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!
Attached you will find the NEW 2018 Child Welfare In-Service Training catalog featuring over 45 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 managing secondary trauma. 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 NEW Caregiver training opportunities- both in-person and webinar offerings attached as well.
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- and remember to register soon, as courses have limited space and will fill up quickly!
Wellspring Lutheran Services is pleased to announce Sean de Four has been named vice president and chief operating officer of child and family services at Wellspring. His work with Wellspring begins Monday, Nov. 27.
De Four comes to Wellspring with a distinguished career in child welfare and family preservation work, most recently in a similar role with Samaritas in Detroit. Prior to that, he served in various roles with Judson Center, Royal Oak, MI. His passion for children and families has propelled his career, making an impact within the agencies where he’s served, as well as contributing to the field in numerous leadership positions.
De Four has served at the University of Michigan’s School of Social work as a lecturer and past member of their Alumni Board of Governors. He is on the board of directors at the Michigan Federation for Children and Families, serves as the co-chair of the Child Welfare Partnership Council in Lansing, and is on the board of the West Michigan Partnership for Children in Grand Rapids. De Four also serves as a peer reviewer for the Council on Accreditation.
At the November 8, 2017, Board of Directors meeting, members and staff expressed deep appreciation to Brian Philson, president/CEO of Highfields, Inc., for his exemplary leadership as Federation president over the last two years. Stepping into the presidency role is Debora Matthews, president/CEO of The Children’s Center, having been elected last year to serve as president-elect for a one-year term. Deb previously served as treasurer and chairs the Board’s Audit Committee. Brian remains in a leadership role on the Executive Committee as immediate past president. Also on November 8, the Board unanimously elected Maria Lessnau to serve a two-year term as secretary. Maria is executive director of Guiding Harbor in Belleville and co-chairs the Federation’s Residential Treatment MIN. Maria was honored as Federation Ambassador of the Year at the 2017 Annual Senior Management Conference held in September at Crystal Mountain Resort. Congratulations to all!