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Programs on Eagle Village planned

Eagle VillageFebruary 28, 2010 by Midland Daily News

When people tour Eagle Village, in Hersey, one of the most common reactions is that they didn't realize the size and scope of services.

"Often they didn't realize that we were here at all," a spokesperson said. "We find that many misconceptions still exist. There is a perception that Eagle Village is a juvenile detention center or lock down facility. After an individual takes a tour of Eagle Village, their comments include statements like, 'I can't believe what amazing work you do here" and "we never really understood, but we do now!'"

For more than 41 years, Eagle Village has been providing abused and neglected children from all over Michigan a safe place to live, helping them build positive relationships and develop character and leadership skills.

Eagle Village would like local residents to learn more about its services for abused and neglected children. Programs featuring Eagle Village staff and recipients of Eagle Village services are planned at the Midland Country Club. Call Lisa Spaugh at (231) 832-6589 or Linda Greene at (231) 832-7253 to reserve a spot. The program schedule is:

FYI • March 5, 2010 • No. 5

FYI • March 5, 2010 • No. 5
The next FYI bulletin will be issued March 19, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
• Children’s Rights Lead Attorney Sara Bartosz and Associate Director Susan Lambiase hear “how it’s going” from Federation member CEOs regarding the settlement agreement—Approximately half of member provider agencies were represented at this morning’s meeting at the Federation with Children’s Rights Lead Attorney Sara Bartosz and Associate Director Susan Lambiase. The group was also joined by Rep. Dudley Spade, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on DHS, who is keenly interested in how the agreement implementation is progressing. The information exchange was extremely valuable. Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder will attend the federal court hearing next Tuesday, where the monitors will report to the judge on the state’s progress toward meeting the requirements of the consent decree. The report will be posted at www.childrensrights.org; members are encouraged to read through it.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
• PAFC contract amendment due date extended—As of late this afternoon, Susan Kangas, Chief Financial Officer for DHS, called and approved the Federation's request to extend the due date on the PAFC Contract Amendment until the end of the month. This is good news, as it will allow the Federation's advocacy efforts to continue on behalf of member agencies.
• Recent DHS communications—
March 1 regarding In-service Training Requirements; the need to obtain a JJOLT secure user ID and password; and designating a Training Facilitator Coordinator (TFC) if your local office does not have someone identified.
March 2 regarding Permanency Planning Conference (PPC) implementation. This includes a detailed protocol and a timeline for rollout of this requirement statewide.
March 3 regarding Medical and Dental Examination Reporting, due to DHS by April 15, 2010.

MEMBER NEWS

Girlstown Foundation providing care for 50+ years

Girlstown Foundation staffBy Austen Smith, Heritage Newspapers

When it comes to abused children, it's never easy.

There are horror stories of kids who have come from family backgrounds filled with neglect only to be shuffled through impersonal foster-care programs that do not provide the support necessary for children with behavioral problems.

There are, however, many success stories and the Girlstown Foundation, located in Belleville, has been a shining example for more than 50 years providing a comprehensive range of therapy, social work, residential and foster-care placement services for kids whom have come from terrible situations.
The longtime nonprofit organization at first featured just the residential program for troubled girls, but has blossomed to include foster care and Supervised Independent Living, with approximately 50 kids involved with those two programs alone.

With a little more than 50 employees spread throughout the residential facility, called Loch Rio, and administrative offices located on East Huron River Drive, the program provides services to hundreds of children each year. Most of the staff at Girlstown includes social workers with backgrounds in psychology and criminal justice.

Assistant Director Maria Lessnau does not have an easy job.

Starting out as a certification worker in 1995, she has experienced nearly every type of heartbreaking and exhilarating scenario that passes through Girlstown.

"The big push right now is licensing relatives. There are a lot of kids right now who are living with relatives who are not licensed as foster-care parents," Lessnau says. "The state's goal is to have only 10 percent of the parents in the home not licensed."

FYI • February 19, 2010 • No. 4

FYI • February 19, 2010 • No. 4
The next FYI bulletin will be issued March 5, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
www.michfed.org has a fresh new look
With you in mind, the Federation’s website is undergoing big changes. The public pages went “live” this week! Work continues behind the scenes to create an organized and easy-to-use site for members.

We thank you for your patience while we continue to post the kinds of information and resources that will be at your fingertips when you need it. Stay tuned!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
• Governor’s state budget proposal—On Thursday, February 11, 2010, Governor Granholm presented her proposed state budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2010-2011. The budget year begins on October 1, 2010, and concludes September 30, 2011. Going into the 2011 budget year, the State of Michigan faces a projected $1.5 billion deficit, largely as a result of declining revenue in the state. In a year where a number of cuts will be the reality across all state departments, the Department of Human Services has been appropriated a little over $7 billion dollars. This gross appropriation is an increase of over $1 billion in comparison to the FY 2009-2010 budget. The Governor’s budget invests over $509.2 million in Michigan’s child welfare system. The main highlight includes a $39 million increase in child welfare improvements exists in order to comply with the Children’s Rights settlement agreement. These funds appropriated will support additional child protective services staff, contract monitoring staff, a federally required children’s services automation program, and the extension of foster care, subsidized guardianship and adoption assistance benefits to age 20. Further budget analysis materials are available at the Federation.

FYI • February 5, 2010 • No. 3

FYI • February 5, 2010 • No. 3
The next FYI bulletin will be issued February 19, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Governor’s State of the State Address—Gov. Jennifer Granholm delivered her final State of the State address Wednesday night to a joint session of the Legislature. The speech focused primarily on the state doing more to promote entrepreneurial development, in areas like alternative energy, the bio-sciences and new automotive developments, Granholm brought lawmakers of both parties to their feet, cheering. The Governor also called on the Legislature to restore the Michigan Promise Scholarship, which was cut in the 2009-10 budget. She said she would put the scholarship back in her budget, saying there would be a novel way to finance the scholarship and that it would be geared toward keeping graduates of state universities in the state. She also said she would not support any more cuts to education. In other policies and proposals, Granholm called for the creation of 10 centers in Detroit through its “No Worker Left Behind” program to help individuals in remedial education and technical training. If you’d like a copy of the entire SOS speech, email jenny@michfed.org.

On February 18 at 10:00 a.m., member CEOs are encouraged to join a Legislative Conference Call with lobbyists Becky Bechler and Bruce Ashley to discuss the Governor’s budget that will be released February 11. Please join us for this conversation and planning session; call-in information will be emailed.

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

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