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A study of 700 children who had been in foster care for 1 year found that more than one-quarter of the children had some kind of recurring physical or mental health problem. (U.S. DHHS 2003)

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Michigan CPS News Archive

Michigan News Coverage

LANSING, MI - The Michigan Department of Human Services is allocating $800,000 to implement campus coaches, who will assist students entering college after exiting the foster care system, at seven college and universities across the state.

The Department of Human Services provides WMU with two state employees, who serve as caseworkers and life-skills point people for students in the program, which serves more than 150 students. The second caseworker was assigned to WMU this year.

December 3, 2012

by Kelly Dame

Numerous organizations that have a hand in investigating cases of child abuse recently signed a new protocol with a goal of protecting the young victims.

The protocol, under the umbrella of the Safe and Sound Child Advocacy Center, draws not only law enforcement and prosecutors together, but also local agencies representing medical and mental health care, said Bethany Law, the center's forensic interviewer. Because of the increase in the number of interviews this year, a second forensic interviewer is in training and should be starting at the center by the end of the year.

November 17, 2012

by Christina Hall

A Warren man charged with felony neglect in the death of his bedridden, obese wife will be permitted to have contact with their four children and his sister, who is caring for them.ks was ordered to h

Michael Brooks, 37, waived his preliminary exam today in 37th District Court in Warren on a charge of second-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult, a four-year felony. Judge John Chmura bound the case over to Macomb County Circuit Court, and a Nov. 19 court date was set.

November 8, 2012

In September 2012, Dan and Jenny Altario (names changed to protect privacy) received a notice that the cash aid they received from the Family Independence Program, FIP, had been canceled.

They were allegedly not eligible for FIP benefits "due to non-cooperation with school attendance requirements." Members with Home School Legal Defense Association, the Altarios homeschool their 8-year-old son Cody with an extensive fourth grade curriculum and rely on the FIP benefits during their difficult economic circumstances.

November 5, 2012

by Lindsay Abrams

Should we allow highly at-risk children in the foster care system who are in need of homes and loving families to be adopted by homosexual couples?

This is the first study to compare children who were adopted out of foster care by gay men, lesbian women, and heterosexual couples, and to track their progress over time, explains lead author Justin Lavner, a doctoral candidate at UCLA. The researchers followed 82 children in Los Angeles County -- 22 of whom were adopted by homosexual parents at the average age of 4 -- and evaluated them after two months, one year, and two years after they were placed with their adoptive families.

October 22, 2012

by Christina Shockley and Emily Fox

Day grew up in foster care. She now focuses her work on researching and helping children in foster care in the state. She also works with Vista Maria, a non-profit treatment agency in Dearborn Heights for neglected and abused children.

The organization offers a range of services for foster kids. It has a residential school for girls, and it serves as a support network for young adults as they age out of the foster care system.

October 22, 2012

by Gina Silva

Mary Chrzanowski is a no-nonsense judge. Some have called her "Scary Mary", accusing her of being out of line on many occasions.

Melonie Jackson, 45, went before Judge Chrzanowski in Macomb County in Michigan when she was going through a nasty custody and divorce battle. Jackson represented herself because she could not afford an attorney. "I truly fear the family judicial system for anybody," Melonie told FOX 11 News. "Anything I've tried to do to protect my child, the harder they came at me, the more they came at me." She was fighting to keep custody of her 8-year-old daughter. She knew enough about the law to see that her husband's lawyer had made a mistake. He never filed a divorce complain which was needed to fight for child custody. She kept telling the judge the case was invalid.

October 20, 2012

by Sally Rummel

Davy Hoffman, 21, has never attended a public school classroom, but he's planning to be a high school math teacher when he completes his undergraduate and graduate studies at Covenant College in Georgia.

He's the oldest of four sons of Dave and Holly Hoffman of Fenton Township, all of whom have been homeschooled throughout their school years. ‚ÄÉTheir second son, Jacob, is 20, and an art major at Mott Community College. Michael, 18, is a senior and has already applied and been accepted to Baker College to study business management.

October 20, 2012

by Sinclair Broadcast Group

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's welfare agency is starting a pilot program to try to keep young at-risk children in their own homes, rather than place them in foster care.

The Michigan Department of Human Services said Thursday that the program for children from birth through age 5 is possible because of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Title IV-E waiver lets the state agency use federal foster care funds for the project over five years. Michigan is among nine states getting the pilot project waiver.

October 17, 2012

by Norb Franz

A Warren woman who was a foster mom to four children faces child abuse charges, including allegations that the kids lived in filth.

However, the accused woman, 56-year-old Mary Denease Matthews - whose license as a foster parent has been terminated - said Tuesday her real mistake was to leave the siblings in the care of her 15-year-old granddaughter.

October 17, 2012

by Elisha Anderson

It was an unexpected birthday gift: a man living as "John D108 Doe" for years got his identity back today.

As he celebrated at an adult foster care home in Detroit - wearing a birthday hat and eating sausage, hamburgers, french fries, chocolate cake and ice cream - several family members read an article published in the Free Press that day and recognized the man.

October 15, 2012

by Angie Jackson

ROCKFORD, MI -- In their 41 years of foster care, Jan and Harold Woods found purpose in caring for dozens of medically fragile children.

The kids they took in were cast aside by others, labeled unlovable because they were different. But to the Rockford couple, every child was beautiful. Every child deserved a chance.

October 13, 2012

U.P. KIDS announces training for adoptive and foster parents to be held Tuesday, October 30, 2012, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Luce County Resource and Recreation Center, 111 West Helen, Newberry, Michigan.

"Understanding Trauma's Effects" is the second in monthly training provided in the EUP by U.P. KIDS (formerly Good Will Farm). Eastern UP training sites rotate among Chippewa, Luce, Mackinac, and Schoolcraft counties.

October 13, 2012

Michigan's Department of Human Services (DHS) is piloting a new program designed to keep "at risk" kids in their homes instead of handing them over to foster care.

A Title IV-E waiver allows the department to use federal funds for the federally approved pilot project over the next five years. Michigan is one of nine states chosen for a pilot project waiver starting in 2013. Usually, Title IV-E dollars must be spent for the placement of eligible children into licensed foster care. This waiver permits DHS to use a portion of these same funds for innovation that helps prevent the need for foster care.

October 5, 2012

by Louise Knott Ahern

Agencies lied about children's health, they say.

Eight families with 19 adopted children are suing the state Department of Human Services in connection with their adoptions. The number of children involved was incorrect in a story on Page 1A of Thursday's State Journal and in an earlier version of this story. Child welfare offices in Ingham and Clinton counties are among several public and private agencies named in a lawsuit filed Thursday alleging social workers lied to adoptive parents of special needs children about their kids' disabilities and denied them funding available for parents of disabled children.

September 12, 2012

Eight families with 19 adopted children are suing the state Department of Human Services in connection with their adoptions.

Child welfare offices in Ingham and Clinton counties are among several public and private agencies named in a lawsuit filed Thursday alleging social workers lied to adoptive parents of special needs children about their kids' disabilities and denied them funding available for parents of disabled children.

September 12, 2012

by John Greenhoe

KALAMAZOO - Western Michigan University's acclaimed Foster Youth and Higher Education Initiative will serve as the umbrella organization for a new social service program aimed at improving outcomes in infant foster care.

The effort is being made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. The grant proposal was authored last spring by eight WMU graduate students as part of a program evaluation course taught by Dr. Rick Grinnell, professor of social work. The students who wrote the grant proposal are: Holly Barra, Jody Ickes, Kerrie Jackson, Bridget Jancarz, Brandan Mitchell, Korrine Wojcik, Dawn Wood and Genanne Zeller.

September 10, 2012

by Julie Mack

RICHLAND, MI -- Officials at the Michigan Department of Education are continuing to review the concerns raised by the student-count audit of Gull Lake Community Schools' new Virtual School and Homeschool Partnership Program, a spokeswoman confirms.

Meanwhile, the superintendent of Vicksburg Community Schools said that school officials around the region and state are watching closely to see how state officials react to audit findings that Gull Lake skirted state regulations in the two programs, which opened in fall 2011.

August 21, 2012

by Julie Mack

A story in the Sunday Kalamazoo Gazette detailed the controversy surrounding Gull Lake's Homeschool Partnership Program, which offers horseback-riding, fencing and golf among more than three dozen electives targeted to homeschoolers.

Gull Lake took advantage of current law that allows public schools to provide electives to nonpublic students and receive a pro-rated share of the per-pupil foundation allowance for the classes they take. In its first year last fall, the district enrolled 300 homeschoolers, and generated an average of $3,300 per student, a total of about $1 million, that came from the School Aid Fund.

August 21, 2012

by Greg Gielczyk

TRAVERSE CITY - Kris Crosby started the first homeschool basketball program in Traverse City with no thought that it would become one of the premier homeschool basketball teams in the country.

In fact, Crosby figured it would be a recreational physical education class and might last one season. One season turned into nearly two decades marked by incredible success and many honors, for the team and Crosby.

August 20, 2012

by Craig Schneider

Huddled overnight beneath the shopping carts at Walmart, Markea Berry confided in her journal that she would rather live at the store than at home.

The next day, after store employees found her wandering among the produce, the Smyrna teen told police she had run away because she didn't want to be a burden on her mother. She was 14, but she was so small and skinny that she looked five years younger. Now, less than two years later, Markea is dead; at the time of her death in June she weighed 43 pounds. The mother she wanted not to burden, Ebony Berry, is charged with murder. She is accused of starving her daughter to death despite multiple investigations over nearly 10 years by child protection workers in Michigan and later in Georgia.

August 9, 2012

by Aileen Wingblad

An ordinance amendmentthat prohibits leaving young kids alone in a motor vehicle has been added to the books for Milford Township, while new laws regulating at what age a child can be left unsupervised are being considered.

The Milford Township Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote July 18, approved a new regulation making it illegal to leave a child younger than the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle. The Milford Village Council adopted a similar ordinance amendment in June.

August 2, 2012

Police in Flint are investigating the death of a 1-year-old boy whose grandmother says he accidentally drowned in a bathtub.

Police confirmed the boy's death Tuesday morning and said detectives are investigating at Rosewood Manor apartments. A worker with Children's Protective Services also was at the scene.

July 31, 2012

by Tony Lascari

Members of Congress visited the region Monday to hear success stories and the struggles from Michigan's foster care system as part of a national listening tour.

Bass said she wanted to gather input on different foster care methods and models used in states across the country to help inform members of Congress when they introduce and vote on bills. It's one thing to hear testimony on Capitol Hill, but it is more enriching to hear it in the communities where children are living in foster homes every day, she said.

July 31, 2012

by Terry Katz

Sturgis, Mich. - An $800 grant from the Elks National Foundation is helping police and on-call Child Protective Services workers be better prepared on drug raids.

On Wednesday, volunteers from the Sturgis Elks lodge packed 100 bags of disposable items that can be used if children are affected by a raid. Bags were also packed for adults. Each bag includes soap, wash towels, pediatric gowns, disposable gloves, seat covers and garbage bags. Small blankets and bottled water were also donated.

July 28, 2012

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