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FYI • November 19, 2010 • No. 23

FYI • November 19, 2010 • No. 23
The next FYI bulletin will be issued December 10, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Fast approaching…December 7: Federal Court Hearing regarding Dwayne B. v Granholm—On Tuesday, December 7, at 2:00 PM Judge Nancy G. Edmunds will hold a hearing in federal court to determine the State of Michigan’s progress in meeting the requirements for child welfare system reform under the consent decree for reporting period three, October 1, 2009, through March 30, 2010. The federal monitor’s report is embargoed until the time of the hearing, and it will be made available to Federation members as soon as it is released. The court hearing is open to the public and will be held at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 226, Detroit.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
• Foster care contracts update—Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder has advised agencies to sign the foster care contract, changing the term of the contract from three years to one year as per the Federation Board discussion on November 10. Janet has sent a letter to DHS’ Kathryne O’Grady, letting her know that this action has been recommended to Federation agencies, and has provided to members a letter to attach to their contracts when they are sent to DHS.
• Residential contract amendment update—Federation member executive directors are asked to continue to withhold signatures from the residential contract amendment.
• Adoption contract negotiations update—Federation member agencies are also asked to continue to withhold signatures from the adoption contract. DHS has acknowledged receipt of private agency recommendations as channeled through Janet Reynolds Snyder of the Federation. DHS has indicated it will need time to review the proposal and that a second meeting may be requested. Stay tuned.

Soap opera star inspires kids at St. Vincent's

By MARY JO WHITE • mjwhite@lsj.com • November 7, 2010 • From Grand Ledge Independent

LANSING TWP. - No one had to tell the kids to pay attention to Victoria Rowell when she took time from a book tour to stop at St. Vincent's Home Nov. 1. 
That was because the story of her life profoundly mirrored, at least in part, their own.

One of six children of a mother who had a different father for each, Rowell went to foster care right after birth and stayed there for 18 years.

She told her young audience that she loved her mentally ill mother, but realized she was unable to take care of her.

Despite Rowell's difficult start in life, she has achieved a great deal, appearing on "The Young and the Restless" and "Diagnosis: Murder," as well as in movies like "Dumb and Dumber."

She has also written two books, New York Times bestseller "The Women Who Raised Me" and, more recently, "Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva: a Novel."

In addition, Rowell has started the Rowell Foster Children's Positive Plan, a non-profit formed to provide fine arts classes, cultural enrichment opportunities and sports activities for foster children.

Member Agency Director Brian Philson Honored

November 7, 2010 • From Ingham County Community News

philson.jpgONONDAGA - Highfields President/CEO Brian Philson has received Spring Arbor University's (SAU) 2010 Professional Excellence Alumni Award.

Philson was recognized for his contributions to the juvenile justice profession and community and for achieving previous honors at SAU. Recipients of the award must be established professionally for at least five years and must have membership in one professional organization. Philson earned a bachelor's degree in social work from SAU in 1985 and a master's in social work from Michigan State University. He has been recognized nationally for his work in juvenile justice, including the 2007 Individual Award for Excellence from the Juvenile Justice Trainers Association. He is the past recipient of SAU's Young Leader Award and the Adult Studies Faculty of the Year Award.

FYI • November 5, 2010 • No. 22

FYI • November 5, 2010 • No. 22
The next FYI bulletin will be issued November 19, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Election Day 2010 has passed! Michigan’s Executive, Judicial and Legislative branch leaders have been chosen. As with any new transition in leadership and administration, the challenges ahead loom large, and the Federation staff and members are poised to assure that critical issues and responsible resolutions also loom large on the new leaders’ agendas, which will involve a major educational effort on our part. Focused advocacy continues with the present state leadership; see updates below.

EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES
• Adoption Contract negotiations update—Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder and representatives from Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Social Services of Oakland County, Child & Family Services of Northeast Michigan, Ennis Center for Children, Methodist Children’s Home Society, Oakland Family Services, Orchards Children’s Services, Spaulding for Children, Spectrum Human Services, and Wolverine Human Services met on November 1 with DHS representatives Deb Buchanan, Suzanne Stiles Burke, Kate Hanley, and Anita Peters. Given the governor’s veto of the adoption rate increase in the DHS Budget bill and the department’s support of that veto, DHS representatives made it clear that it is the department’s belief that no adjustments are needed in the adoption contract rates, effectively ending the negotiating meeting. The private agency representatives stayed and continued their discussion of the issues and next steps, including a proposal for specific contract modifications. Specific recommendations that address the adoption rate issue and contract language will be submitted by the Federation to DHS on Monday, November 8.

FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21

FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21
The next FYI bulletin will be issued November 5, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Meetings scheduled to address urgent budget/contract matters Scheduled earlier this month and then postponed by DHS, on October 26, Federation President Gary Tester and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder will meet with DHS Director Ismael Ahmed and have invited to join them in this meeting Michael Williams, representing Orchards Children’s Services and the Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies. Matters of critical importance that will be discussed include residential, foster care and adoption contract issues, the governor’s veto of the adoption rate increase in the DHS Budget, and implementation of “failure to report.”
That same day, a special meeting will be hosted by Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade with top DHS officials, the Federation’s Gary Tester and Janet Reynolds Snyder, and Michael Williams to discuss the governor’s veto and resulting issues.

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Reports

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.

The National Council of La Raza has published "Buenos Principios: Latino Children In The Earliest Years Of Life."  The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States and works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. This report is intended to inform policy-makers, researchers and others about the Latino infant and toddler population in the U.S. and to make recommendations for how we can move toward a child care, education, and health care system that works for Latinos and the nation as a whole.

Click here to view the Michigan Federation for Children and Families' 2000 Michigan Private Agency Adoption Survey Results

On February 21, 2007, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education met to review the Governor's budget recommendations for fiscal year 2007-2008. A written summary of the Governor's proposed Great Start Full-Day Preschool Program was provided to the Subcommittee members by a representative of the Office of the State Budget. You can find a copy of the document here: Great Start Full-Day Preschool Program

Children’s Rights releases a new report, Improving the Child Welfare Workforce: Lessons Learned from Class Action Litigation. Please click here to download the report. This report summarizes the findings of a review of efforts to strengthen the child welfare workforce in the context of class action litigation in 12 jurisdictions across the nation.

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