Please find the attached Michigan Foster Care Review Board 2017 Annual Report, which is both attached and available online at:
Attached you will find the NEW 2018-19 Child Welfare In-Service Training catalog featuring opportunities that are offered FREE of charge to child welfare workers and supervisors at private agencies that contract with MDHHS, as well as DHHS employees.
The Leadership training opportunities focus on staff engagement and retention. The Webinar training opportunities are geared towards both caseworkers and supervisors.
Please also help spread the word with families that you work with about the Caregiver training opportunities—accessible by webinar.
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.
Please direct any questions you may have about these courses to the MSU School of Social Work or the university hosting these trainings. Remember to register soon, as courses have limited space and will fill up quickly!
Karra VanderWiere, a foster care social worker at D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s, has been awarded the 2017 John P. Steketee Child Welfare Advocate of the Year Award! “Karra is the perfect example of what an effective foster care worker should be. Karra’s passion, positivity, and enthusiasm shine through all of her interactions and are contagious to those around her."
Christ Child House has again achieved expedited accreditation through the Council on Accreditation! Congratulations to Executive Director John Yablonky and the entire staff at Christ Child House!
Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan has named Jennifer Santer as the agency’s new CEO, replacing interim CEO Mark Holliday. Welcome Jennifer!
West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC) celebrated its October 1 launch with a Fall in Love with Foster Care event on Oct. 25, 2017. WMPC is piloting a five-year innovative foster care funding model through a contract with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that is the first of its kind in the state. WMPC is partnering with the five private licensed child placing agencies that provide foster care in Kent County: Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett-St. John's, Samaritas, and Wellspring Lutheran Services. The creation of WMPC is the result of a long-time public-private partnership between local foster care and other social service agencies, county government, and MDHHS that has been cultivated by the Michigan Child Welfare Partnership Council and the legislature.
On October 14, 2017, Lutheran Adoption Service partnered with Beautiful Savior Church to hold the 3rd Annual Forever Home Run. The 5k race raised $40,000 to help provide supports to families who adopt older youth from the foster care system. Additionally, the race provided awareness within the community of the need for youth to find forever families.
The 2016 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey Summary Report was mailed on September 30, 2016, to each Federation member agency representative and HR director, as per Executive Committee policy. It is available for purchase by other interested parties.
Data in this 2016 report was provided by 50 private, nonprofit human service agencies across Michigan. The Salaries section summarizes over 8,600 actual hourly wages reported. All report information is displayed in aggregate and in two subsets to permit a closer comparison among similarly sized organizations—agencies with annual budgets less than $6 million and agencies with annual budgets more than $6 million. When fewer than five data items were reported for a particular survey element, the information is not displayed, in keeping with guidelines of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.
Questions regarding the survey should be directed to Rose Homa, email@example.com. Many thanks to those who invested their time and energy completing this survey; you’ve made this an especially valuable resource for yourselves and your colleagues!
To purchase the 2016 report, the following prices apply: $150 for Federation Members and Corporate Sponsors; $200 for non-participating non-Federation entities. Send your request and payment to Michigan Federation for Children and Families, 320 N. Washington Square, Suite 100, Lansing, MI 48933. Or e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and pay via credit card at this link (a 4% administrative charge will be added to your order): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MichfedPayment
The 2018 Salary & Fringe Benefits Survey will open for submissions at the end of January 2018.
At a special ceremony on November 5, 2015, State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr., presented award statues as Michigan Foster Care Review Board Program Manager Jim Novell read a summary of outstanding attributes of each awardee listed below. The award ceremony was part of the Foster Care Review Board’s Annual Training Conference in Lansing. Congratulations to all!
Foster Care Worker of the Year: Diane Tryan, Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula, Escanaba, was nominated for her 12 years of outstanding work as a foster care and adoption caseworker, as well as her recent work as a foster care and adoption supervisor. She possesses a tireless work ethic with a positive energy that inspires others around her. She has an impeccable reputation among the professionals and clients she interacts with and is deemed invaluable by her agency, the children and families she has served, and the new caseworkers she has trained. She remains instrumental in addressing critical needs within her community, both as a victim’s advocacy counselor for the Diocese of Marquette and through her involvement with the Suicide Prevention Task Force in Delta County.
Foster Parents of the Year: Zackary and Tisha Estes, with Methodist Children’s Home Society, Detroit, have served as foster parents for 17 years. The Estes have fostered over 20 children, mostly very challenging adolescent boys, eventually adopting three of them and obtaining legal guardianship of another. Mr. and Mrs. Estes are described as strong and tireless advocates for the children in their care, ensuring the children receive the services needed. They also support other foster parents through their involvement with Families on the Move, a foster parent support organization, and Tisha contributes to system-wide improvements as a member of the Foster Care Review Board in Wayne County.
Lawyer-Guardian ad Litem of the Year: Annette E. Skinner, Attorney at Law, Lansing, was nominated for her extraordinary efforts in advocating for the best interests of her child clients. Of note were her attention to detail on each case, the investment of her time and energy on behalf of her clients, and her collaboration and consultation skills when working with caseworkers to ensure the children are receiving the services and support they need while in the foster care system.
Parent Attorney of the Year: Elizabeth Warner, Law Office of Elizabeth Warner, Jackson, was nominated for her zealous advocacy on behalf of parents in child abuse and neglect cases, advocacy that includes “pushing the envelope” to ensure the voices of parents who have been disenfranchised, often underserved, are heard. She is recognized as a knowledgeable and skilled litigator, as well as a strong and outspoken advocate for improved services and support to parents within our child welfare system who are listed with Michigan’s Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect.
Jurist of the Year: Hon. Patricia D. Gardner, Presiding Judge, Family Division, 17th Circuit Court, Kent County, has served with honor and integrity since taking the bench in 1997. She has received numerous awards, including in 2006 when Michigan CASA named her Jurist of the Year for her outstanding efforts to facilitate positive outcomes for children brought under the court’s jurisdiction due to abuse or neglect. Judge Garner was nominated for today’s award in recognition of her continued and tireless efforts to ensure every child and parent receives the services and support necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in each case, holding professionals involved to the highest standards of performance and the agencies involved to be creative in addressing barriers to permanency for the children. She was also recognized for her work off the bench, having established the Independent Living Closet, to which she donates—and encourages others to donate—household items for youth ageing out of the system as they set up their first homes.
Child and Family Charities announced October 1, 2014, that Child and Family Charities and Gateway Community Services in Lansing have merged. Under the merger agreement, Gateway will become a division of Child and Family Charities. Gateway was established in 1970 and provides street outreach, counseling, shelter, independent living skills instruction, crisis intervention, and advocacy services to runaway and homeless youth and their families throughout Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. Core programs are housed at the Kevin J. Moody Youth Home located in southwest Lansing. Gateway joins an array of divisions and services at Child and Family Charities, including foster care, adoption, independent living, child abuse prevention, parenting education, early childhood education, juvenile diversion, truancy, mental health, substance abuse, and a shelter for teen parents.
“We reached out to Child and Family Charities because of their long and successful history serving vulnerable populations in our community and the synergies this merger facilitates,” said Gateway Board President Amber Beard. “Our staff, board, and funding sources are very supportive of this development.” Beard will serve on the Child and Family Charities Board of Directors.
Susan Devon, Child and Family Charities board president, echoed that sentiment. “Bringing Gateway under the Child and Family umbrella is a great fit for both agencies,” Devon said. “We see this as part of a broad vision to increase our capacity to serve people in need.”
“The timing of this merger is appropriate. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Federal Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, which was the foundation for Gateway’s development,” said Mark Morton, Gateway’s outgoing executive director. Morton will become director of the new division.
Child and Family Charities will continue under the leadership of executive director Jim Paparella. Paparella has been with the agency since 1997 and previously served as division director for runaway and homeless youth services at Gateway. Child and Family Charities was established in 1911 as Associated Charities of Lansing. The Gateway merger follows two similar mergers with Ingham Teen Court in 2008 and Child Abuse Prevention Services in 2011.
For more information, see website www.childandfamily.org or call Demphna Krikorian at (517) 882-4000, ext. 126.
The ETV Program is well into the new fiscal year and fall semester is underway! With the Fall 2013 semester ending, have your college youth applied for ETV? They still have time!
Students may be eligible for ETV funds if they were in foster care, due to abuse or neglect on or after their 14th birthday, or were adopted from foster care on or after their 16th birthday, juvenile justice youth who were placed in an eligible foster care placement under DHS for care and supervision, have a high school diploma, and attends an accredited college or vocational program. Students must also receive their first ETV prior to their 21st birthday and may be eligible up to their 23rd birthday provided they received a 2.0 GPA and do not drop more than once class per semester.
Current award amounts are $2000 for full time students and $1000 for part time students.
An application is attached below. Please pass this valuable resource on to any qualified youth!!!
The Michigan Federation for Children and Families' Board of Directors has unanimously approved Hands Across the Water’s full membership application. Based in Ann Arbor, HATW is COA and Hague accredited to provide adoption, foster care and education services. While the agency primarily serves Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Jackson and Livingston counties, it serves families from all of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as well as numerous other states and other countries for international services.
Welcome to Kathleen Nelson, founder and executive director of Hands Across the Water!
To learn more about HATW, visit www.hatw.org.
On an annual basis, the Michigan statewide Foster Care Review Board recognizes one jurist (judge or referee), one foster care case worker, one lawyer-guardian ad litem (LGAL), a single foster parent or foster parent couple, and one parent attorney for exemplary service to abused or neglected children in the Michigan foster care system. Nominations for the 2011 Child Welfare Awards are now available. Click the category to make the nomination; you may have to press and hold the CTRL key while making your selection:
Jurist of the Year: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
Foster Care Worker of the Year: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
LGAL of the Year: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
Foster Parent of the Year: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
Parent Attorney of the Year: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/
Deadline for submission is September 15, 2011. Recipients of all awards will be recognized at the FCRB Annual Training Conference on November 10, 2011, in Southfield, MI.
The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children providing materials for interventions
ALBION, MI – The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC), a program of the Starr Institute for Training, is currently providing intervention assistance to professionals from the Tokyo Center for Play Therapy in Japan who work with survivors of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.
Among TLC’s many resources and tools for working with traumatized children, adolescents and adults is the best-selling storybook “Brave Bart,” about a young kitten who overcomes a sad and scary event with the help of a helpful neighborhood cat. This playfully illustrated story normalizes many trauma-related reactions children experience. Kyoko Kobayashi Porteux, a TLC Certified Trauma Specialist, translated the book into Japanese.
TLC Director Caelan Kuban has been in touch with Yumiko Ogawa Fariss from Tokyo Center for Play Therapy who asked for the Japanese translation of the storybook. This organization believes that “Brave Bart” will be extremely helpful to the people of Japan experiencing disaster and loss, especially young children.
“They are very thankful to have access to ‘Brave Bart,’ and it is my professional belief that several thousand children will benefit from the therapeutic messages in the book,” said Kuban. “The devastation in Japan is beyond our comprehension. We are deeply saddened by the tremendous amount of loss but more than willing to provide any assistance we can toward the healing process.”
The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC) mission is to bring out the best in every traumatized child by creating environments where children flourish. There currently are more than 6,000 TLC Certified Trauma and Loss specialists operating in schools and clinics across the country and internationally to children, adolescents, families, schools, and communities.
Starr Commonwealth is internationally recognized as a leader in transformational programs for children, families, schools and communities. Founded in 1913, Starr’s treatment philosophy is rooted in seeing something good in every child, which serves as the guiding principle in its strength-based approach. Starr offers a full spectrum of community-based early intervention and prevention services along with specialized residential programs. Through the Starr Institute of Training, parents, clinicians, educators and childcare professionals now have access to Starr’s highly successful and innovative techniques aimed at bringing out the best in every child.
For more information about TLC, visit www.starrtraining.org/tlc or call 877-306-5256.