Fostering Success Michigan Newsletter Volume 45 March 2016
Preparing for the Summer of Uncertainty
The spring semester is speeding along and spring break is just around the corner or already here for many students!
As we draw closer to the end of the semester, it is important for students, professionals, and supportive adults to consider how to best prepare for the uncertainty school breaks may bring for students with experience in foster care.
Although not fully comprehensive, consider checking out the resources below for ideas on how to prepare for the summer break ahead and to see what other youth have done:
Our March webinar will highlight a research study as part of the Center for Fostering Success "Best Practice, Best Fit" Webinar Series.
Join us from the comfort of your computer screen as we tackle need-to-know information in the education to career pipeline for students with experience in foster care.
Our webinars are a great way to gain professional development and the content is applicable students, professionals, and everyone in between!
Come one, come all, and come as you are!
CFS "Best Practice, Best Fit" Webinar:
Promoting Access to College for Older Youth in Foster Care: Receipt of Education Independent Living Services and the Role of Social Support on College Entry by Nathanael Okpych, MSW, MA
Tuesday, March 15th from 2:00-3:00pm
Missed Out on Our Latest Webinars? Check Them Out Here!
Apply for the International Student Foundation Scholarship
Applications for scholarship
mentoring program at ISF (International Student Foundation) are now
available for the 2016-2017 school year and are due by March 31st, 2016!
ISF has a wonderful track record of working
students, supporting them both financially as well as emotionally. ISF
each student with a personal adult mentor that they can meet with
over the phone. This personal interaction and support has yielded
wonderful relationships and has helped students develop their
and life coping skills.
When youth are in the process of transitioning out of foster care there are a variety of documents they will need to have on hand. These documents may need to be presented to care providers, school officials, caseworkers, and other professionals.
Use this transition checklist to help keep track of the documents you already have and those you may need to get!
Designated Campus Champions
What exactly is a Designated Campus Champion?
A Designated Campus Champion (DCC) is a staff or faculty on a post-secondary institution campus who is willing to be identified as a resource partner for any students with experience in foster care attending that institution.
What kind of supports can they offer to a student?
A Designated Campus Champion can help students understand what resources are available to them at a given school as well as the greater community. Beyond that, Designated Campus Champions have an attitude of willingness to help students with "yes, and..." versus a "yeah, but..." approach.
Where can I find a Designated Campus Champion near me?
How does someone become a Designated Campus Champion?
The first qualification is a willingness to help students navigate available resources. The next step is contacting Fostering Success Michigan at (269) 387-8386 or
For more information about Designated Campus Champions, click here!
Join MSU FAME On Campus This Summer!
- STEPS is a FREE informative and interactive one-day college exploration and preparation seminar developed specifically for students in foster care.
- Participants will have the opportunity to spend a day on the campus of Michigan State University and learn about important topics such as college admissions, financial aid, career preparation and campus living.
- Additionally, participants will have an opportunity to connect with MSU staff and faculty presenters and current MSU students involved in the FAME program.
FAME invites youth to participate in one of five separate seminars on the following dates: June 14, 21, 23, 28, 30.
Space is limited to 10 participants per session and will be filled in the order of applications received.
Please fill out the
attached registration form
return via email to Andrea Martineau
by March 31st to reserve a spot for your youth today. While you do not need to know exact names of youth participants now, please indicate the number of youth you expect to bring from your county/program so we can ensure all spots are reserved. Final confirmation of participants will be requested in May.
The program will begin with breakfast at 8:30 am and end with dinner at 5:30 pm. Meals and parking for all guests (including chaperones) will be provided. Groups will need to arrange their own transportation. If you have any additional questions,
please contact Andrea Martineau
, FAME Program Coordinator.
Fostering Success Coach Training 2016 Dates Now Open for Registration!
Training Dates for Level I Coaching:
March 30-Apr 1, 2016: Kalamazoo, MI
August 17-19, 2016: Kalamazoo, MI
November 16-18, 2016: Kalamazoo, MI
Click here to register!
Level I: May 2016: Location TBD
Level II: Summer 2016, Winter 2016
Click here for more information about Fostering Success Coach Training and registration details.
Check it out!
section for Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative and updated links!
2-1-1 Free Tax Preparation
Whether or not you owe any income tax, if you are a Michigan taxpayer you may qualify to get
in completing your income taxes by an IRS trained volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) or tax counseling for the elderly (TCE) preparer.
To get more information or to find a VITA site near you,
FSM Podcast Series Now Available on
The FSM Podcast Series highlights partners and important work happening in the FSM Network.
You can check out the first three podcasts
or search for us on iTunes!
What FSM Region are you in?
Often, FSM will target specific regions of Michigan for
relevant events, publications, or other information.
Keep an eye out for upcoming Student Blog posts on the
Seven Second Sociables!
With just a couple of clicks, you can share valuable resources with your social network!
@FSMichigan: Check out the the Upcoming CFS "Best Practice, Best Fit" Webinar on March 15! Register here!
Want to become a FSM Designated Campus Champion? Click here!
Spring into Support for the Summer of Uncertainty
Although Michigan weather has a way of surprising us, spring is just around the corner! With spring comes the excitement of a semester nearly completed as well as the uncertainty that summer break may bring. For many students with experience in foster care, the break in between the spring and fall semesters may be challenging, particularly in regards to basic needs like housing, food, and employment. While the challenge is complex, right now is the perfect time to take action!
Students, professionals, and supportive adults alike can take time to be proactive in regard to the uncertainty of summer break, especially for those students navigating the time in between high school graduation and their first semester at college.
What can you do? You could point student in the direction of resources, like
Foster Youth in Transition Funds
or their local
Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative
. You can personally connect a student with someone who may have a better understanding of the resources available to them (we call this the warm hand-off in the FSM office). If you do not know what resources or supports are available, you could also simply be willing to partner with a student in finding the answers and resources together. As we talked about
Designated Campus Champions
above, it does not take being a part of a formally recognized student support program to be an advocate or supportive adult in the life of a student. First and foremost it takes a willingness to be of help and an openness to partnering with a student as the expert in their own lived experience.
It is through these seemingly small acts of supporting, resourcing, and networking that we collectively move the needle towards the goal of increased access and success in higher education and post-college careers for students with experience in foster care. In the words of John F. Kennedy, "one person can make a difference, and everyone should try".
Director of Outreach and Training
Center for Fostering Success
Western Michigan University