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Michigan foster care applications have increased in excess of 3000 percent 

  • Stephanie Kenner /

Michiganders are hoping to lend a helping hand to refugee families separated at the border of US and Mexico by providing foster services.

Bethany Christian Services is Michigan's only fostering agency under federal contract to place children separated at the border due to Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy. And even though the court-imposed deadline to reunify families has passed, there are still separated families caught in the middle of partisan political policy. Since the immigration crisis began in June, Bethany Christian Services has seen applications surge roughly 3,846.9 percent from Michiganders offering to foster children affected by the immigration policy, according to a Detroit Free Press report.

To put it in perspective: 1,263 people reached out to Bethany Christian Services in June. Preceding the immigration crisis, only 32 individuals in the past 5 months had applied.

Other Michigan foster care services also saw a drastic increase in applications from would-be foster parents. Samiritas, which also runs a program to give foster care to refugee children, had more than 400 requests during the two-week period where the immigration crisis was at its peak — compared to its monthly average of 10 to 20 applications, the surge during the crisis increased 2,567 percent.

For most agencies, the application process is a four-month affair to ensure that the children place into safe and adequate homes. Despite the massive increase in foster care applications, Michigan foster agencies do not anticipate that the demand for foster care will remain now that a federal judge has ordered a halt to family separations.

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April 1, 2020


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