Foster Parent
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Foster Parent

You’ll be a 24-hour caregiver, providing food, shelter, clothing, and emotional support for a child (or children) in Grand Rapids who has been removed from her/his home due to neglect or abuse. In a safe and stable environment, you’ll reduce the risk of further harm and give a child the love and attention they deserve while they are away from their birth parents. The ultimate goal is for a family to be reunified. Foster children range from newborn through age 18, though you can be licensed for a certain age group or gender, if you prefer. You can have a job outside the home with foster children; they may be in school, at daycare, or with another family member or babysitter the way your own children would be. As a foster parent, you’ll receive bi-weekly reimbursement to provide food, clothing, and other things for your foster children, depending on their needs. Twice-annual conferences and monthly trainings and support groups are available.

Show me how to get started
24/7 for 15 months, on average
18+; pass a background check and a central registry check; pass the 100-day home study process (see What to Expect for more details)
Your own home

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You really love working with children, even when they are experiencing difficult circumstances. You understand that foster children come from many racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Some may have emotional, behavioral, and medical problems, including aggressiveness, bedwetting, defiance, lack of motivation, anger, and depression. You are willing to offer 24/7 care to a foster child the way you would to your own child. You are in this for as long as that child needs you.

About Samaritas

Samaritas is the largest non-profit private organization in Lower Michigan dedicated to serving children and families. They have been offering foster care services in West Michigan since 1934 and currently serve over 180 kids in over 100 licensed foster homes. On average in Kent County, 3.5 children will come into care on a daily basis, meaning that there are just over 1,000 children in care on any given day. Samaritas is committed to helping these children and families.

  • Family

What Others are Saying

“The highlight of working with Samaritas as a foster parent is the community. Caseworkers, case aides, other foster parents—everyone is my family now! It's not just a job for the caseworkers, and we can feel that. They love us and those kiddos and want the best for them. Everyone wants you to succeed and will do whatever it takes to make that happen. It can be challenging to learn the ropes. We've had to learn a whole new language with acronyms and rules and regulations. It has taken us a little bit to figure it out, but we have a great team helping us succeed.”


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Samaritas directly.

Trina Kent Resource Family Development Specialist (616) 260-3441

What to Expect

Contact Trina to ask initial questions and find out when the next foster care parent orientation will be held. As you can imagine, there’s a lot more information about being a foster parent, and the orientation is the best place to learn more. After a basic application process, a “home study” will take place for 3-4 months. During this time, you’ll have a monthly home visit, background checks, interviews with everyone in your home, paperwork (including a financial review), etc. There are 25-30 hours of required training for trauma-informed care and discipline before your first placement. When the home study is complete and approved by the state of Michigan, placements will begin.