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You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent

Posted by Iahmed on April 30, 2010

All children deserve a safe, permanent and loving home.

That’s a message I truly stand behind and want to share as the Michigan Department of Human Services earlier this week began a yearlong, statewide campaign to recruit foster and adoptive parents for the 16,000 children in Michigan’s foster care system.

We shared the news at a very successful event in Grand Rapids with our partners, Bethany Christian Services. You can see the video here: http://ow.ly/1FcKJ for Part 1; http://ow.ly/1FcSA for Part 2; http://ow.ly/1FcW9 for Part 3; http://ow.ly/1FcZw for Part 4; and http://ow.ly/1Fd2g for Part 5.

And if you want to see photos of some of the children who are currently available for adoption here in Michigan, visit www.miheart.org

Some say we’re asking foster parents to take on a big burden. But I say it’s an opportunity. Yes, we’re asking people to take on a huge responsibility, but as a father of five, I can tell you that you get a thousand times in love what you invest. 

As part of the campaign, DHS will run radio public service announcements and newspaper ads statewide in May for the foster and adoptive parent recruitment campaign. 

The public service announcements are part of a national Ad Council campaign – You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent – developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Adopt Us Kids, which works to raise awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families, and supports state in their own efforts. They’ve allowed Michigan to use their messages and materials, and to route interested parents who contact them to the appropriate state contacts. 

The public service announcements use humor and everyday life situations to demonstrate that adopting a child from foster care isn’t about “being perfect,” but rather about the commitment demonstrated by normal interactions between any parent and a child in a loving parent/child relationship. They are running in May because it’s National Foster Care Month. 

For the past year, our department has undertaken significant reforms to make sure we’re doing our part to find safe, permanent and loving homes for the 16,000 children in Michigan’s foster care system. 

More children in Michigan’s foster care system are in permanent homes. That might mean they are reunited with their family, have been adopted or have a guardian. In fact, more than 3,000 children were adopted from foster care in 2009 – the highest number we’ve ever had. 

But the children who are in foster care, as well as their caregivers, get much better support today. For example, they have access to mental health services and prevention programs. 

For more information about the campaign, please visit www.michigan.gov/perfectparent. Additional resources include: www.adoptuskids.org or call toll-free 888-200-4005. For Spanish, visit www.adopte1.org or call toll-free 877-236-7831.

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