NEW 2017-18 Child Welfare In-Service Training Opportunities catalog listing trainings that are offered FREE of charge to private agencies

Attached you will find the NEW 2017-18 Child Welfare In-Service Training Opportunities catalog listing trainings that are offered FREE of charge to private agencies that contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide child welfare services, as well as child welfare workers employed by DHHS. 

In addition is a catalog of training opportunities for foster, adoptive, kinship and birth parents. Please help spread the word with families that you work with about the NEW Caregiver training opportunities- both in-person and webinar offerings.

All of these trainings are DHHS approved for meeting the in-service training hour requirements set forth by DHHS requiring all caseworkers to receive a minimum of at least 32 hours of in-service training hours annually, and supervisors 16 hours annually. Training participants may also earn CE hours.


Workgroup releases interim report on Section 298 Initiative

Workgroup releases interim report on Section 298 Initiative
Report open for comment, public forum to be held in January

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today released the draft interim report for the Section 298 Initiative for public review. The Section 298 Initiative is a statewide effort to improve the coordination of physical health services and behavioral health services. The draft interim report contains a series of policy recommendations for the Michigan Legislature.

The interim report reflects the discussions and recommendations of the 298 Facilitation Workgroup. MDHHS convened the 298 Facilitation Workgroup to assist with the development of the recommendations. The workgroup convened 44 Affinity Group meetings to gather input from more than 1,076 Michiganders, including 767 consumers and family members, 249 providers, 48 payers and 12 tribal health organizations.

MDHHS and the 298 Facilitation Workgroup will create a final report for the Legislature, which will include the policy recommendations from the interim report and additional recommendations on integration models and benchmarks for implementation. Public review of the draft interim report will last from December 14, 2016 to January 4, 2017. MDHHS has established several opportunities to gather comments on the draft interim report, including:

  • A short online survey to gather feedback on the draft interim report. The survey can be accessed through this web link.
  • Written comments on the draft interim report are also being accepted. Comments can be sent via email to MDHHS-298@michigan.gov or by mail to the Section 298 Initiative, with the Policy, Planning, and Legislative Services Administration, South Grand Building, 5th Floor, 333 South Grand Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933.
  • A public forum to gather comments will also be held on January 3, 2017 from 2 to 4 p.m. The forum will be held at the Lansing Community College West Campus, located at 5708 Cornerstone Drive in Lansing. Individuals can RSVP to attend the public forum by using this web link.

MDHHS and the 298 Facilitation Workgroup will use the comments from the public review process to refine and improve the policy recommendations in the interim report. MDHHS will submit the revised interim report to the legislature by January 15, 2017.

For more information about the draft interim report or the Section 298 Initiative, visit www.michigan.gov/stakeholder298 or send an email to MDHHS-298@michigan.gov.

Registration is open! 2014 Michigan Teen Conference - Take Charge of Your Journey

Do you know a youth in Foster Care or Independent Living who needs to learn about money management, employment, educational opportunities, healthy relationships, or housing? If you do, then help them pre-register for the 2014 Michigan Teen Conference.

Youth must be ages 14 to 21 and in Foster Care or Independent Living. If attendees are under the age of 18, a chaperone MUST attend the conference with them and accompany them at all times. Caretakers of the youth and professionals who work with teens are also invited. Attendees will sharpen their understanding of what is available and required for foster youth to make the challenging transition to adult life.

Workshops will feature topics such as:

• Budgeting/money management (beginner and advanced)
• College supportive programs (youth panel)
• Funding resources (ETV, YIT)
• Housing
• Job search/employment
• Legal rights of youth in care and as adults
• Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiatives
• Social media
• Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care

In addition, a special Walk through Life will feature numerous life stations to visit and resources to grab at this fun, interactive two-hour session. It is a chance for youth to put into practice many of the life skills they acquired during the conference. Stations will include:
• Education
• Employment
• Finances
• Housing
• Identification
• Transportation

Promote this event with foster youth and be pro-active: secure funding now!
Funding sources: YIT • MYOI • Private fund raising
Use registration form to calculate cost for your funding request.

Find the conference on Facebook!


Adoption Option Inc.
Bethany Christian Services
Fostering Success Michigan
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan
Michigan Department of Human Services–Youth In Transition
Michigan Federation for Children and Families

Use the Sponsor Form provided to add your name to this list.

Find all the details in the attachment posted below.

MDCH Bureau working to establish a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC)

The Michigan Department of Community Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse & Addiction Services (BSAAS) is working to transform the public substance use disorder service system into one that is focused on supporting individuals seeking recovery from this chronic illness. A ROSC requires a transformation of the entire service system to one more responsive to the needs of individuals and families that are impacted by addiction. To be effective, a recovery-oriented system must infuse the language, culture, and spirit of recovery throughout the entire system of care. The values and principles that are developed must be shaped by individuals, families, and community stakeholders. To this end, the Bureau has created a Transformation Steering Committee to guide the process and serve as an advisory group to partner with the state to lead this transformation. Read more about this effort in the first issue of The Transformational News, click here for a copy.

Special Review of Higher Risk Cases Period Three: 10/1/09-3/31/10

The Dwayne B. v. Granholm consent decree requires DHS to develop and implement a statewide Quality Assurance (QA) program, directed by a QA Unit established within the DHS central office. The Child Welfare QA Unit has been established as a division of the Child Welfare Improvement Bureau to ensure the provision of service in accordance with DHS philosophy. The Child Welfare QA Unit’s aim is to foster a continuous quality improvement (CQI) culture throughout DHS by introducing CQI concepts to all levels of the child welfare system, training staff on improvement processes and integrating CQI philosophy into long-term and everyday decision making. The QA unit has developed an internal capacity to undertake data collection, verification, and analysis in addition to case record reviews for the higher risk cases identified in the consent decree.

After the submission of the CQI plan in April 2009, the QA Unit began to conduct special reviews as specified by the consent decree. The Data Management Unit (DMU) provides an initial list of identified cases for the high-risk categories. The QA Unit reviews each identified case in the Foster Care Services Worker Support System (SWSS-FAJ) to pre-screen for possible data errors, and ensure that the case meets the cohort definition. The DMU and the QA Unit will continue to refine the querying process to the fullest extent possible.

The QA Unit completed special reviews for Period Three: October 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010. This report is a summary of the findings for the special case reviews conducted for during this period.

Child Welfare Training Institute (CWTI) In-service Training in the Upper Peninsula

cwtiHeader.jpgTo alleviate travel time and expense pressures, assist workers to comply with required in-service training hours, and to partner with colleagues, CWTI will be sending trainers to three separate regions of the U.P. this summer. CWTI trainers will provide half and full day sessions on a variety of topics. Dates, topics, and locations will be posted on JJOLT. It is recommended that supervisors consult with staff to facilitate registrations and maximize opportunity to attend and accrue in-service hours.

CWTI intends to provide three full days of training in each location. Individual session capacity will be posted on JJOLT with each of the dates and times. Staff may attend just one session or as many as interest and schedules permit.

The initial dates and locations are June 29 – July 1, 2010 at the DHS/OPD training center in Escanaba (Delta County).

Download June 7, 2010 below.

Family Incentive Grant payments

In order to expedite Family Incentive Grant payments, an invoice on agency letterhead with an unique invoice number will shorten processing time.

DHS cannot issue an FIG payment on an invoice number that has been paid on previously.

It would also be very helpful to include a name and telephone number in case further information is required to save processing time and not to have to mail the voucher back to you. Please do not include this information on the actual payment voucher. Line 21-23 is contact information for Mary Somma. Line 24-27 are for DHS signatures only.

Please note that Mary Somma is now the contact and her information is listed below.

Thank you.

Mary Somma, MSW
Departmental Analyst
Bureau of Child Welfare, Foster Care
Grand Tower, Ste 510
PO Box 30037
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-9171
(517) 241-7047 fax

Child Fatality Reviews: 4/1/09 - 12/15/09 Quality Assurance Report

dhsbanner.jpgThe Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for administering the state’s child welfare program. The DHS mission includes a commitment to ensure that children and youths are safe; to sustain a higher quality of life; and to give children in DHS permanent and stable family lives. The DHS Children’s Services Administration is responsible for planning, directing and coordinating statewide child welfare programs, including social services provided directly by DHS via statewide local offices and services provided by private child-placing agencies.

A settlement agreement was signed July 3, 2008 and a final consent decree was entered on October 28, 2008. Since then, DHS has made significant strides to improve the quality of service to children and families in the child welfare system by reducing caseloads for its workers, moving more children to permanency, reducing the number of children in out-of-home care, launching a continuous quality improvement system, increasing oversight of contracted providers, and developing extensive data reporting capabilities.

The consent decree requires DHS to ensure that qualified and competent individuals conduct a fatality review independent of the county in which the fatality occurred for each child who died while in the foster care custody of DHS. The fatality review process is overseen by the Office of Family Advocate.

The Child Welfare Quality Assurance (QA) Unit is responsible for analyzing results and incorporating the findings and recommendations from the reviews into relevant QA activities. The QA Unit has been established as a division of the Child Welfare Improvement Bureau in the Children’s Services Administration to ensure the provision of service in accordance with DHS philosophy. The goal of the QA Unit is to ensure that children receive high quality services and achieve positive outcomes through improved service delivery, regular monitoring of case records and data trends, and improved implementation of policy.

This report is a summary of the child fatalities between 4/1/09 and 12/15/09 concerning 19 children who died while in the foster care custody of DHS.

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be a Perfect Parent

Michigan Department of Human Services, Partners:
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be a Perfect Parent

April 28, 2010
The Michigan Department of Human Services will run radio public service announcements and newspaper ads statewide starting in May to recruit foster and adoptive parents, Director Ismael Ahmed said today.

“Some say we’re asking foster parents to take on a big burden,” Ahmed said at a Grand Rapids event today. “I say it’s an opportunity. Yes, we’re asking people to take on a huge responsibility, but as a father of five I can tell you that you get a thousand times in love what you invest.”

DHS and its partners, including Bethany Christian Services and the
Michigan Federation for Children and Families
, are recruiting foster and adoptive parents for the 16,000 children in Michigan’s foster care system. Of those children in foster care, almost 4,000 are available for adoption because they are state or court wards after their parents’ rights were terminated by a court due to abuse or neglect.

The spots and ads are part of an Ad Council campaign – You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent – developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Adopt Us Kids, which works to raise awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families, and supports states in their own efforts. They’ve allowed Michigan to use their messages and materials, and to route interested parents who contact them to the appropriate state contacts. For more information, visit www.adoptuskids.org or call toll-free 888-200-4005. For Spanish, visit www.adopte1.org or call toll-free 877-236-7831.

The public service announcements use humor and everyday life situations to demonstrate that adopting a child from foster care isn’t about “being perfect,” but rather about the commitment demonstrated by normal interactions between any parent and a child in a loving parent/child relationship. They are running in May because it’s National Foster Care Month.

“This is a time to recognize the generous families who step up to become foster parents, and also a time to raise awareness of the need for more dedicated families who will foster, mentor or adopt a vulnerable child in need of a family,” said Brian DeVos, director of operations for Michigan at Bethany Christian Services. “Our community is committed to meeting the needs of these children and their families.”

Tammy Schnyders, who lives in Grand Rapids with her 11 children, applauded the campaign effort.

“These kids really need a home,” said Schnyders, who has adopted nine children. “They need a chance to succeed and to live with people who love them and are committed to them no matter how hard it gets.”

Already, the DHS and its partners have made significant progress in
reforming the state’s child welfare system, including reuniting children with their families, finding permanent homes when that’s not possible, and providing additional support services, DHS Children’s Services Administration Director Kathryne O’Grady added.

Accomplishments include:

• Moved more than 50 percent of the children in foster care for a year or longer back home or to another permanent living arrangement.
• Increased the number of children adopted from foster care for four
straight years.
• Created specialized units in all urban counties to investigate
allegations of child abuse and neglect of children in foster care.

“Because of our partnership, Michigan has made significant strides toward lowering worker caseloads; expanding and enhancing services to children and families; and moving children to permanent homes,” O’Grady said. “We want the children who come to us to exit the foster care system better off than when they entered.”

For more information on DHS, please visit www.michigan.gov/perfectparent.

2010 Child Welfare In-Service Training Catalog

Just issued, this special in-service training catalog is the product of a dynamic partnership among seven Michigan schools of social work with MSW programs and the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). Questions about individual workshops should be directed to the sponsoring school. With the support of DHS, these sessions are free of charge for Children’s Protective Services (CPS), foster care, and adoption workers of both DHS and DHS-contracted private agencies. Many of the workshop topics have applicability beyond child welfare practice. Each workshop is or will be approved for Social Work Continuing Education Credit Hours.


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