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​Foster Parent Appeals

Policy 98-01 (Revised 3-14-02)

 
Pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law 712A.13b, the Foster Care Review Board Program (FCRBP) will respond to a foster parent's appeal when a foster parent objects to a change or a proposed change in placement.
 

Who to Call

The number to call for a foster parent appeal is 1 (888) 866-6566. Depending on where the investigation will be conducted, Program staff from the Lansing, Detroit, or Gaylord office will process the appeal.
 

What Cannot be Appealed

However, a foster parent cannot appeal a ward's move if any of the following conditions exist: (a) a court orders the placement; (b) the change in placement is less than 30 days after the child's initial removal from the his/her home; (c) the change in placement is less than 90 days after the child's initial removal from his or her home and the new placement is with a relative; or (d) the change in placement is in accordance with the Act.
 
Additionally, an appeal will be screened out if one of the following applies:
  • The appeal involves a child who is being moved from a foster home to an adoptive placement.
  • The appeal is made by a foster parent who merely wants to refute an agency's allegations against him or her.
  • The appeal is made by a foster parent who merely wants to challenge an agency's effort to revoke the foster home's license.
  • The appeal arises from a foster parent's disapproval of a court's order that removes a foster child from the foster home.
 

Procedure

Notice of Right to Appeal

The agency with supervision of the foster child must notify the foster parents when a change in foster care placement is intended and tell the foster parents that if they disagree with the decision they may appeal within three days to a foster care review board. The agency must also notify the State Court Administrative Office of the proposed change in placement.
 

Responding to an Appeal

When a foster parent calls the Foster Care Review Board Program Office, the Program office will use established procedures to gather information regarding the change or proposed change in placement from both the foster parent and the agency.
 
In response to the foster parent's appeal, the Program office will contact the director of the agency, or designee, where the caseworker who is planning the ward's removal is employed. The Program office will ask the agency director, or designee, questions about the intended move. If the agency director, or designee, communicates to the Program office that the ward's move will not occur, the board will not conduct an investigation.
 

Investigation

If the agency director, or designee, states the ward's move will occur as planned, the Program office will schedule an investigation.  For wards of the Michigan Children's Institute, there is a different procedure (see below). 
 
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 complying with subsection (1), (2)(B), or (C). The agency must include in the child's file documentation of its justification for action under this subsection. If a foster parent objects to the removal of a child under this subsection, he or she may appeal to the Foster Care Review Board within three days after the child's removal. The foster parent may appeal orally, but must submit the appeal in writing immediately following the oral appeal. (See Subsection (7) of the Act.)
 
The Foster Care Review Board will investigate the placement change. Program staff will appoint a three-person panel consisting of members of the local foster care review board with jurisdiction over the child. If necessary, Program staff may appoint a panel member from a pool of trained board volunteers who serve elsewhere in the state or who have successfully served on a local review board. The board will convene a meeting in the county with court jurisdiction over the child. The meeting will be held at the county FIA office or other site designated by the Foster Care Review Board Program. 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. However, Program staff may exclude from a meeting any person not 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, three trained board members, the FCRBP manager and/or a representative, a FCRBP assistant, the FIA/POS caseworker and/or supervisor, the FIA monitor and/or supervisor, the ward's attorney, and others determined appropriate by Program staff.
 

Findings and Recommendations

Once the board has completed its investigation, the Program office will convey the board's findings and recommendations in writing to the parents, foster parent(s), agency, court, and (where applicable) the MCI superintendent. The board's recommendations to the agency, the court, or MCI superintendent are advisory
 
The procedure for wards committed to the Family Independence Agency, Michigan Children's Institute (MCI) pursuant to MCL 400.203, is the same as the above procedure with a few exceptions.
 
If during the course of the investigation of a move, or proposed move of an MCI ward, it is determined that the caregiver's reason for appealing the move is that the caregiver has been unable to obtain the MCI superintendent's consent for adoption, the board must find that the appeal request is not appropriate for review. In these instances, the message taker will inform the caller that if he or she does not agree with the MCI superintendent's denial of their request to adopt, he or she must contact the MCI superintendent regarding his or her procedural recourse. Accordingly, the message taker may give the caller the telephone phone to the MCI superintendent's office. The number is (517) 335-6421.
 

Procedure for Wards of the Michigan Children's Institute 

Investigation

If, however, the caregiver is appealing the removal, or proposed removal, of an MCI ward and the MCI superintendent has not withheld consent for adoption, the board will investigate the move, or proposed move, to include (if necessary) conducting an investigation. If after its investigation the board determines that the move is in the child's best interests, the agency may move the child. Conversely, if after its investigation the board determines that the move is not in the child's best interest, the agency must maintain the current placement until a decision by the MCI superintendent. However, the agency must not return a child to a placement from which the child was removed under subsection (7) unless the MCI superintendent approves that placement's restoration. The Foster Care Review Board must notify the MCI superintendent about the board's and agency's disagreement. 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 decision.
The procedure for wards committed to the family division of the circuit court pursuant to MCL 712A.19b(1) is the same as the above procedures with a few exceptions.
 
If during the course of the investigation of a move, or proposed move, of a permanent court ward it is determined that the caregiver's reason for appealing the move is that the caregiver has been unable to obtain the child placing agency's recommendation for adoption, the board must find that the appeal request is not appropriate for review. In these instances, the message taker will inform the caller that if they do not agree with the child placing agency's refusal to recommend them for adoption, they must contact the child placing agency regarding their procedural recourse. The message taker may also give the caller the FIA Central Office number (517) 373-2035.
 
If, however, the caregiver is appealing the removal, or proposed removal, of a permanent court ward and the child placing agency has not refused to recommend the caller's family for adoptive placement, the board will investigate the move or proposed move to include (if necessary) conducting an investigation. If after its investigation the board determines that the move is in the child's best interest, the agency may move the child. Conversely, if after its investigation the board determines that the move is not in the child's best interest, the agency must maintain the current placement until a decision by the family division. However, the agency must not return a child to a placement from which the child was removed under subsection (7) unless the court orders that placement's restoration under subsection (6). The Foster Care Review Board must notify the family division with jurisdiction over the child about the board's and agency's disagreement. The court must set a hearing date and provide notice to the foster parents, each interested party, and the prosecuting attorney if the prosecuting attorney has appeared in the case. The court must set the hearing no sooner than seven and no later than 14 days after receipt of the notice from the Foster Care Review Board.