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Welcome newest Full Member Agency Sunny Crest Youth Ranch!

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We are pleased to announce Sunny Crest Youth Ranch as the newest member of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families. Sunny Crest Youth Ranch is a vision of lifelong educators Ron and Ellyn Coppess, and a cadre of caring Ranch partners willing to commit to mentoring some of the most vulnerable in our communities. At full capacity, Sunny Crest Youth Ranch provides a loving, nurturing and secure environment for as many as 48 children who deserve a new start. Sunny Crest offers every rancher a safe place to learn from mistakes without fear of rejection and to practice the skills necessary to become a successful adult. Sunny Crest is designed to be a working ranch operation that offers at-risk boys the experiences and activities any child must have to develop in mind and spirit. Educational programs, mentoring, and skilled adult intervention coupled with cutting edge methods create the Sunny Crest environment – a safe place to explore the opportunities young men need to meet the challenges life has presented them.

For more information, check out their website: www.sunnycrestyouthranch.org

FYI • February 4, 2011 • No. 3

FYI • February 4, 2011 • No. 3
The next FYI bulletin will be issued February 18, 2011

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Adoption Contract negotiations to resume—The already established private agency negotiating group which last met with DHS officials on November 1, 2010, will resume negotiations of the adoption contract on February 10 with DHS officials in the Federation office. The urgency of this matter and the fact that adoption agencies have not received payments for services since October 1 has been discussed with new leaders within the Snyder Administration, the DHS, the Federal Monitor and Children’s Rights. It is a matter that was further discussed last week in the meeting between Governor Snyder, the Attorney General's office, DHS Director Corrigan, Children's Rights and the Federal Monitor. The status of the situation will be reviewed by Judge Nancy Edmunds in the Federal Court next week. We are working aggressively with all means to resolve this terribly outstanding issue.

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
• DHS Appropriations Subcommittee—The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services held a hearing on Tuesday, February 1, as a follow-up to the Background Briefing presentation given by the House Fiscal Agency (HFA) the week prior. Kevin Koorstra and Bob Schneider, House Fiscal Analysts, provided committee members with a memorandum in response to the questions members had asked, including the difference in cost between public and private foster care services, and the Wayne County Juvenile Justice Model. Committee members were especially interested in how Wayne County developed its Care Management Organization system, and how effective it has been. The committee also dedicated a lot of time to discussing the Family Independence Program administered by DHS, and will schedule a future hearing to discuss issues concerning Bridge Card fraud and abuse. The standing committee hearing time is 9:00 am on Tuesdays.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • January 21, 2011 • No. 2

FYI • January 21, 2011 • No. 2
The next FYI bulletin will be issued February 4, 2011

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address—Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder, who attended the Governor’s State of the State Address on January 19, 2011, described the atmosphere as “electric” in a positive way. The governor’s approach, expressed interest and commitment, and his appointments to key department leadership positions has, indeed, provided a sense of renewed hope and optimism that serious matters will receive proper attention. For the Department of Human Services, top on the list of priorities is the consent decree and all of its ramifications.

Dudley Spade, new deputy director for the Department, requested to meet with a small group of Federation executives last week to discuss their experiences in doing business with the department, including contracting and rate matters. Those who braved the snowiest night of the year for the after-hours meeting were Loren Brown of Holy Cross Children’s Services, Brian DeVos of Bethany Christian Services, Cam Hosner of Vista Maria, Debora Matthews of The Children’s Center of Wayne County, Jim Scherrer of Child & Family Services of NW Michigan, and Federation staff. Dudley has expressed interest in meeting with our membership periodically, and we will make sure that everyone with an interest in doing so has that opportunity.

LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • January 7, 2011 • No. 1

FYI • January 7, 2011 • No. 1
The next FYI bulletin will be issued January 21, 2011

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Governor Rick Snyder held a press conference yesterday afternoon, announcing the appointment of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan as the new Director of the Michigan Department of Human Services, making official what has been speculated about for the past several weeks. Justice Corrigan joins the DHS with Deputy Directors Dudley Spade and Brian Rooney and Acting Interim Director Duane Berger, already on the job. Justice Corrigan's resignation from the Michigan Supreme Court is effective January 14, and at this time no announcement has been made on her replacement. She will also serve as the Group Executive for the "People" Group, which includes the Departments of Human Services, Community Health and Civil Rights and Education.

It was encouraging that both Justice Corrigan and Governor Snyder spoke significantly of the Children's Rights lawsuit in their remarks, emphasizing that doing what's best for children and meeting the requirements of the lawsuit were the number one priority for DHS. Justice Corrigan went on to say: In order to help families in crisis, I will work hard to expand our partnerships (with nonprofit private agencies) and do great things in the field of child welfare…. There is no more important task than doing what is right for families.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
• DHS communications posted at www.michfed.org—Log in and go to “DHS Communications” in the right-hand column. Items issued since the last FYI:
➢ December 13: L-Letter L-10-117-CW described the new requirements for involving incarcerated parents in case service plans and permanency planning conferences
➢ December 15: New Policy: Annual Transition Meeting and 90-day Discharge meeting
➢ December 16: Child Welfare Training Institute 2011 training schedules
➢ January 4: L-10-143-CW Relative Licensing Incentive FY 2011

FYI • December 10, 2010 • No. 24

FYI • December 10, 2010 • No. 24
The next FYI bulletin will be issued December 23, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Federal Court Hearing—On December 7, Judge Nancy G. Edmunds held a hearing in federal court to determine the State of Michigan’s progress in meeting the requirements for reform under the consent decree for reporting Period Three (October 1, 2009‐March 31, 2010). Judge Edmunds agreed with the Federal Monitor that the state has not been compliant with the goals of the consent decree, and there continues to be concern with the following core areas: caseload standards for CPS and adoption, training issues that remain unresolved, and areas related to safety and maltreatment in care. Judge Edmunds added that the data reporting by the Department has been woefully inadequate and created an inability to gather accurate data. Judge Edmunds is requiring the parties to meet at the end of January following Governor‐elect Snyder’s inauguration. At that time, the Attorney General, Plaintiffs, and Federal Monitor will meet with the Judge with a comprehensive agenda. Changes in structure will be discussed so as to ensure that resources are used effectively, as many aspects of the settlement reform are not economic issues. Judge Edmunds will have the parties meet again in April to determine progress under the new administration. Go to www.michfed.org to find an executive summary of the report and notes from the court hearing, both prepared by the Federation, plus a link to the full 201-page report for Reporting Period Three.

FEDERAL ACTIVITIES

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Reports

Click here to download and view the Michigan Foster Care Review Board's 2007 Annual Report.

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.

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