Need for UP foster parents at all-time high

Barb and her foster child Alissa Olsen who she recently adopted.
Barb and her foster child Alissa Olsen who she recently adopted.(WLUC)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 8:25 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - In the Upper Peninsula, the need for foster parents is at an all-time high. Child & Family Services of the U.P. Child Welfare Specialist Courtney Joffee said the need comes as there are already more than 400 kids in foster care across the U.P.

“We need foster parents throughout the U.P. because right now at this point, we are at a very low number of foster parents,” said Joffee. “So, we are looking not only in Marquette County but all other counties throughout the U.P.”

Joffee expressed how she believes one reason for the foster shortage is that there are two major misconceptions.

“You do not have to be married you can be single; you also do not have to have your own home,” said Joffee. “If you have an apartment and you are renting and it’s safe for a child to be in that is more than ok.”

Joffee said the biggest struggle is finding foster parents for teenagers. Barb Olsen of Marquette said she decided to become a foster parent for 17-year-old Alissa for that reason. Barb Olsen adds while it’s never easy to foster a teenager you will figure out a way to make it work.

“These children and teenagers have had so much trauma in their lives, and I knew that I could give them stability and love,” said Olsen. “While that’s not going to cure everything, it goes a long way in providing for them.”

Olsen said becoming a foster and then adoptive parent to Alissa has been one of the best decisions she’s ever made. Olsen also said it’s important these kids find good foster parents because every minor deserves a loving family.