News from Members
Koby Cottage to serve as home-away-from-home for families visiting children
ALBION, MI - By way of two large and impressive semi-trucks, a new cottage has arrived at Starr Commonwealth that will serve as a therapeutic place for parents to stay with their child while visiting campus.
Featuring a glass and wood exterior, the contemporary modular was designed by Garrison Architects (www.garrisonarchitects.com) of New York City and the building was constructed by Kullman Buildings Corp. (www.kullman.com) of New Jersey.
Modular, modern and uniquely different from any of the architecture you currently find in historic Albion, the building made its 641-mile transport here from New Jersey on Monday.
A crane will assemble on campus to lift the two modular pieces of the cottage off of the flatbed trucks. The pieces will be installed onto a concrete foundation that has been prepared and awaiting the building's arrival.
Starr to carry on legacy of Children's Home
GROSSE POINTE WOODS, MI - Starr Commonwealth and Children's Home of Detroit have agreed to continue the Children's Home's 172-year history of serving children and families. The acquisition, effective Friday, Feb. 6, 2009, makes it possible for the Children's Home of Detroit's mission to live on while allowing Starr to expand its presence in southeastern Michigan.
Children's Home of Detroit closed its residential program in November 2008. Its Board of Trustees voted to transfer the organization's Grosse Pointe Woods and Warren campuses to Starr Commonwealth, a nonprofit children and family services organization headquartered in Albion, Michigan.
By ROBIN ERB - Free Press Staff Writer
Sunday, November 30, 2008
They come to heal. They come with hope. They come to Christ Child House looking for the love that should come from family.
The nondescript, gray home on Detroit's west side is part orphanage and part therapeutic home to 31 boys who have already exhausted a string of foster homes. More than half the boys are legal orphans, their parents' rights terminated because of neglect, abandonment or abuse.
They represent but a sliver of the more than 6,000 legal orphans in Michigan waiting to find a home and a family.
by Stephanie Esters | Kalamazoo Gazette
Wednesday November 26, 2008
KALAMAZOO -- Kalamazoo County Circuit Judge Stephen Gorsalitz suggested that Barbara Barrett write a book on time-management since she so adeptly runs a household with 10 children under the age of 16, eight of whom have special needs.
Barrett and her brood -- her four birth children, four other children she adopted years ago and the four she and her husband adopted Tuesday -- sat before Gorsalitz as he presided over the 9th Judicial Circuit Court's Adoption Day.
"It's kind of like a well-oiled machine," Gorsalitz said Tuesday after listening to Barbara Barrett describe her family as one designing an artistic masterpiece. "We need more families that have your (enthusiasm) and love and that are able to get that trust going with these kids."
Barrett and her husband, Jerry, sat at a courtroom table with Zoe, 3; Emily, 2; Samantha, 8; and 5-year-old Sebastian, nicknamed "Bash," the newest young people to join their family. Celebrating the day were their other eight children, who sat in the jury box, and other relatives sprinkled throughout the courtroom.
Jerry Barrett, who has nine siblings of his own, said he was less-than-enthusiastic about adopting. But, he said, he has grown to understand that everyone wants to "belong" somewhere, someplace.
"That's hard to do in our world, our society," he said. "That's a sad state of affair, and I'm so glad that the kids have shown that they feel like they belong to Barb and me." After the ceremony, the newest little Barretts shared what they day meant to them. Bash and Sam said they were excited by the day.
"I'm adopted," Sam said. That means "that we get to live here" at the Barretts' Mattawan home, permanently, he said.
Even though Tuesday was a happy occasion, Brad Keller, head of the Kalamazoo Branch of Bethany Christian Services, noted that more foster and adoptive homes are needed.
Whaley Children's Center serves abused and neglected children throughout the State of Michigan between the ages of 5 and 17. The Center teaches the children how to succeed as individuals, by providing continuity of care across all programs and supporting them with the resources so they can reach their potential. They provide a continuum of services to meet the social, emotional, ethical and academic needs of children and families. They encourage children and family relationships through support service, community education and advocacy.
"Congratulations to the Whaley Children's Center for being named the PGA TOUR Charity of the Year," said Tim Finchem, PGA TOUR commissioner. "The Whaley Children's Center provides many services and a nurturing environment for children in the Flint area, and is a worthy recipient of this award."
As the recipient as the 2008 PGA TOUR Charity of the Year, Whaley Children's Center will receive $30,000 towards its recreation program in 2009.
ALBION, MI - Fresh on the heels of her recent "Dancing with the Stars" appearance on ABC, award-winning actress Marlee Matlin has agreed to speak at Starr Commonwealth's Founder's Day to be held Oct. 5, 2008.
DETROIT - William "Chuck" Jackson has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, joining the senior leadership team of Starr Commonwealth, one of the leading non-profit, child and family services organizations in the state.
Jackson had been serving as Vice President of Community Based Programs since 2005 and Director of Starr Commonwealth's Detroit programs since 2001. He will remain Executive Director of StarrVista, a care management organization serving the at-risk and delinquent population of youth residing in northwest Detroit and Dearborn Heights, a collaboration between Starr Commonwealth and Vista Maria.
His appointment was approved during Starr Commonwealth's Board of Trustees meeting held July 10. In his new role, Jackson will set the direction and oversee all Starr Commonwealth programs at the organization's five locations in Michigan and Ohio, including the many programs and youth services provided to children and families in the greater Detroit area.
Jackson joined Starr Commonwealth in 1988 and has served troubled youth and their families in the Detroit metropolitan area with Starr for the past 20 years. Chuck has dedicated his career to serving children and youth and has served in a variety of leadership positions during his tenure at Starr, including case manager, senior clinician and several administrative roles. He also has been a pioneer in developing unique programs, such as Starr Detroit's Supervised Independent Living, Residential Transitional Reintegration Support programs and most recently a Substance Abuse program.
"Chuck models the core values on which Starr Commonwealth was built. He strives to help children and families and embodies all the characteristics of servant leadership, including integrity, excellence, compassion and faith." said Martin L. Mithcell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starr Commonwealth. â€œWe, and the youth of Detroit, are fortunate to have benefited from Chuck's dedication, which is exactly why he has been selected as a leader in our organization."
VAN WERT, OHIO - Hugh Kocab, longtime resident and a very active member of the Van Wert area community, has accepted a new position with Starr Commonwealth as Director of Peer Group Training.
Kocab has served Starr Commonwealth for the past 15 years in a variety of roles, including Senior Clinician, Assistant Director and most recently as Campus Director in Van Wert for the past 10 years.
He has extensive background in Starr's strength-based treatment philosophy and Positive Peer Culture. He also has been instrumental in the creation and development of Montcalm School for Girls. Under his leadership, the girls program has achieved excellent outcomes for young women and their families.
"We know Hugh's daily presence will be missed in Van Wert, but we are excited about the opportunity to utilize his talents and expertise at an organizational level to impact the lives of even more children," said Martin L. Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starr Commonwealth.
Health care and helping professionals are partners in the process of disseminating information on options counseling and the adoption option. This professional development opportunity is designed to help health care and helping professionals serving pregnant women and teens discuss adoption as an option with patients and clients who are not sure that they are able to parent the child.
Lutheran Adoption Service (LAS), a partnership between LSSM and Lutheran Child and Family Service of Michigan (LCFS), had opened an office in the Grand Rapids area. LAS staffer Christopher Fisher is working from the new LCFS office at 1715 Sutherland Drive SE, Kentwood, MI 49508.
The Michigan Federation Board of Directors was very pleased this week to unanimously approve the application for Full Membership from Hands Across the Water, a private, nonprofit agency based in Ann Arbor. The agency, led by Director Kathleen Nelson, provides both domestic and international adoption, education and foster care services. Please visit www.hatw.org for more information.
Jim Scherrer, Executive Director of Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, attended the Child Welfare League of America National conference last week in Washington DC and presented Senator Stabenow with the CWLA Congressional Advocate of the Year award.
Wedgwood Christian Services recently announced the formation of the Wedgwood Institute, whose purpose is to provide top-quality opportunities for Lifelong Learning to agency employees, clinical professionals and others in the West Michigan community and throughout the state. Wedgwood Institute will offer a diverse range of topics designed to deepen understanding and strengthen the quality of responses to the needs of children, clients and customers.
Below is a registration form for the upcoming training on Grant Writing is Elementary offered by Judson Center. This training is appropriate for BMSWs, SSTs and LMSWs. For additional information, visit www.judsoncenter.org for upcoming trainings.This program is approved by the Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative for 5 CE Clock Hours. Course approval is # 052907-03.
MSHDA has announced the grantees of $3 million to provide up to two years of tenant-based rental assistance targeted to homeless youth. Congratulations to Federation member Family Counseling & Children's Services of Lenawee County whose $311,000 grant will serve approximately 30 youth in Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties. Click here for the full announcement.