FYI • July 9, 2010 • No. 14

FYI • July 9, 2010 • No. 14
The next FYI bulletin will be issued July 23, 2010

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
• Legislature on recess—Michigan legislators are on break, expected to return to Lansing on July 21.
• State budget update—Governor Granholm signed the K-12 budget into effect this week, giving schools the financial information they need for state aid as they plan their upcoming school year. The Governor exercised her line item veto by eliminating special funding to school programs in Pontiac and Saginaw. She also cut partial restoration of funds to high wealth districts under the so-called 20j spending plans. Appropriations Committee conferees continued their work on sorting out the differences between the separate House and Senate approved budgets that need to be reconciled. Administration and legislative hopes were dashed of having all budgets completed by July 1, well in advance of the start of the state’s fiscal year on October 1. Leaders hope that some of the budgets can be finalized for votes on July 21 and July 28, the only two scheduled session days this month.

STATE EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
• DHS communications posted at www.michfed.org—The items listed below can be found within www.michfed.org; log in with your user name and password and go to “DHS Communications” in the righthand column. Need a Federation user name and password? Contact jenny@michfed.org. Here is a list of items issued since the last FYI:
➢ June 28: Billing Instructions for Juvenile Guardianship Administrative Rate
➢ June 30: Mother/Baby Residential Programs
➢ June 30: New Fingerprinting Process for Child Welfare Foster and Adoptive Applicants
➢ July 7: Transition of Foster Care Children into Medicaid Health Plans
➢ July 8: Permanency Planning Conference (PPC) Data Entry and Training
➢ July 8: Case Load Count Letter

FEDERATION ACTIVITIES

Foster Care Review Board 2009 Annual Report

FCRBAnnRep.pngThis report, submitted pursuant to 1997 PA 170, § 9, provides an overview of the review board’s functions and program activity details from this past year. Included are data, trend summaries, and observations gleaned by the board during 2009 from the review of cases involving over 1,300 children in foster care. These reviews were conducted by 200 dedicated and well-trained citizen volunteers. The information obtained from case reviews provides an objective, third-party evaluation of the care that Michigan’s foster care system provides to abused and neglected children.

This year’s report and recommendations address significant issues related to achieving safe and timely permanency for children in foster care, particularly in the area of parent-child reunification.

The Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) is a program established by the legislature to provide third-party review of foster care placements and related matters. There are 30 local review boards throughout the state, comprised of citizen volunteers. For those who are not familiar with the program, complete information can be found at
http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/services/fcrb/fcrb.htm

FYI • June 25, 2010 • No. 13

FYI • June 25, 2010 • No. 13
The next FYI bulletin will be issued July 9, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
teenconference.png150 youth and adults "Took Charge of Their Journey!" at the Michigan Teen Conference —Congratulations to the amazing Teen Conference Planning Committee chaired by Laura Mitchell of conference fiduciary Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. The conference featured foster care alumni Cherish Thomas and Danita Echols as the Keynote Speakers, both with a message for the youth surrounding the theme of the conference, "Take Charge of Your Journey." Several vendors and community partners provided workshops geared towards independent living skills and planning for a successful future. The Walk through Life activity allowed youth the opportunity to interact with community resources and businesses and practice some of the life skills they learned about at the conference. Thank you to all of the agencies who participated and to all of the youth who made it worthwhile! We are already looking forward to and anticipating next year's event!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
• DHS Budget bill—The next step for the FY 2011 DHS Budget is conference committee, with no firm date set for finalization.

STATE EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES

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.

FYI • June 11, 2010 • No. 12

FYI • June 11, 2010 • No. 12
The next FYI bulletin will be issued June 25, 2010

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
June 22-23, 2010 • MiTeen Conference "Take Charge of Your Journey!"
Contact conference coordinator and fiduciary Lutheran Social Services of MI
TODAY if you need to firm up registrations for this conference:
Reach Diana Ripley at dripl@LSSM.org or (800) 765-0541.

DHS key administrators to attend June 16 and July 21 MIN meetings. Read details within the FYI.
June 16:
• ADOPTION: Karen Iverson, Adoption Subsidy Office
• Joint LICENSING & FOSTER CARE: Jim Gale, Janice Tribble, Deb Buchanan, Christine Rehagen, Fran Cook
• INDEPENDENT LIVING/HOMELESS YOUTH: Sherie Bailey, YIT Office
July 21:
• RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT: Jim Gale

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.

Vistas Nuevas Head Start Celebrates Culture in the Community

matrix.jpgVistas Nuevas Head Start, a program of Matrix Human Services will host its’ annual Celebrations of Culture Parade on Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 10am. More than 1400 head start children will march from Holy Redeemer Church to Clark Park in celebration of the various cultures in the Detroit community.

The Celebrations of Culture Parade will represent several countries around globe in support the diversity that is among all of us each and every day. Those countries include: Spain, Trinidad and Tabago, Hawaii, Ecuador, Ghana, Mexico, Scotland, Puerto Rico, Native American, Lebanon, Brazil, France, Portugal.

Vistas Nuevas Head Start is the largest head start program in the city of Detroit. Vistas’ has more than 1400 children annually, teaches in 3 languages (English, Spanish and Arabic) and operates 13 locations all located in Detroit’s Southwest community.

“This annual event highlights the multi-cultural community we live and serve in everyday. It is important for our children to know, celebrate and embrace the differences within all of us.” – states Debra Spring, Vice President of Education and Director of Vistas Nuevas

FYI • May 26, 2010 • No. 11

FYI • May 26, 2010 • No. 11
The next FYI bulletin will be issued June 11, 2010

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK

Federation Member Day at the Capitol drew 80+ members
On May 20, over 80 Federation member Executive Directors, Agency Staff, Member Agency Board Members, and Youth spent time with our legislative champions and leaders, and legislators who are expected to rise into new leadership positions following this election year. We were very pleased to have Foster Care Alum Cherish Thomas speak with us about her experiences growing up in the foster care system and her hope that her experiences can help to shape the future experiences of others. Cherish’s perspective helped to remind our group of the reasons we do the work we do. Cherish also served as a role model for the youth present from Starr Commonwealth and Holy Cross Children’s Services, as she has proved youth growing up in the foster care system can have outcomes they may never have dreamed of.

Register now for Sept. 15–17, 2010 Senior Management Conference!
We are in the process of lining up an outstanding group of presenters—each with an expertise and role critical to providing quality services to Michigan's vulnerable children and families. We are very excited about the wealth of information you will gain when you join us at Crystal Mountain!

You will leave the conference even better informed, inspired and invigorated. If you act on this early chance to register, you will insure your seat at the conference at the best possible price. Find the schedule and registration information at http://www.michfed.org; click on “annual conference.”

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • May 14, 2010 • No. 10

FYI • May 14, 2010 • No. 10
The next FYI bulletin will be issued May 28, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

May 20, 2010 • Federation Member Day at the Capitol
Why it’s so important!
Recent legislative and appropriations hearings further demonstrate the critical need for our membership to be in front of the members of our legislature as the difficult budget negotiations progress. Our membership's presence is NECESSARY at Annual Member Day at the Capitol on Thursday, May 20th! We will be joined by our legislative champions, who still have a lot of work to do on the Human Services budget, and legislators who are expected to rise into new leadership positions following this election year. Join your colleagues on May 20 at Capitol Day by using the following link to register: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/membercapitolday2010

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

An Analysis of the Kansas and Florida Privatization Initiatives April 2010

This report was prepared in response to a request from Page Walley, Casey Family Programs Managing Director for Strategic Consulting, for an analysis of the privatization efforts of Kansas and Florida. Kansas and Florida were chosen because they are the only two states that have privatized all child welfare services – other than investigations – statewide.

Following a review of the recent literature on child welfare privatization, including independent evaluations, government reports, and state assessments, nine interviews were conducted with private provider staff from Kansas and Florida directly involved with the privatization initiative
and a national consultant on privatization in the target states. The state’s perspective was primarily captured through interviews with current private providers who worked for Florida’s Department of Children and Families at the time of the transition to privatization, as well as information compiled during a March 2009 Casey Family Programs visit with Florida state leadership.

The report includes contextual information on privatization across the states, historical background on the Kansas and Florida initiatives, a summary of challenges and lessons learned during the transition process, the benefits of privatization, and performance and fiscal outcomes. Appendix A provides a table comparing the key components of the two privatization models.

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