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Hand Across the Water brings Federation service provider members to 46!

Hands Across the WaterThe Michigan Federation for Children and Families' Board of Directors has unanimously approved Hands Across the Water’s full membership application. Based in Ann Arbor, HATW is COA and Hague accredited to provide adoption, foster care and education services. While the agency primarily serves Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Jackson and Livingston counties, it serves families from all of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as well as numerous other states and other countries for international services.

Welcome to Kathleen Nelson, founder and executive director of Hands Across the Water!

To learn more about HATW, visit www.hatw.org.

Housing program gives homeless youth a boost

medium_bilde_0.jpgDetroit News— It was just a few months ago that LaKeisha Johnson and her small children slept in a car when they couldn't count on a relative or a friend to provide them with a place to stay.

On Thursday, Johnson, 24, showed off her new two-bedroom apartment at Oakman Place Apartments, part of a program to house young, homeless adults, as well as those who have aged out of the state's foster care system.

"This is beautiful," said Johnson, as she showed off the expansive ground floor apartment, fully furnished with new furniture. "It doesn't seem real."

The 24-unit, three-story complex on Oakman Boulevard near Woodrow Wilson includes gated parking and a washer and dryer in each apartment.

The $5.1 million development is the result of a partnership that includes Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, Focus:HOPE and Michigan State Housing Development Authority MSHDA.

Robert G. Miles, president and CEO of Lutheran Child & Family Service of Michigan, said the Oakman Place program provides adequate housing and other support services for homeless youth and those who "age out of the welfare system."

"Very few of our own children make the transition into adulthood without ongoing support and supportive services," Miles said. "Through this development, we have become more sensitized to the number of families who are challenged to find adequate, safe and affordable housing."

Miles said Thursday he hopes the residents will "love each other, support each other and become a community."

Selecting the first families to live in Oakman Place was a difficult task for social worker Carolyn Rayford, the deputy regional director for Lutheran Child & Family Service.

Teens in Foster Care Face Elevated Risk of Becoming a Teen Parent

Teens in foster care face considerable individual and family challenges that place them at an elevated risk of becoming a teen parent. Child Trends has released a new research brief, Teen Parents in Foster Care: Risk Factors and Outcomes for Teens and Their Children, which reviews existing research literature on teens in foster care and examines analyses of primarily regional data to assess the extent to which teens in foster care are at risk of teen pregnancy and parenting. Existing studies suggest that teens in foster care have higher rates of teen pregnancy and parenthood than youth not in care. More than 160,000 of the children in foster care were over 12 years old in 2009.

On the basis of the research highlighted in this brief, Child Trends identifies several challenges to reducing rates of pregnancy and childbearing among teens in foster care and to preventing negative outcomes for these teen parents and their children. With this brief, we hope to increase understanding of this high-risk population; to inform strategies to reduce teen pregnancies in foster care and support teen parents in foster care and their children; and to identify issues that need further research.

This research was supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Child and Family Charities: Organization’s New Name and Logo Reflects Larger Vision and Mission to Help Children, Youth and Families in Mid-Michigan

CFCharities.jpgLANSING, October 6, 2011 – Child and Family Charities (formerly Child & Family Services, Capital Area) publicly announced the organization’s name change and new logo with an unveiling of their new sign on Monday, October 3, 2011 at the agency’s main office building located at 4287 Five Oaks Drive, Lansing, MI 48911.

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For background and current status of the federal Adoption Tax Credit, download the attached Adoption Advocate newsletter issued by the National Council for Adoption.

Additionally, these sites are listed for your convenience:

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U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics has just released a report titled Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09, compiled by Allen J. Beck, Ph.D., Paige M. Harrison, and Paul Guerino, BJS Statisticians.

yellowbook.pngA resource for anyone involved in child protection proceedings, this comprehensive manual walks the reader through every stage from preliminary hearing to post-termination review.

Each chapter includes:
• The purpose of that stage
• Key questions to consider
• A checklist of roles and responsibilities

Excerpts of pertinent state and federal law are included along with an appendix of State Court Administrative Office forms.

The Right Start in Michigan 2009 report, released today, finds that Michigan has improved in six of eight areas when it comes to maternal and infant well-being. It reports substantial reductions in births to teens, repeat births to teens and prenatal smoking.

Click here to view the report.

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