Michigan ranks 18th in the country for the number of children, per capita, placed in out-of-home care. What is out-of-home care? It’s things like foster care, shelter, residential treatment, etc.
Each year approximately 7,400 children enter 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.
This number of children in out-of-home placement has dropped significantly compared to 10 years ago, when the number of children in out-of-home care in Michigan was approximately 20,000. It is important to note that this decrease is not the result of a reduction in the number of children experiencing abuse or neglect. In fact, the rate of children confirmed as victims of abuse or neglect has increased by 30% from 2010 to 2016. Rather, the decrease in the number of children in out-of-home placement is due to more aggressive efforts by the state to work with families in their home – to prevent removing children in the first place.
Wellspring is one of the largest providers of in-home family preservation services in Michigan, and we take particular pride in this success. Despite our best efforts to drive that number even lower, though, the need for loving foster homes to provide support for the 13,000 children in care remains.