Large disparities found in giving babies the Right Start

KidsCountLogoNearly half of Michigan’s babies are born to mothers in cities or communities larger than 25,000. And many of those children start life without equal opportunities to thrive, arrive at school ready to learn and go on to become part of a highly educated workforce, according to “Right Start in Michigan 2010 – The Other Half.”

The report, released by the Michigan League for Human Services’ Kids Count in Michigan project, looks at eight indicators of maternal and infant health across 69 communities of populations of at least 25,000. It sorts those communities by risk, finding that two of every five births were in high-risk communities, including most racial minority births. It also found large disparities based on race and poverty.

FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21

FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21
The next FYI bulletin will be issued November 5, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Meetings scheduled to address urgent budget/contract matters Scheduled earlier this month and then postponed by DHS, on October 26, Federation President Gary Tester and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder will meet with DHS Director Ismael Ahmed and have invited to join them in this meeting Michael Williams, representing Orchards Children’s Services and the Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies. Matters of critical importance that will be discussed include residential, foster care and adoption contract issues, the governor’s veto of the adoption rate increase in the DHS Budget, and implementation of “failure to report.”
That same day, a special meeting will be hosted by Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade with top DHS officials, the Federation’s Gary Tester and Janet Reynolds Snyder, and Michael Williams to discuss the governor’s veto and resulting issues.

FYI / October 8, 2010 / No. 20

FYI / October 8, 2010 / No. 20
The next FYI bulletin will be issued October 22, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Federation priorities reflected in FY 2011 State Budget—Federation legislative priorities reflected in the FY 2011 budget bill are the result of the tireless efforts of our members, staff, lobbyists, and the leadership of Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade. As HB 5882 was voted out of the House and Senate on September 29, it included a number of the Federation’s priorities, as follows:

➢ Providing for a 36% rate increase to adoption rates (see note below about governor’s veto).
➢ Maintaining the $37/day administrative rate for foster care services for private child placing agencies.
➢ Maintaining the $28/day rate for general independent living services for private child placing agencies and provides for an SIL administrative rate no less than the rate paid in FY 08-09. (The governor’s proposed budget had cut/eliminated these items.)
➢ Boilerplate language increasing the floor funding for residential services from $130 to $137 a day; the $7 daily per diem rate will carry forward from its July 1, 2010 effective date.

Note: Gov. Granholm signed her veto letter for HB 5882 on September 30, vetoing the 36% adoption rate increase and the boilerplate language stating private agencies shall receive $16,000 for each finalized adoption of long-term wards. The Federation is pursuing further clarification on the funding allocated to the Department and how this relates to adoption work. See more detail in this week’s FYI (below).

STATE LEGISLATIVE/EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES

Erin Gruwell featured at Starr's Founder's Day

ALBION -- Hundreds sniffed and wiped tears from their eyes as Erin Gruwell recounted her days as a public school teacher in Long Beach, California.

Aided by clips from her appearance on "Primetime Live" and a Hollywood film made about her, the former teacher Gruwell told the heart wrenching tales of her 150 students in Long Beach who went from hopelessness to success through the power of writing and positive reinforcement.

Gruwell co-wrote "The Freedom Writers Diary", which was made into the 2007 film "Freedom Writers" starring Hillary Swank. She was the guest speaker at Starr Commonwealth's 97th-anniversary Founder's Day celebration.

About 155 students from Starr attended her speech, the highlight of the day's celebration, along with hundreds of teachers and members of the public.

FYI • September 24, 2010 • No. 19

FYI • September 24, 2010 • No. 19
The next FYI bulletin will be issued October 8, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

HHS awards $39 million to states for increasing adoptions; 9% of the total comes to Michigan!—The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $39 million to 38 states and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States use the funds from this adoption incentive award to improve their child welfare programs. Michigan’s adoption incentive award is $3,511,033. Only two states earned more of this funding: Texas $7,468,475 and Florida $5,718,271. Find a list of each state’s award at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2010/fy10_adoption_incentive_awards.htm.

Senior Management Conference scores high marks—Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s Federation annual conference at Crystal Mountain! Here’s what folks had to say afterward:
The topics were relevant and the networking superb!
I thought the conference was great this year! Thanks for all your work and planning.
Thank you for a wonderful conference. I appreciate all of the work and energy that made this conference a success. Great job!
The best ever!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • September 3, 2010 • No. 18

FYI • September 3, 2010 • No. 18
The next FYI bulletin will be issued September 24, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Powerful line up of presenters secured for Senior Management Conference September 15-17
If you attend only one conference per year, this should be the one.

This is the only venue with access to the caliber of expertise and insight you need to best serve Michigan’s vulnerable children and families in these challenging and changing times. Every CEO and top-level administrator and program director within child welfare services should make it a priority to attend. The full program description is included on the last page of this bulletin.

Presenters include nationally recognized care systems management expert Dr. Marcella Wilson, President/CEO of Federation Member Matrix Human Services; nonprofit leadership training expert Sean de Four, COO of Federation Member Judson Center, partnering with Dr. John Arnold of Wayne State University; longest term and highly-valued Federation agency-university partner, Dr. Gary Anderson, Director of MSU’s School of Social Work; Attorney William F. Abrams whose legal counsel prevailed in the California private agency association’s legal case against the State of California when faced with a 32% rate reduction; and lastly, Children’s Rights Lead Attorney Sara Bartosz and Kevin Ryan and Lisa Alexander-Taylor of Public Catalyst Group, members of the Michigan Monitoring Team overseeing implementation of the federal consent decree.

Register today!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • August 20, 2010 • No. 17

FYI • August 20, 2010 • No. 17
The next FYI bulletin will be issued September 3, 2010

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
Residential rate adjustment retroactive to July 1, 2010—This past Tuesday, the State Administrative Board approved the long-awaited $7 per diem increase for residential treatment providers, retroactive to July 1, 2010. Contract amendments reflecting the rate increase are expected to be mailed to providers soon. This achievement is directly due to Federation advocacy and the tenacity of Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade on behalf of private providers.

Back foster care payments issued—We are very pleased to report the State of Michigan has issued payments for foster care services provided from 2006 through 2008, that had remained unpaid until this past week! The Federation’s advocacy on members’ behalf, combined with the diligence of Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade, made this resolution possible. Efforts continue regarding payments outstanding for other past due accounts. If you have any questions regarding this matter or would like to share the good news when you receive payment, please contact janet@michfed.org.

2010 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey Summary Report is in print • Order your copy now!

The 2010 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey Summary Report reflects data current as of January 31, 2010, including a compilation of actual salaries of 4,890 employees across 71 job classifications within 41 Michigan private, nonprofit child and family service agencies, presented geographically: statewide, SE Michigan counties and counties outside of SE Michigan.

This 126-page report includes statewide aggregate data, plus four breakdowns of the General Information, Fringe Benefits, Staff Turnover Report, and Salaries Report by size of agency. This amount of detail allows for a close comparison among similarly sized organizations as agencies consider their own employee compensation packages.

This annual report is one of the many benefits of Full Membership in the Michigan Federation for Children and Families; there is no extra charge for participation and a copy of the summary report.

The 2010 report is available to non-participating non-members for $200 per copy; $150 per copy for Affiliate and Individual Federation members.

Send your request and check to: Michigan Federation for Children and Families, 320 N. Washington Square, Suite 100, Lansing MI 48933. The printed report will be sent directly to you as soon as your payment is received.

FYI • August 6, 2010 • No. 16

FYI • August 6, 2010 • No. 16
The next FYI bulletin will be issued August 20, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Register now for Sept. 15–17, 2010 Senior Management Conference!
Act now to assure you get the best possible price (same low rate since 2008) for registration and the type of room you prefer. Find the schedule and registration links at http://www.michfed.org; click on “annual conference.”
Direct link to online conference registration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2010federation_annual_conference
Online hotel reservations: http://www.crystalmountain.com/grouplodging
and use 45F2HP for your group code.

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

Cooley Law School President and Dean Don LeDuc Receives First-Ever Community Recognition Award

leduc_teen_court_award.jpgLansing Teen Court, a community-based and highly collaborative program of Child & Family Services, announced today that it has awarded Don LeDuc, president and dean of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, with the organization's first-ever Community Recognition Award.

"To say the least, we are grateful for Don's civic-minded nature, his commitment to education and his support of creative and community-based methods of resolving juvenile justice and community challenges through collaboration," said Mike Botke, director of Teen Court.

The basis for the Community Recognition Award includes making a significant contribution to the community, whether monetary or in deed. LeDuc is the first to receive the award and was selected to honor his commitment, not only to Teen Court, but to community collaboration as well.

"Cooley is honored to be involved with the Teen Court program," said LeDuc. "Our staff, professors and students have embraced this program, as it gives a second chance to young people and provides an invaluable service to the Lansing community."

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