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FYI • February 18, 2011 • No. 4

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

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK

Adoption Contract— The private agency negotiating group, which last met with DHS officials on November 1, 2010, resumed negotiations for the adoption contract on Thursday, February 10, with DHS Deputy Director Dudley Spade at the Federation office. The negotiating committee worked with Dudley Spade to come to an agreement on making three languages changes to the existing contract dated effective October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The new contract, will be issued with a 15% increase to the adoption rates! Agencies can bill at the adjusted rates effective March 1, 2011.

Agencies are encouraged to quickly review the content of the contract, and sign and return the new contract in a swift manner so that payments can begin to be processed immediately. If your agency has already signed the adoption contract, details will be forthcoming on how to proceed with the new contract and procedure.

Moving forward, DHS and the negotiating group will concurrently be working on restructuring the new three-year contract to become effective later this year, October 1, 2011. The negotiating group has made several recommendations for rate structure reform, and contract language amendments that will allow agencies to operate more efficiently, and these changes will all be taken up for further consideration.

Thank you for all of your patience during this time, we know it has been very trying on some of your agencies and the ability to perform business. We are also grateful to all of the members of the negotiating committee who dedicated their time to resolving and working through these matters, as well as the leadership that Deputy Director Dudley Spade has exercised to resolve this critical matter.

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

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Reports

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.

This 12-page newsletter issued by the Michigan Foster Care Review Board based within the State Court Administrative Office in Lansing, addresses the current state of the foster care system, training for Review Board members, adjusted focus for the Review Board, Concurrent Planning 101, upcoming child welfare trainings, and a helpful guide to services available to youth transitioning to adulthood. Download the Permanency Planner Newsletter here.

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