Placement of Children With Relatives - Michigan

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Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.22; 722.954a

The term 'relative' means an individual who is related to the child within the fifth degree by marriage, blood, or adoption.

Before determining placement of a child in its care, a supervising agency shall give special consideration and preference to a child's relative or relatives who are willing to care for the child; are fit to do so; and would meet the child's developmental, emotional, and physical needs. The supervising agency's placement decision shall be made in the best interests of the child.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Citation: Comp. Laws § 722.954a

Upon removal of the child from the home, the supervising agency shall, within 30 days, determine placement with a fit and appropriate relative who would meet the child's developmental, emotional, and physical needs as an alternative to foster care.

The notification of relatives shall do all the following:

  • Specify that the child has been removed from the custody of the child's parent
  • Explain the options the relative has to participate in the care and placement of the child, including any option that may be lost by failing to respond to the notification
  • Describe the requirements and benefits, including the amount of monetary benefits, of becoming a licensed foster family home
  • Describe how the relative may subsequently enter into an agreement with the department for guardianship assistance

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 722.954a; 722.118b

Reasonable efforts shall be made to do the following:

  • Place siblings removed from their home in the same foster care, kinship guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless the supervising agency documents that a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings
  • In the case of siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed, provide for at least monthly visitation or other ongoing contact between the siblings, unless the supervising agency documents that visitation or other contact would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings

If siblings cannot be placed together or not all the siblings are being placed in foster care, the supervising agency shall make reasonable efforts to facilitate at least monthly visitation or other ongoing contact with siblings, unless a court has determined that at least monthly visitation or other ongoing contact with siblings would not be beneficial. If the supervising agency discontinues visitation or other ongoing contact with siblings because the supervising agency determines that visitation or other ongoing contact is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings, the supervising agency shall report its determination to the court for consideration at the next review hearing.

Upon the recommendation of a local foster care review board or a child-placing agency, the department may grant a variance to one or more licensing rules or statutes regulating foster family homes or foster family group homes to allow the child and one or more siblings to remain or be placed together. If the department determines that the placement would be in the child's best interests and that the variance from the particular licensing rules or statutes would not jeopardize the health or safety of a child residing in the foster family home or foster family group home, the department may grant the variance.

Relatives Who May Adopt

Citation: Comp. Laws §§ 710.27; 710.23a

A relative is a person related to the child within the fifth degree through blood, marriage, or adoption. This also includes a stepparent.

A parent or guardian having legal and physical custody of a child may make a formal placement of the child for adoption with a stepparent or a relative under section 51 of this chapter.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.27

A written report containing nonidentifying and other relevant information about the child is not necessary when the child is adopted by a relative.