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FYI • April 29, 2011 • No. 9

FYI • April 29, 2011 • No. 9
The next FYI bulletin will be issued May 13, 2011

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK

• DHS contract negotiations to resume—The Federation is pleased to report that contract negotiations will resume shortly, with DHS Deputy Director Dudley Spade taking the lead for the department and the Federation facilitating. Dates are being established now for two groups of private agencies that had met last year—adoption and residential treatment—to reconvene.

• May 10: HR Spring Tune-Up—Still time to register for the HR training day by calling the Federation office, 517.485.8552. Cost for Federation agencies is just $35 per person; parking is free; what you will learn…priceless!

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
• MCI legislation moving through legislative process—The package of bills to amend the Michigan Adoption Code to permit the designee of an authorized representative of the Department of Human Services to consent to the adoption or guardianship of a child have been passed out of the respective House and Senate Families, Children, and Seniors Subcommittees. The bills would allow for adoptions that are not contested to be signed off on by a Department designee. The bills will now be taken up for discussion and vote on the House and Senate floors. Director Corrigan testified in strong support of these bills, and believes they would allow decision making to be brought back to the local level through the approval of adoptions by an MCI designee. Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly also testified in support of the bills and assisted in drafting the legislation. Justice Kelly noted that the courts are a partner with the Department and private agencies, but this legislation is critical to speeding up the adoption process.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • April 15, 2011 • No. 8

FYI • April 15, 2011 • No. 8
The next FYI bulletin will be issued April 29, 2011

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK

• June 8 set for Meet & Greet with DHS Top Administration—Federation member representatives and CEOs will welcome Director Corrigan and several of her top administrators on June 8 at 12:30 PM in the Federation office for a Meet & Greet during our June Board meeting. Joining us along with Director Corrigan are expected to be Chief Deputy Duane Berger, Deputy Director Dudley Spade and Acting Deputy Director for Children's Services Administration Steve Yager. More information will follow closer to the date.

• Federation leadership met with DHS Director Corrigan—Federation Board President Gary Tester, Bruce Ashley of Federation lobby firm Public Affairs Associates, and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder, on behalf of all Federation members, met April 7 with DHS Director Maura Corrigan and Deputy Director Dudley Spade. The purpose of the meeting was to share with Director Corrigan the priority interests and efforts of the Federation. Gary, Bruce and Janet were encouraged by the initiative of and tone from Director Corrigan and Deputy Director Spade. Director Corrigan is focused on meeting all the requirements of the consent decree and coming out from under federal oversight within the next four years. She has clearly shown a quick start in addressing a number of priority issues as well as the expertise and strength to continue this stride, with a strong team around her. Updates on several key areas are provided in the Legislative and Executive/Administrative Activities sections below.

FYI • April 1, 2011 • No. 7

FYI • April 1, 2011 • No. 7
The next FYI bulletin will be issued April 15, 2011

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

• Federation leadership to meet with DHS Director Corrigan—Federation Board President Gary Tester and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder, on behalf of all Federation members, will meet with DHS Director Maura Corrigan on April 7. The purpose of the meeting is to share with Director Corrigan the priority interests and efforts of the Federation. Payments, contracting, consent decree requirements, and more, are on our agenda.

• Federation membership to meet with Federal Monitoring Team—Kevin Ryan, the Federal Monitor for the state's child welfare reform, continues to want feedback from nonprofit agencies as to how agencies are experiencing the reform. Federation members have been extremely helpful in this process during the past several years when Kevin and the Monitoring Team have attended the Federation's senior management conferences as well as the trips they have made to individual agencies. As discussions continue with Kevin, Federal Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, Children's Rights, the offices of Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, and DHS Director Maura Corrigan, regarding possible modifications of the settlement agreement, your input continues to hold great weight.
Federation Executives/CEOs: Please plan to attend a meeting with the Monitoring Team on Wednesday, April 13, from 1 PM–2:30 PM. The main focus of this meeting is on training and changes in the current DHS implementation that would make the process more efficient. This event precedes a meeting the legal parties have in federal court the next day. Our meeting with the Monitoring Team is being graciously hosted by Lutheran Child and Family Service of Michigan, 15160 West 8-Mile Road, Oak Park, 48237. Please RSVP to Jenny Crichton to confirm your attendance: jenny@michfed.org.

TLC resources in use with Japanese traumatized youth

tlcstarr.pngThe National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children providing materials for interventions

ALBION, MI – The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC), a program of the Starr Institute for Training, is currently providing intervention assistance to professionals from the Tokyo Center for Play Therapy in Japan who work with survivors of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Among TLC’s many resources and tools for working with traumatized children, adolescents and adults is the best-selling storybook “Brave Bart,” about a young kitten who overcomes a sad and scary event with the help of a helpful neighborhood cat. This playfully illustrated story normalizes many trauma-related reactions children experience. Kyoko Kobayashi Porteux, a TLC Certified Trauma Specialist, translated the book into Japanese.

TLC Director Caelan Kuban has been in touch with Yumiko Ogawa Fariss from Tokyo Center for Play Therapy who asked for the Japanese translation of the storybook. This organization believes that “Brave Bart” will be extremely helpful to the people of Japan experiencing disaster and loss, especially young children.

“They are very thankful to have access to ‘Brave Bart,’ and it is my professional belief that several thousand children will benefit from the therapeutic messages in the book,” said Kuban. “The devastation in Japan is beyond our comprehension. We are deeply saddened by the tremendous amount of loss but more than willing to provide any assistance we can toward the healing process.”

Governor Snyder reappoints Verlie Ruffin as Children's Ombudsman

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has decided to retain the children's ombudsman appointed by his Democratic predecessor.

Snyder's office announced Wednesday that he has reappointed Verlie Ruffin of Detroit to the job. Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Ruffin in 2006. She was confirmed unanimously that year by the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Ruffin previously was associate director of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families for 20 years. She also taught in the Detroit Public Schools. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University.

The Office of the Children's Ombudsman is an independent government agency that works to assure the safety and welfare of Michigan children involved in foster care, adoption or protective services.

The office investigates complaints and recommends improvements to laws and policy affecting children.

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Reports

An increasing number of programs focus on improving fathers' involvement with children and families. What features of fatherhood programs really matter? A new National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse brief authored by Child Trends examines experimental evaluations of fatherhood and parenting programs to identify ten promising practices:

FactCardyouthinoutofhomecareAs of September 2007, 46% (8,879) of the 19,298 children in Michigan's child welfare and juvenile justice systems resided in foster homes (7,029) or residential treatment facilities (1,850). They are boys and girls...ages birth to 18...many races...many religions...with many challenges!

Private nonprofit agencies in Michigan are the State's partners in providing the care and supervision for these children. Michigan Department of Human Services statistics demonstrate this partnership: Download this 2007 data Fact Card.

A January 2008 five-page brief released by Prevent Child Abuse America, and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, calculates that an investment in the prevention of child abuse and neglect can save the nation over $100 billion per year. The brief, titled Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States, updates an earlier publication that documented the nationwide costs that result because of child abuse and neglect (Fromm, 2001).

During FY 2006, DHS led a task force on services to at-risk youth transitioning to adulthood. The task force was directed to: assess current services provided; determine the extent to which DHS programs and services are coordinated with those of other state departments and agencies; identify ways to better coordinate services; identify potential resources and services in the public and private sectors; develop a plan to ensure effective organization and availability of current private and public resources and services; and recommend improvements to services.

At their meeting on July 25, 2007, the Federation’s HR MIN members okayed the Federation conducting a short survey to collect and then report to participating agencies information regarding two separate topics not covered in the Annual Salary & Fringe Benefits Survey: Workplace Wellness Initiatives and Pay Budgets. We’ve prepared the survey (see below and/or attached). Your responses can be provided online, via fax or email.

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