foster care | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

foster care

farm field
Julie Falk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Today on Stateside, the fate of auto insurance reform in Michigan hangs in the balance as the state's Democratic governor and GOP-controlled Legislature take different stances on the issue. Plus, Iraqi-American comedian Abdallah Jasim talks about navigating cultural differences through comedy. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

a blue index card with information and photos of the wrestler Toni Rose
Courtesy of the Michigan History Center

Today on Stateside, amidst a rise in hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims in the world, leaders of both faith communities in Southeast Michigan are coming together to find common ground in fighting against that hate. Plus, why the state of Michigan once had a registry of pro-wrestlers like Andre the Giant and Bruno Sammartino.  

Muslim and Jewish leaders in SE Michigan stand together to combat rise in hate

Dayron Villaverde / pixabay

Governor Whitmer says she agrees with a federal judge that a computer system that’s supposed to help kids in foster care needs to be fixed or scrapped.

A report to a federal judge says the problems include drastically undercounting the number of kids who were abused while they were supposed to be under state protection.

Wikimedia commons

 

Today, where do bills still passing through the Michigan Legislature stand as we head into the final week of the lame-duck session? Plus, we speak to two siblings who were separated in the foster care system. Now, they're fighting for a Sibling Bill of Rights. 

Legislator explains why school grading system is needed

 

Russell Kirk
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Today, Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Nikolai Vitti joined Stateside to react to a lame-duck bill that would create a statewide A-F grading system for Michigan schools. Plus, what would Michigan native Russell Kirk, a founder of American conservatism, think of the ideology today? 

“This is colonialism”: Detroit schools chief blasts lame-duck A-F grading plan  

 

Lawsuit to allow guns in foster homes will move forward

Aug 20, 2018
Handguns.
user Ben Re / Flickr

A lawsuit over whether foster parents can keep unsecured firearms in their homes is moving forward. Foster parents William and Jill Johnson say state rules requiring them to lock up their guns for storage are depriving them of their Second Amendment rights.

Rachel and Adam / Bethany Christian Services

 


Young children separated from their families at the border cannot be held in immigration detention centers for more than three days. After 72 hours, the Office of Refugee Resettlement looks to find a shelter or foster care home for the child.  

 

Group of five people in graduation cap and gown
User Kyle James / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Foster care advocates gathered in Lansing Tuesday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Fostering Success Michigan.

The statewide initiative's mission is to help teens and young adults who've been in foster care graduate from college and build successful careers. 

Getting a college acceptance letter is exciting for most students, but especially for those who've spent time in the foster care system. That's because only 20 percent of graduating teens who've been in foster care make it to college. 

Courtesy of Shenandoah Chefalo

There are nearly 13,000 children in foster care in Michigan, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Across the country, there are around 400,000 kids in foster care on any given day.

But what we don’t know for sure is how many children have been “lost” in foster care.

Taisha standing behind a sign that says neighborhoods of hope
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Family visits for kids in foster care often take place in a foster care agency’s office, which is not always the homiest setting. But a new program launching in Wayne County wants to change that.

Neighborhoods of Hope is a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and community partners in Detroit.

The centerpiece of the project is a townhouse in the GardenView Estate public housing development in Detroit. The furnished home has a cozy living room, a full kitchen, and a play area in the backyard.

child in doorway
Caro / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

An advocacy group for kids says a court-ordered report shows Michigan has a long way to go before it can guarantee the safety and welfare of children in foster care.

 

The monitors report says problems include the state not doing background checks on many relatives who take in foster kids, and not investigating credible allegations of abuse or neglect.

 

Close up of adult, child holding hands
FLICKR.COM/SWAITY / LICENCED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS HTTPS://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY/2.0/

The Michigan Supreme Court this week handed a big win to parents with disabilities in child welfare cases.

If the state removes a child from her home and puts her in foster care, generally the goal is to reunite the child and parent as soon as possible. The parent is given services and a plan with specific goals they have to meet before reunification, and if those goals aren't met, their parental rights can be terminated.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

State of Opportunity began in 2012.

Since then, the State of Opportunity team has brought us hundreds of stories exploring the barriers to success that low-income kids and families in Michigan face.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County is looking for people who are willing to open their homes to foster children.

The number of children in Genesee County in foster care remains stable.  But the number of foster homes has dropped significantly during the past few years.

Mike Milks is Genesee County’s Child Welfare director. He says the stress associated with Flint’s lead tainted drinking water is a factor for some.

child's drawing on chalkboard
iRon leSs / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

One year after the death of a nine-year-old foster child, the foster care agency responsible for that child's placement is shutting down.

Alternatives for Children and Families in Genesee County repeatedly placed kids in foster homes with "significant violations … and safety issues," according to a state investigation following the death of Omarion Humphrey.

Humphrey was autistic, and apparently wandered away from his foster family at a park last summer. His body was later found in a lake.

Children walking together
Public domain

Legislation requiring child-placing agencies to make reasonable efforts to keep siblings together in the foster care and adoption systems is going to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

The bills say if siblings could not be placed together due to safety or other concerns, agencies should prioritize sibling visitation and interaction.

The state already places siblings together when feasible under provisions of federal court oversight of Michigan's child welfare system.

Two children sitting at a table
Public Domain

Michigan officials say the state is now complying with federal requirements for child welfare and foster care.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration said Monday that Michigan has completed a program improvement plan required by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.

Federal officials determined the state wasn't in compliance in 2009.

Officials say by meeting the federal goals, about $2.8 million in federal penalties have been rescinded.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state House committee will consider legislation to help foster kids navigate the system.

Among other things, the bills would require a “children’s assurance of quality foster care policy is developed” and that current and former foster children participate in developing the policy.

The bills would also require foster kids be able to meet with judges overseeing their cases and know how to file complaints.

David Goehring / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A new state Senate bill would add the Fostering Futures Scholarship fund to Michigan’s voluntary contribution schedule.

The state-funded program helps foster youth in Michigan pay for tuition and other costs associated with college.

Under SB 543, taxpayers would be able to donate a portion of their return to the fund via a check-off a box on their tax form.

Kids games
Simon.Com / Creative Commons

A new report says problems with the data management system Michigan uses to track its child welfare programs is one reason the state is still under court oversight. 

The report says the system has been unreliable when it comes to collecting data vital to measuring improvements to the state's child welfare system.

DETROIT - A judge says the state of Michigan still has "serious problems" in collecting statistics that are crucial to improving foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.

Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds made the remark Monday as court-appointed monitors delivered their latest report.  The child welfare system has been under court oversight since 2008.

Western Michigan University's Main Campus
user TheKuLeR / Wikimedia Commons

The odds are stacked against the more than 20,000 young people who age out of foster care each year. Nearly half drop out of high school, and those who make it to college rarely graduate.

Maddy Day, the director of outreach and training at the Center for Fostering Success at Western Michigan University, and Chris Harris, director of the Seita Scholars Program at Western, joined us to discuss how their programs are helping young people get into and graduate from college.

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss a plan to help Michigan roads by cutting truck weight limits, whether any road fix plans will survive the lame duck session, and a possible end to federal oversight of the state’s foster care system.


child's drawing on chalkboard
iRon leSs / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan says it wants out from under court-ordered oversight of the state’s child foster care system. The Michigan Department of Human Services filed a motion today with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Wrapping up a lot of coverage from State of Opportunity on foster care is a story about adoption from that system. It can be a bumpy road for families and kids, and if an adoption doesn't work out it can be a tragedy for a child. But now more than ever there are people and programs out there to help families make those adoptions truly permanent.

The Kley Family

 

More than 13,000 children in Michigan are in foster care in a given year. State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra will look into their lives in a special documentary, "Finding Home," which airs Thursday at 3 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

Young and on the fringes. How do we help?

Oct 3, 2014
Homeless man
SamPac / creative commons

This week we aired a special State of Opportunity call-in program focused on disconnected youth. These are young people between the ages of 16 and 25, they're not in school and they're not working either.

Dustin Dwyer profiles the Goodson family in this weeks State of Opportunity feature. Stacy Goodson says, "If a child showed up at your doorstep, hungry, needing somewhere to live, you would let them come stay with you. ... we sign up to be the doorstep that they show up on."

Michigan Supreme Court
Courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled a practice by the state's child welfare system is unconstitutional. 

Yesterday the State Supreme Court struck down a 12-year-old rule they said violated the constitution because it allowed the state to punish both parents for abuse or neglect of a child for whom only one parent was responsible, even when parents were not living together.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about how Michigan's child welfare system treats minorities.

The report finds African-Americans, Latinos, and Native American children are more likely than white children to be removed from their homes.  

Minorities are also twice as likely to age out of the foster care system as whites.

Former State Rep. Lynn Jondahl is one of the co-chairs of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.  

Pages