More foster parents needed across Upper Michigan

The Great Lakes Recovery Centers said for every one foster home that opens, two closes.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:31 PM EDT
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IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - The Great Lakes Recovery Centers is looking for more foster families in Upper Michigan. The Regional Resource Team said in the near future, it will need more foster homes to meet the demand for foster children.

The recent loss of homes is due in part to COVID-19.

“As of right now, we are seeing homes close at a rate of two homes for everyone home we open. It is related to COVID-19 and the challenges that exist there,” said Donna Burns, Great Lakes Recovery Regional Resource Team member.

Burns said it’s hardest to find homes for teenagers and siblings.

“We are having situations where we need to put children into separate homes,” Burns said. “Right now, we have a need for homes for sibling groups.”

There are resources available to help foster families. One of them in Iron County is the foster closet, located on the second floor of the Windsor Center.

It is operated by Jackie Judd, a former foster mom.

“I think the foster closet should be in every county,” Judd said. “We all collaborate and try and meet the needs across the U.P., however, there are specific needs for those families in each county.”

She said in Iron County, school supplies, backpacks, underwear and diapers are needed the most right now.

Judd said some foster children come with nothing and any assistance is appreciated by the foster family.

“It is absolutely free,” Judd said. “We take donations and gently used items for kids or monetary donations and gift cards for our teens to shop.”

Judd also has a sourdough stand at the weekly Iron River farmer’s market, where the proceeds benefit the foster closet.

Burns said those interested in getting involved with being a foster parent can call 855-MICHKIDS.

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