Derek Clark to provide opening keynote for June 21-22, 2017 Michigan Teen Conference • RFP deadline March 1

Derek Clark’s life is one of resilience and redemption. As a child, he suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress before being turned over to the psychiatric hospital at age 5. His 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system reflected an early life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress, overwhelming anxiety and being wrongfully labeled. Eventually, with the help of foster parents, a fantastic social worker and mentors, he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. Derek knows first-hand how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past has never held him back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to.

Derek is an inspiring motivational speaker/trainer and the author of six books, including Disable the Label: Never Limit the Potential of a Child, Never Limit Your Life and the I Will Never Give Up book series. Derek’s true-life trials and personal triumphs have inspired organizations worldwide with his message of resilience, hope, courage, unwavering perseverance and redemption.

Derek has also been a featured expert on CNN Headline News, The Steve Harvey TV Show, The Ricki Lake TV Show, and other TV shows around the world. Recently, Derek has become a viral video sensation for his “Rapping Dad” videos which have had over 150 million views.

Nominations Sought for 2017 Governor’s Service Awards

CONTACT: Jason Alexander, 517-335-2407 or

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Community Service Commission is pleased to announce that nominations are being sought for the 2017 Governor’s Service Awards.

The Governor’s Service Awards are given annually by the governor to individuals, organizations and businesses to acknowledge their commitment to serving their communities through volunteerism. This marks the 25th year of the awards, which will be presented at an August 21 celebration in Detroit organized by the Michigan Community Service Commission.

The 2017 Governor’s Service Awards Nomination is an online application available at Nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. March 20.

“The comeback of Michigan isn’t because of one person, it’s the fact that we work together,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “Many Michiganders give their time to volunteer and put their heart and soul into doing something special for someone else, and that deserves recognition. Please help me honor these wonderful individuals, organizations and businesses by nominating them for a Governor’s Service Award.”

In 2017, awards will be presented in 11 categories which reflect the diverse nature of volunteers throughout the state. The categories are:

Welcome newest Federation member Family & Community Services!

Welcome newest Federation member Family & Community Services—The Federation Board has voted to approve the Full Member application of Family and Community Services, Inc. submitted by Brandon Hannah, director of the agency’s DHHS programs. With a main office located in Sterling Heights and branch offices in Howell and Monroe, the agency serves Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Sanilac, Livingston, Ingham, Jackson and Monroe counties. The agency also serves Ohio, China and the Philippines. The agency is COA accredited and provides adoption, family services and foster care. Learn more about the agency at Welcome, Brandon Hannah and staff!

Submission deadline extended to Feb. 15—Speaker RFP: September 13-15, 2017 Sr. Management Conference

The Michigan Federation for Children and Families 2017 Senior Management Conference Planning Committee invites you to submit a proposal to present at the Federation’s Sr. Management Conference on September 13-15, 2017 at Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, MI.

The Federation’s Annual Senior Management Conference offers timely information to private child welfare leaders through engaging educational sessions presented by knowledgeable speakers. These educational programs cover an array of management topics pertinent to the nonprofit child welfare field, designed to meet the needs of the Federation’s diverse membership.

Professionals and academics are invited to submit proposals to present at the conference. This is your opportunity to share your expertise and tap your creativity by developing an original program for presentation at the conference.

See attached RFP form. Please submit by February 15, 2017. 

Lt. Gov. Calley to provide Opening Remarks. Keynote Speaker: Judge Jodi Debbrecht Switalski • February 27, 2017 Annual Residential Treatment Conference • Late registrants must email

Full program details are set for the Federation’s 5th Annual 2017 Residential Treatment Conference, “Residential Treatment: Minimizing Risks, Maximizing Opportunities,” on Monday, February 27, 2017. Download the brochure posted below!

We are very pleased to announce that Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has accepted our invitation to provide the Opening Remarks for this event!

The keynote speaker will be Judge Jodi Debbrecht Switalski, a former Metro Detroit felony prosecutor with a perfect trial record involving mostly violent crimes. Judge Switalski has witnessed firsthand the devastating effects surrounding interpersonal violence, substance abuse and dependency within families, children and communities. 

Read more about Lt. Governor Calley, Judge Switalski and our other amazing and expert presenters in the downloadable conference brochure posted below.

Note the new location for this event: Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Avenue, downtown Lansing.

ONLINE registration is closed; email if you require a late registration!


Share this
Subscribe to The Michigan Federation for Children and Families RSS