New Jersey and Maine.
One thing I remember is we would have family meetings where we would all sit down and talk. There were no distractions, no TV, nothing. We’d talk about our week, about things that might be bothering us or the good things happening with us. She wanted us to be able to articulate our feelings without yelling at each other.
She remained involved of all of our lives even after we left the house. She was at my wedding. She was at my baby showers for both of my children. She was there for all of my professional promotions. She was there for all of it.
I want to cry every time I think about her. God knows if I hadn’t been taken away, what my life would be like. Every single one of the girls who lived with her is doing well now. I attribute everything that I am today to her.
My biological mother, Martha, had an affair with a man named James. When she had me, she didn’t want to touch me because I was African American. She was from a family that was very racist. So, she ended up leaving me at the hospital. I became a ward of the state.
They labelled me “hard to place” and “special needs” because it was difficult for me to walk. But nobody ever taught me how to walk. Three years later, my mother who adopted me was looking for a little girl. A social worker showed her my picture and said,
I think you’re the family for her.
So my mother adopted me. The one thing I remember is I would not stop crying. My mother and grandmother called a doctor who lived down the street and he told them “to hold me, hug me and love me.” At the time, I had braces on my legs. They took them off of me.
As soon as I could get outside the house, I could run. I made friends with people who lived on my block. They became my instant family, my instant love, my instant, everything. I’m still friends with them to this day.
I ended up going to college. I got pregnant and had a child. That’s when my whole life changed. Giving my mother the gift of being there at the birth was the biggest gift I could have ever given her. She had never seen a child being born. She never had opportunity to have children.
Since then, my life has been blessed with so much. A great career, a wonderful family, so many opportunities to give back. What’s funny is that I now sit on the board of the hospital where I was given up.
To sum up everything, you don’t have to be perfect to be a foster parent. I mean, by far, my parents were not perfect, but their love was perfect. You don’t have to be related by blood. You can be related by love.
I was born in Gary, Indiana, to heroin addicts. When I was two, they made the decision to abandon myself and my two brothers. They left us on the steps of the city courthouse and we were fortunate enough to be discovered by a social worker who took us into Child Protective Services.
Back in 1960 they literally put you in a car and drove you around to people and said, “Hey, would you mind taking these kids in?” That’s what they did with me and my brothers.
The first home they took us to, the people said, “Well, we have one extra bedroom with two twin beds so we’ll take the two smallest ones.” So not only were we abandoned, but we were separated from our one sibling all on the same day.
I stayed in the foster care system until I was 18 and aged out. I never was adopted, but I was very fortunate that the home that I was placed in was exactly what it intended to be. Very nice Christian people who loved my brother and me as their own children.
They raised us up ’til we were ready to graduate from high school and go off to college. I was fortunate that I got an academic scholarship and graduated summa cum laude. I was hired by Ford Motor Company, went back to school at night and got an MBA. I stayed with Ford for 28 years.
I was a very unique person in that I aged out of the foster care system and transitioned into college, graduated, got married and lived happily ever after.
But 65% of the boys who stay on the foster care system until they’re age 18, transition from foster care into prison. 45% of the young women transition into homelessness and prostitution.
And only two percent have my story.
In 2009, I decided I wanted to change those statistics.
I launched the Center for Urban Youth and Family Development, a public charity focused on working with youth that are transitioning out of the foster care system. Our organization has been involved with The Children’s Center Young Adult Self Sufficiency program for six years.
We have a three-bedroom home that was donated to us. We house three young men and we provide semi-independent living and learning as part of YASS.
Since we began, we’ve had 10 youth stay with us.
Our best success story was a bright, young man who resided with us for about a year and half. We saw him through his high school graduation, and drove him up to Oakland University last fall. It was a proud moment for us. He stayed at our house for Thanksgiving break and Christmas break.
He is that two percent. The two percent of foster kids that when given the support, are able to defeat the odds.
And transition into a bright future. Just like I did.
My biological mom has schizophrenia and bipolar. One night, when I was little, she tried to throw me up against the wall. She had the wherewithal to realize she was not fit to be a mom.
A husband and wife she knew became my guardians, and I started living with them. When I was 10 years old, they got in trouble for animal hoarding and I had to go back and live with my mom because the state never found her unfit.
It was really scary and very turbulent. I was in fifth grade and my principal would keep me after school just to make sure I was safe. Finally I called Child Protective Services on my own mother and went into foster care.
My foster mom became best friend and remained my best friend throughout my entire life.
I remember she picked me up the Friday before Christmas break. It was an awkward car ride home cause I was old enough to know what’s going on but young enough to be really scared.
At first, I acted out in really silly ways, like on shoplifting or riding my bike outside of our neighborhood. But on the other hand, I was cooking Thanksgiving dinners at age 12 and balancing my foster dad’s checkbook because he didn’t know how. It took a couple of years to really make a solid transition where I felt comfortable and confident.
I ended up graduating high school and going to college for communications. I’m a television producer and have been at Fox News for over 15 years. I met my husband in high school and we’ve been together since 1995.
My foster mom was always such a great cheerleader for our marriage and our parenting and our girls. I think if I had not had a hands-on foster parent in my life, I don’t know that I would be a successful woman and mother.
Now we have three biological daughters and three foster children of our own. We felt like we were called to do this. We wanted to give some kids a shot at a normal life.
My kids are all sharing bedrooms right now, so they’ve sacrificed a lot. But my older daughter put it like this the other day. She said, “I’d rather be a part of the solution. Not part of the problem.”
It’s been a year since we brought in our first foster child. To see how far she’s come is rewarding. I think she’s able to handle certain situations now that she couldn’t handle in the beginning. Just giving her love, routine and structure is important. Now she knows she’s safe. She’s knows that we’re her constant.
My journey to become a foster parent was based on my desire to become a mom. I always figured I’d marry and have kids, the traditional thing. Then the years just kept going by and it wasn’t happening. After seeing a friend foster children, I decided to go through foster care training.
Initially, I received few calls about children who needed a home but those situations didn’t work out. And then it happened.
I was called about a baby who was displaced. He was born on a Wednesday and I got a call the following Monday. That Thursday at eight days old, I met him in the NICU and I’m looking at him right now.
That was in 2016. Two years later, my two daughters were born. For both of my girls, the parents initially still had rights. I made sure that there was not any hearing related to anything regarding them or their birth parents that I was not in attendance. At one hearing, I heard details about the neglect and torture my baby girl experienced. I had to leave. It was too painful. I got a call that afternoon saying that the parental rights were terminated. I was able to adopt her in September 2019, and my other baby girl in 2020, just a few weeks ago.
I am still a licensed foster home. I want to make sure I am able to foster or adopt in case there are any other children who are biologically related to my little ones.
I love being a foster mom. In adjectives? It’s crazy, amazing, exciting and awesome.
It is a gift to have these three amazing children in my life. It’s also expanded the way I see other people. It makes me really appreciate other human beings that are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure children have a safe, loving home. It’s one thing to hear about it, and a whole other thing to actually live it.
I’ve also learned to have love in my heart for the birth parents. I don’t know what put them on the path to their situations. But if they did not make mistakes and our paths did not intersect, I would not have this opportunity to be a mom.
I want my children to grow up to be people who are loving and compassionate. I want them to have a desire to be successful, not just monetarily or materially, but in a way that makes a difference in the lives of other people.
Being a foster parent is something that’s not going to always be easy. But it is a rewarding experience that stretches you and shows you just the kind of human being that you are, if you didn’t already know.
It was Christmas 2016. My wife and I were at the dining room table, just the two of us. At that time we thought, “There’s got to be more than this. Right? We have more love to give.” But really, we didn’t know who to give it to. I think that’s what started our foster care journey. I said, “There are so many kids who need a home, you know?”
I really think that we should look into fostering because I think someone needs us.
I’ll never forget the day we got the call. It was 4:30pm and we were asked if we could foster. They had a little girl who was seven months old that we had to pick up from the hospital. And we said, “Yes. Oh my gosh. Wow.” So we picked her up the next day and brought her home. She’s been with us ever since.
Initially she had a lot of follow-up appointments. She had an incident, which is what caused her to go into foster care. One of the first appointments was a visit to a physician. One of the things he said to us will always stay with me. He said:
Do you see her looking at the two of you? She already trusts you. She’s looking at you to tell her ‘It’s okay.’
Since then, we’ve seen her flourish. It used to be hard to get her to smile. Now, she’s happy. Just to see her walking on her first Halloween with her candy bags was the best, she’s the cutest. She loves Halloween.
Of course there are tough times. There were times when we would put her to sleep that we would cry because it is so heart-breaking knowing what she’s had to go through. But you just get up the next morning, and realize you’re in charge of a little human life. It’s good for the soul. It’s one of the best feelings in the world.
I was put in foster care because my mother was blind. They didn’t think she could take care of me so they gave me away. There was no other reason. I think they were just prejudiced against blind people.
I have quite a few siblings and we were split up. My brothers and sisters experienced terrible mental abuse. Later in my teenage years, they placed me in a home. I remember being in the basement and not eating and sleeping in a cot. It was horrifying. Definitely traumatic. But it made me who I am today.
Once I came out of foster care, I raised my brothers and sisters. I got married at 18, ended up leaving the abusive marriage and decided to change my life. I said that when I had the chance I would foster children.
I’ve been a foster mom for nine years. I try to show my foster children a different way of life. My kids eat three and a half meals a day. I take him to the movies and go to the park. I take them shopping and let them pick things out.
I’ve never felt so much love or been able to see so much change in a little life.
When I first got my daughter 17 months ago, she couldn’t even talk. She couldn’t walk or ride a bike. They told me to never leave her in a room by herself. Now she’s getting ready to go to the third grade. She can talk. She still has issues but she can express herself now.
Each foster child has specific needs and it’s my job to find out what they are. What are they about? What did they go through and how can I help them?
Foster kids are so special. They need somebody to help them bring that special out in them.
Caring for my foster children makes me a better person. I love my kids. I’ve fostered over 40 and I remember all of them. At the end of the day they call me ‘mama.’ I want all my kids to just be healthy and happy, go to school and graduate.
My dream is to look back one day and have all their pictures – elementary, high school and college — all on my family wall. That’s what I want. That would make me happy.
When my sister was raped by my mother’s boyfriend, I knew I had to do something. She was only 16. She didn’t want to go back home. She was terrified.
I knew how she felt. You see, I went through it too. My mother’s boyfriend molested me when I was 12. Sometimes I would cry and cry and pray to God about the things I was going through.
Even after I told the authorities, nothing happened. My mom continued to have her boyfriend in the house. She told my sisters and brother to lie and tell authorities he wasn’t there.
It was their word against mine.
My sister saw that nothing happened with my case, and that my mom didn’t believe me. She didn’t want to tell anyone about what happened. But I told my mentors, and one of them called CPS.
CPS came and removed all of us from our home and we ended up going to a shelter. My mentor, Mr. Williams, didn’t want to see us in the system, and asked me if I wanted to live with his family. His family became my foster family. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have taken on so much.
They give me advice, encourage me and love me like I’m part of the family. They’ve really been there.
The Children’s Center has too. They help to take a lot of burden off my shoulders. We do a bi-weekly class to talk about things like life skills and financial aid. They helped me prepare for college and provided me a stipend for things I might need, like clothes and things at home. Sometimes, they’re there to listen to me and my heart. It means a lot.
I’ve come a long way since all of this happened. l attend Howard University. My hope is to flourish and be successful there. I want to stay connected with my sisters and my foster family, and try to build a relationship with my mom and my dad.
It’s nothing but by the grace of God that has helped me through my situation. My foster family, my church family and my family at The Children’s Center have not let me feel like I’ve been abandoned.
And because of that, I have hope for my sisters and me. And our future.