Invitation to join Michigan Home Based Family Services Association

MHBFSA logoFederation Affiliate Member Michigan Home Based Family Services Association invites you to join others who are committed to quality family-centered services throughout Michigan.

New and renewing MHBFSA members benefit from three free trainings annually, discounted pricing for the MHBFSA annual conference (September 27-28, 2012), training hours and free social work CEs at each training, an e-newsletter called Practice, access to the Home Based Standards Guidelines Handbook, listing on and access to the MHBFSA website and more!

Find details about membership and benefits at and in the attachments found below.

Hand Across the Water brings Federation service provider members to 46!

Hands Across the WaterThe 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

Housing program gives homeless youth a boost

medium_bilde_0.jpgDetroit News— It was just a few months ago that LaKeisha Johnson and her small children slept in a car when they couldn't count on a relative or a friend to provide them with a place to stay.

On Thursday, Johnson, 24, showed off her new two-bedroom apartment at Oakman Place Apartments, part of a program to house young, homeless adults, as well as those who have aged out of the state's foster care system.

"This is beautiful," said Johnson, as she showed off the expansive ground floor apartment, fully furnished with new furniture. "It doesn't seem real."

The 24-unit, three-story complex on Oakman Boulevard near Woodrow Wilson includes gated parking and a washer and dryer in each apartment.

The $5.1 million development is the result of a partnership that includes Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, Focus:HOPE and Michigan State Housing Development Authority MSHDA.

Robert G. Miles, president and CEO of Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, said the Oakman Place program provides adequate housing and other support services for homeless youth and those who "age out of the welfare system."

"Very few of our own children make the transition into adulthood without ongoing support and supportive services," Miles said. "Through this development, we have become more sensitized to the number of families who are challenged to find adequate, safe and affordable housing."

Miles said Thursday he hopes the residents will "love each other, support each other and become a community."

Selecting the first families to live in Oakman Place was a difficult task for social worker Carolyn Rayford, the deputy regional director for Lutheran Child & Family Service.

Teens in Foster Care Face Elevated Risk of Becoming a Teen Parent

Teens in foster care face considerable individual and family challenges that place them at an elevated risk of becoming a teen parent. Child Trends has released a new research brief, Teen Parents in Foster Care: Risk Factors and Outcomes for Teens and Their Children, which reviews existing research literature on teens in foster care and examines analyses of primarily regional data to assess the extent to which teens in foster care are at risk of teen pregnancy and parenting. Existing studies suggest that teens in foster care have higher rates of teen pregnancy and parenthood than youth not in care. More than 160,000 of the children in foster care were over 12 years old in 2009.

On the basis of the research highlighted in this brief, Child Trends identifies several challenges to reducing rates of pregnancy and childbearing among teens in foster care and to preventing negative outcomes for these teen parents and their children. With this brief, we hope to increase understanding of this high-risk population; to inform strategies to reduce teen pregnancies in foster care and support teen parents in foster care and their children; and to identify issues that need further research.

This research was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Child and Family Charities: Organization’s New Name and Logo Reflects Larger Vision and Mission to Help Children, Youth and Families in Mid-Michigan

CFCharities.jpgLANSING, October 6, 2011 – Child and Family Charities (formerly Child & Family Services, Capital Area) publicly announced the organization’s name change and new logo with an unveiling of their new sign on Monday, October 3, 2011 at the agency’s main office building located at 4287 Five Oaks Drive, Lansing, MI 48911.

Debora Matthews, CEO of The Children's Center Honored for Commitment to Children with Disabilities

Detroit, MI (August 15, 2011). The Children’s Center is very pleased to announce that Chief Executive Officer Debora Matthews was selected to receive the 2011 EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to distinguished individuals as part of Disabilities Awareness Day recognition events nationwide. Debora was chosen from an impressive list of local candidates for her dedication and commitment to, and advocacy for, those with special needs.

The mission of Disability Awareness Night (DAN) is to expand awareness of the 54.6 million Americans living with disabilities, by highlighting their extraordinary achievements and the perseverance and dedication of the families, physicians, nurses, therapists, educators and other caregivers involved in their care and development. The presentation of the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award (named after the founder and former editor-in-chief of Exceptional Parent magazine, EP) at each Disability Awareness Night signifies the remarkable accomplishments that can be achieved under difficult circumstances.

Judge might relax aggressive child welfare overhaul


A Michigan judge might relax on Monday an aggressive schedule for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the state’s child welfare system.

Representatives of the Michigan Department of Human Services, a New York child advocacy group, and a federal court monitor have been preparing for a periodic progress report in a 2008 settlement designed to better care for thousands of Michigan children. The state has repeatedly missed crucial benchmarks.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds scheduled a hearing Monday to consider a “modified consent decree.”

Details were not immediately available, but the hearing may signal a drastic change. In December, the state faced the possibility of a contempt of court ruling after it repeatedly failed to meet the conditions of the agreement that began with a 2006 lawsuit by New York-based Children’s Rights.

The group criticized the state for what it described as life-threatening poor care for children. Years of budget cuts, the loss of experienced social service workers and the state’s failure to tap into federal funding contributed to the crisis, according to the suit.

FYI • June 24, 2011 • No. 13

FYI • June 24, 2011 • No. 13
The next FYI bulletin will be issued July 8, 2011


Michigan Teen Conference draws 100+ youth and 100+ adults!—Thank you to everyone who helped plan and arranged for youth and chaperones to attend this year’s Michigan Teen Conference at Ferris State University. The conference was a huge success! Special thanks to the many session presenters, Walk through Life vendors, and generous sponsors and donors who stepped forward to offer expertise and support. As was shared on several evaluation forms by participants, this year's conference was very informative and positive…many youth are already looking forward to next year's conference!

Nominations open through September 15 for 2011 Child Welfare Awards

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:

Foster Care Worker of the Year:

LGAL of the Year:

Foster Parent of the Year:

Parent Attorney of the Year:

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.


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