Pandemic has made need for teen foster homes even greater in Michigan

The need for teens to be adopted is growing in metro Detroit as every day about 20 to 30 teens are in need of a foster home. 

Teresa Spong with Oakland Family Services joins us now with a look at the issue.
"Teens are probably the largest demographic of children that come into foster care," she said. "And unfortunately, right now, there's a real lack in foster homes available or willing to take teenagers into their home.

"Most families are wanting to foster very young children and infants, and that's wonderful, and we're always willing to work with those families. However, the need is so great right now for families to take teens and that's what our focus is on."

The pandemic has been so stressful it is hard to imagine what teens waiting for foster homes are going through.

"These teens waiting for foster care are dealing with the stress we are all dealing with and then some," she said.
"If I had to, I hate to say guess, but I would estimate that there are is probably much higher instances of abuse or neglect and I think a lot of that is attributed to the pandemic," she said. "We are seeing many more people stuck in their homes. They are not able to go out and get as many services that they normally would, particularly with mental health needs, they feel like they can't. 

"So I think the people being at home more and they're not getting out as much, that does lead to higher instances of abuse or neglect."

What can people do if they are interested in fostering a teen?

"There are a few different ways," Spong said. "Families can contact Oakland Family Services directly, they can go to our website, our website is and there are various methods in order to submit your information, and there it was part of our website where you just put your name in your contact information and you can then send that information to me and I will reach out to you."

For more information: is the website. If you are outside of the metro area you can go to the state's health and human services website to find out how to help.