2019 Federation LEADER IN CHILD WELFARE Award

Leader in Child Welfare is presented to a Federation member who helps to assure the Federation’s vision statement is at the forefront of all their actions: communities where all children, youth, and families thrive.

Jerry Peterson, Executive Director of Ruth Ellis Center, was presented with the 2019 Federation Member Leader in Child Welfare award for being an outstanding leader in the field. 

Over the past several years, Jerry has been entrenched in the community of Detroit where Ruth Ellis Center is located, learning about the needs of the children and their families who have come to the agency for assistance. When Jerry saw the community’s needs for more access to mental, behavioral, and physical health services, he responded with a call to action to build a center that did not previously exist and remained laser-focused on efforts to fundraise, construct, and develop partnerships to deliver services to completion. When the local MDHHS and central training team reached out for more resources and training on serving LGBTQ and diverse SOGIE youth, Jerry and his team responded with a robust program and willingness to respond to what the community needed. Jerry has been pivotal in implementing positive youth development, harm reduction, family engagement, and trauma-informed care strategies at the agency. Jerry’s contributions to the Federation are many, and his work is helping to ensure the vision that all children, youth, and families thrive.


Advocate. Collaborate. Make a Difference. award is presented to two Federation members who have embody the spirit of the Federation’s new tagline “Advocate. Collaborate. Make a Difference.”

Brad Keller and Rachel Willis of Bethany Christian Services were presented with the Federation’s newest award: 2019 Federation Advocate. Collaborate. Make a Difference. 

When federal court Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered a third-party evaluation of the MiSACWIS system, Brad Keller and Rachel Willis immediately asked the question, “How can we help?” and quickly responded with development of a MiSACWIS demonstration session for Dr. Kurt Heisler where they were able to walk through and showcase the challenges unique to community-based organizations in working with the technology. Again, when MDHHS Director Gordon came on board earlier this year, Brad and Rachel stepped up to provide the director with the demonstration and effectively highlighted the challenges the system presents for users on a daily basis, articulated how this impacts work with kids and families, and offered solutions to collaborate and streamline the IT processes. Brad and Rachel participated in several focus groups, workgroups, and conversations with MDHHS, legislators, consultants, and other stakeholders as momentum sparked to explore other technology solutions for our state. Together, Brad and Rachel were innovative in their approach to advocacy and collaboration, addressing a barrier impacting all Federation member agencies and have truly made the difference in moving the state toward resolution.

RFPs sought for 8th annual Residential Treatment Conference and 1st annual Family Preservation Conference

Scheduled for March 2 and 3, 2020, these back-to-back conferences are themed “Navigating Change: Fulfilling the Promise of the FFPSA.” These programs will feature national and state expertise to help guide Michigan residential treatment providers and family preservation programs toward implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), with a special emphasis on the opportunities the law focuses on to help transform residential treatment and family preservation services through best practices and evidence-based strategies for family engagement. Proposals for presentations are requested by October 25, 2019.

CLICK HERE to download the RFP for Residential Conference March 2. 

CLICK HERE to download the RFP for the Family Preservation Conference March 3. 

NEW In-Service Training Catalog- free!

CLICK HERE to download the NEW 2019-2020 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 are on staff engagement, retention, and supervision of mobile workforce. 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-specific webinar training opportunities upcoming this fall— a three-part series "Rearing Resilience: Strategies for Parenting Children with Attachment Trauma."

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.

Minority Professional Leadership Development Program at AdoptUSKids

Are you ready to become a transformational leader?  The Minority Professional Leadership Development Program (MPLD) at AdoptUSKids is accepting candidates now through September 9th for the next cohort which will start January 2020. This fellowship is designed for emerging minority leaders working in child welfare. The fellowship includes hands-on experience, exposure to national adoption experts and mentorship opportunities.  To learn more about MPLD and to apply for the fellowship go to www.adoptuskids.org/mpld

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