Foster Care

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More and more foster care children are being placed with family members. But foster care homes say the support systems need to be more readily available.

According to the Michigan Family Independence Agency, there are more than 15,000 foster care children currently placed in out of home care. Out of those, 5,600 have been placed with relatives. State officials say it's positive to see relative placement on the rise.

Officials from the Bureau of Child and Family Services say there are 19,500 active foster care case loads. That number is up 20-percent from a decade ago. They admit there have been periodic problems with case loads rising for employees, but say they are managing the situation.

Foster mother Shannon Baker says caseworkers are overworked and are falling behind. Baker also says support systems such as therapy are not made available as quickly as her foster children need them.

An investigation into the state's foster care system was done by the Lansing State Journal.

It's findings will be coming soon in a series of articles.