E-Kinnections
A newsletter of the 
Kinship Care Resource Center (KCRC) 
November 15, 2013 
 
 
Happy Fall everyone!
 
We hope that everyone is doing well. Here at the Kinship Care Resource Center there have been a couple changes. We have two new interns from the Michigan State University MSW program; Kara Schechter and Tony Tickler. Both Kara and Tony are first year students in the program.
  
Tony received his undergraduate degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in May of 2013. He has been drawn to social work out of a desire to help people reach their fullest potential and lead as happy and fulfilling lives as possible.  Tony spent his time in Green Bay interning and working for a program that offered alternative and after school programs to children with emotional and mental health issues. He greatly enjoyed doing this work and he is pursuing his Master's degree with the goal of creating and working with alternative after school programs for children with various needs. 
  
Kara graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology here at MSU. Her interests include children, families, adolescents, and mental health issues. Kara has worked in daycares and preschools as a substitute teacher for five years and has witnessed the difficulties that all families go through. She is pursuing an MSW degree in the hope that she will be able to help families and children live their lives to the very happiest and fullest that they can be. Kara's long term goals include becoming a therapist for couples and families and/or becoming a school social worker.
Tony and Kara are looking forward to getting to know and working with people trying to navigate the kinship care system.
 
As always, we encourage you to check out our website and to "like" our Facebook page, both of which contain useful information to assist you in your work with kinship families.

   

 

 Sincerely,

 

 - KCRC Staff

 

   

 

Is there a kinship topic you want us to cover more in-depth in a future newsletter? If so, let us know by e-mailing us at kinship@msu.edu.

 

 


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 Professional Training Opportunities

University of Michigan Continuing Education; Grandparents in Distress: Supporting Grandparents Who Are Raising their Grandchildren

 

The University of Michigan through their continuing education program is offering a workshop on working with grandparents who are raising their grandchildren with a focus on kinship families with child welfare involvement.  The course will be February 27th from 9 until 12:15 in Ann Arbor.  The course will cover topics such as the current state of kinship care, the psycho-social challenges of kinship care, and models of service delivery.  The cost of the class is $65, you can examine the workshop and sign up at the link below. If you are a DHS employee or working with a DHS child welfare contracted agency there is reduced registration.

 

http://archive.ssw.umich.edu/programs/ce/courses/index.html?keywordList=aging&keywordList=children+%26+youth&keywordList=school+social+work&textSearch=&searchSort=DATESTART&searchShow=1
 (okay that's a little bit of a long link).

 

 

 

Michigan State University Continuing Education; Understanding the Needs of Adopted Children & Families 

 

Michigan State University is offering a workshop on working with children and families that have gone through or are going through the adoption system.  The topics that will be covered include the affects of trauma on the development of children in adoption, common and lifelong issues, as well as developing a trauma informed plan.  The class will be held on Novermber 22 at the Hannah Community Center, registration begins at 8:30AM and the class runs from 9:00AM until 4:30PM.  The cost is $125 to the general public and has various lower rates.  For more information on the class goals and to sign up please visit the link below

 

https://socialwork.msu.edu/ceu/catalog.php

 

 

If you have an upcoming training related to kinship caregiving that is open to anyone please let us know!

Information Resources -

Chance at Childhood Program

The Chance at Childhood Program is a collaboration with Michigan State University's School of Social Work and Michigan State University's School of Law. This program's mission is to protect the rights of children and families through education, advocacy, and strengthening the knowledge base. This program is a great resource for families and professionals. They are able to provide some legal information (although they do not provide legal representation) and are available to provide some continuing education seminars and workshops. Also, in the Lansing area the program provides The Oasis Family Center which provides a safe place for supervised parenting time.

For more information about the Chance at Childhood Program their website is;

http://chanceatchildhood.msu.edu/index.html

 

 

Deciding Between Adoption and Juvenile Subsidized Guardianship

The Department of Human Services has a great resource to help families make the decision of adoption or juvenile subsidized guardianship and what would be best for their situation (this is the type of guardianship only available to those families who are involved with the child welfare system). The guide "Making the Decision to Become a Child's Permanent Family" explains the difference between adoption and juvenile guardianship and can be very useful if a family is not sure what the best option would be for them and the child in their care.

The link to the guide is provided below;

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS-Pub-0140_272886_7.pdf?20130926090927

 

Psychotropic Medication Power Point

The Texas Department of Family and Protective services has a great training program for their families, department staff, and residential providers about psychotropic medication and children. The training program is for training credit in Texas only but the information can be beneficial for anyone who is responsible for a child who is on psychotropic medication. Below is the link to the Texas Department of Family and Protective services and the power point describing the importance of knowing about psychotropic medications and the children who take them.

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Training/Psychotropic_Medication/default.asp

 

Working with Kinship Caregivers By the Child Welfare Information Gateway

This is a nice little publication that gives a brief run down of the kinship care system.  The article discusses training for working with kinship care as well as different supports that can be used.  It is not the most in-depth article in the world but it is a nice little refresher for everyone to take a look at.

 https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/kinship.pdf

 

 

Advocacy and Awareness -

Federal Reform Should Reward Kin Who Prevent Child Welfare Cases

Jan Wagner is the Kinship Committee Chair for the Michigan Association of Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Parents and is a support group leader and kinship caregiver in Northern Michigan. She wrote the following opinion piece for The Chronical of Social Change Children and Youth Front and Center.  The link can be found below.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/federal-reform-should-reward-kin-who-prevent-child-welfare-cases-too/4265

 

When Grandma is Head of the Household

An interview with Lynn Nee, Project Director of the MSU Kinship Care Resource Center. This brief Stateside interview discusses kinship here in Michigan.

http://michiganradio.org/post/when-grandma-head-household

 

 

 

 

Legislative Notices
For the most part it is quiet right now in the Legislature but stay tuned for a busier Fall. We will try to keep you posted on items of Legislation that may impact kinship families.
  
SB 237, 238, and 239 - Immunizations 
Update: These bills have been signed into law as of October 1st.
Amends the Public Health Code, School Code and State School Aid ACt to state that a record of immunizations must be presented to school officials for any child entering the seventh grade being registered for the first time in a school in the state. (It used to be sixth grade). 
  
HB 4659, 4660, 4661, and 4662
Responsible Father Registry and notices served to fathers in certain court proceedings
Update: These bills have been passed by the House and are now in the Senate.
Amends the Public Health Code to create a Responsible Father Registry for a man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for adoption or termination of parental right regarding a child he may have fathered.  Registration must happen within 48 hours after the child's birth. Does not affect parental rights if the father child relationship is established according to the paternity act. Failure to register waives a man's right to receive notice of court proceedings and is a denial of his interest in custody of the child, unless fraud by the birth mother was involved, leading the father to believe the baby did not live.
 
HB 4649 and 4650- Resource Families Bill of Rights.
Update: These bills still sit in Committee.
Creates a bill of rights for foster, adoptive, and kinship families and requires the Children's Ombudsman's office to investigate violations.


You can read the full text of these bills and find out their status by visiting www.legislature.mi.gov
   
 

Pass on to Families -

The THAW Program

The THAW program in michigan is a non-profit organization that provides low-income families with emergency energy assistance. Beginning on November 1st, 2013, individuals can apply for assistance through their local Michigan Department of Human Services office in person or online at www.michigan.gov/mibridges 

Beginning December 1st, 2013 individuals can call THAW's automated referral line (800-866-8429) for THAW agencies in their area.

For more information about the THAW program in Michigan go to their website at; http://www.thawfund.org/

 

 

Holiday Programs

Volunteers of America-Adopt A Family program in Michigan

The Adopt a Family program run by volunteers of America is a holiday program across the state of Michigan that provides the joy of Christmas to families in need. Sponsors, who can be families, individuals, companies, etc...provide support to a family for the Christmas holiday. Sponsors can provide items such as; toys, clothing, or even a Christmas dinner for the family they adopt.

Families in need apply and are screened to be apart of the program. For the eligibility requirements and other information about the program go to their website at;

http://adoptafamilymichigan.org/About.aspx

 

 

Toys for Tots

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program has the mission of helping less fortunate children across the United States by providing new, unwrapped toys as Christmas gifts. This program unites people in communities across the country for three months while toys are collected and distrubuted to the children within the community.

To find out how an individual can request a toy for a child or donate to the Toys for Tots program check out their website at;

http://www.toysfortots.org/Default.aspx

 

 

 


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