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Foster Pare​nt App​eals

Pursuant to MCL 712A.13b, foster parents, including relative care providers, may appeal to the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) when the supervising agency is planning to move a child from their care and the foster parents do not agree. Pursuant to the law, the agency must provide the foster parents with notice of the proposed move and inform them that they may appeal within 3 days to the FCRB. Upon receiving an appeal from a foster parent, the FCRB will investigate the proposed move and determine if it is in the child’s best interests.


 

Eligibi​​​lity for Appeal

By statute, a foster parent cannot appeal a child’s move if any of the following conditions exist:

  • The court orders the child returned home.
  • The change in placement is less than 30 days after the child’s initial removal.
  • The change in placement is less than 90 days after the child’s initial removal, and the new placement is with a relative. 
  • The change in placement has been requested by the foster placement. (Written or audio evidence of this request will be needed if the foster placement disputes having requested the removal). 
  • The foster parent contacts the FCRB to request an appeal beyond three (3) working days from the date of receipt of written notice from the supervising agency.


 

Exception: If the agency has reasonable cause to believe that the child has suffered sexual abuse or non-accidental physical injury, or that there is substantial risk of harm to the child's emotional well-being, the agency may change the child's foster care placement without prior notification to the foster parents. If a foster parent objects to the removal of a child in this situation, he or she may appeal to the Foster Care Review Board within three days after the child's removal.

Additionally, the FCRB will not hear appeals when any of the following circumstances exist:

  • The court has ordered the move of a temporary court ward.
  • The appeal request is presented by someone other than the foster parent from whom the child is being moved; only the current foster parent can appeal the child’s move.


How to Request an Appeal

To request an appeal, a foster parent may contact the Foster Care Review Board at 1-888-866-6566. Please contact LaRay Nagele at NageleL@courts.mi.gov​ or (517) 373-3122 with questions. Alternatively, a foster parent may request an appeal orally by calling the FCRB Program office at 1-888-866-6566, but then must immediately submit the appeal in writing. Depending on where the investigation will be conducted, FCRB staff from the Lansing or Gaylord FCRB office will process the appeal.


 

Investi​gation

The FCRB will appoint a three-person panel consisting of members of the local foster care review board to investigate the proposed move. The board will convene a meeting in the county with court jurisdiction over the child, typically held at the county DHHS office. The agency and the foster parent are responsible for assuring the attendance or participation of persons having a direct interest in, or pertinent information about, the placement change. Persons who have a direct interest in or pertinent information about the placement change include the following: the foster parent making the request, the agency caseworker and/or supervisor, the DHHS monitor and/or supervisor, the child’s attorney, and others determined appropriate by FCRB Program staff.


 

FCRB Determin​ations

Once the board has completed its investigation, the FCRB Program office will convey the board's findings in writing to the parents, foster parent(s), agency, court, attorneys, and to the MCI superintendent if parental rights have been terminated. If after its investigation the board determines that the move is in the child's best interests, the agency may move the child and the appeal is ended.


 

If the board determines that the move is not in the child's best interests, the agency must maintain the child’s placement in the foster home until a fin​al decision is made by the court, or by the MCI superintendent if parental rights have been terminated.

  • For temporary court wards, the court must set a hearing date no sooner than seven and no later than 14 days after receipt of the FCRB notice to determine if the placement move is in the child’s best interests.
  • For permanent court wards, the MCI superintendent must make a decision within 14 days of notification by the board regarding the child's placement and inform each interested party of his or her decision.
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