Karra VanderWiere, a foster care social worker at D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s, has been awarded the 2017 John P. Steketee Child Welfare Advocate of the Year Award! “Karra is the perfect example of what an effective foster care worker should be. Karra’s passion, positivity, and enthusiasm shine through all of her interactions and are contagious to those around her."
Christ Child House has again achieved expedited accreditation through the Council on Accreditation! Congratulations to Executive Director John Yablonky and the entire staff at Christ Child House!
Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan has named Jennifer Santer as the agency’s new CEO, replacing interim CEO Mark Holliday. Welcome Jennifer!
West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC) celebrated its October 1 launch with a Fall in Love with Foster Care event on Oct. 25, 2017. WMPC is piloting a five-year innovative foster care funding model through a contract with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that is the first of its kind in the state. WMPC is partnering with the five private licensed child placing agencies that provide foster care in Kent County: Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett-St. John's, Samaritas, and Wellspring Lutheran Services. The creation of WMPC is the result of a long-time public-private partnership between local foster care and other social service agencies, county government, and MDHHS that has been cultivated by the Michigan Child Welfare Partnership Council and the legislature.
On October 14, 2017, Lutheran Adoption Service partnered with Beautiful Savior Church to hold the 3rd Annual Forever Home Run. The 5k race raised $40,000 to help provide supports to families who adopt older youth from the foster care system. Additionally, the race provided awareness within the community of the need for youth to find forever families.