Becoming a foster parent in Upper Michigan

Now virtual, the fostering training process takes about three to six months.
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 5:19 PM EST
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - There is a great need for foster parents in the Upper Peninsula.

Diana Eichhorn is in the process of expanding her family and becoming a foster parent for the first time. She has a blended family with her husband, four kids, three dogs and counting.

”We’re thinking of starting off with one to two children,” Eichhorn said.

In Michigan, there are about 13,000 children in foster care and 300 children are still in need of an adoptive family.

Foster care licensing specialist for Alger, Marquette and Schoolcraft counties, Monet Borione, said the pandemic has created challenges getting those children into homes.

”Finding new families to learn about foster care has gotten harder without festivals, school events, community events,” Borione said.

Now virtual, the fostering training process takes about three to six months. The Eichhorns are about one week away from completing their training as of Monday.

”We’re thinking it will be a good experience for us. We have the room and we have the love for a couple other children.”

Borione said the most important component for a foster parent to have in order for a child to excel in their environment is a stable household.

”So stable means not able to move or undergo any home renovations,” Borione said. “Not having financial or marital or emotional difficulties, or making any big life changes in the near future.”

Growing up in a big family herself, Eichhorn looks forward to keeping up her family’s trend.

”Our house was always the house where all my friends would like to come, because there’s so much action going on, and we’ve just always had that here, and we want to continue on with that,” she said.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a foster parent call 1-855-MICHKID. You can also join Marquette MDHHS for their virtual recruiting event on Wednesday, January 27, at noon or 7:00 p.m. by clicking here.

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