Fostering Success Michigan Newsletter                   Volume    41    November 2015
Regional Network Meeting Roundup  

As Fostering Success Michigan continues to promote powerful partnerships, we want to thank our partners for making the Regional Network Meetings around the state a success! Through your partnership and collaboration, you continue to show how you #makeyourmarkFSM

Thank you to our wonderful host schools for collaborating with FSM in the planning, coordination, and execution of Regional Network Meetings! 

  • Wayne State University
  • Ferris State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Michigan State University
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • and Washtenaw Community College

FSM would also like to send out a special HUGE thank you to Michele Corey and Matt Gillard with Michigan's Children for sharing their expertise and collaborating with partners at each Regional Network Meeting! 


Stay tuned for an in-depth summary of the Regional Network Meetings. At FSM, we are excited to see where our partners go with their powerful partnerships and to hear about the good works that will follow in each community!

It's Webinar Season! 
Come one, come all, and come as you are! 
FSM Toolkit Webinar Series and Center for Fostering Success "Best Practice, Best Fit" Webinar Series are back and ready to provide helpful information for students, professionals, and everyone in between!
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.
Upcoming Webinar Events
FSM Toolkit Webinar Series:

Child Welfare 101: Peeling Back the Red Tape to Understand the Foster Care Experience 
December 8th 2pm-3pm

Educators and educational staff go above and beyond daily to ensure the well-being and learning of their students.  

That is why FSM has partnered with Von Washington Jr., noted educational leader and Executive Director, Community Relations for the Kalamazoo Promise, to create resources that explore the child welfare system in relation to education, and compiled resources to assist educators and educational staff in their every day work. 

You'll leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how to better support your students with experience in foster care!

Getting to Know Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative 
February 8th, 2pm-3pm
Unable to attend? No worries! We'll provide links for previously recorded webinars here! Check out our last two webinars, links provided below:

The Power of Sharing Your Story: FSM Webinar Event

FSM is excited to partner with Brittany Bartkowiak, MSW, Outreach Producer for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity Project and former FSM Ambassador, for a special FSM Webinar Presentation! 

The Power of Sharing Your Story
Tuesday, December 1st
2:00PM- 3:00PM

Talking about some personal experiences, such as the experience of being in foster care, can be really hard to navigate. Even when it's hard to talk about, sharing your story can have an incredible impact on other people - and be an empowering experience for the person sharing it.

The Power of Sharing Your Story will provide the education, empowerment, and resources students need to feel prepared to share their experience in a public way. The webinar will cover:
  • how to establish boundaries
  • how to tackle intrusive questions
  • tips for both students and professionals who want to incorporate personal experience in their work. 
  • comprehensive media training and preparation to help young people feel confident when interacting with the media on sensitive issues 

Brittany Bartkowiak received her Master's of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan with a focus on management of children, youth, and family services. Brittany currently works for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity Project as Outreach Producer. She is dedicated to empowering others to share their experiences in a meaningful, safe way. As FSM's former Student Ambassador, Brittany has experience sharing portions of her story in a public  setting and is passionate about helping prepare others to do the same.  
Resource Spotlight: 
FSM Financial Aid Toolkit

Trying to figure out how to pay for college or technical school can seem impossible. But it's not! There are a lot of resources available to students with experience in foster care. 
To help you in this process, FSM has created a step-by-step guide for accessing the financial aid resources!

To learn more about the Financial Aid Toolkit, please click here! 
November is National Adoption Month  

This year, National Adoption Month focuses on the adoption of older youth currently in foster care-because "We Never Outgrow the Need for Family."
This theme calls attention to our nation's population of older youth in foster care who need loving, permanent families. Youth ages 15 to 18 make up 5 percent of the foster care population - 84,778 youth. Creating lifelong connections for these young people is critical in helping them prepare for successful adulthood. 

For more information about how you can get involved with National Adoption Month activities, click here
Partner Spotlight:
Foster Care Review Board Program

The Foster Care Review Board Program (FCRBP) is a system of third-party review initially established by Public Act 422 of 1984, and most recently amended in Public Act 170 of 1997. 

The program was established by the Legislature to help ensure safe and timely permanency for children in the state foster care system. The program is administered by the State Court Administrative Office of the Michigan Supreme Court and is comprised of citizen volunteers who serve on one of 30 local review boards throughout the state.

For more information, please click here
Home for the Holidays 2015  
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY ) is pleased to announce the launch of the 2015 Home for the Holidays campaign. 

Many students who identify as homeless or have experience in foster care tend to lack adequate housing and/or family supports during academic breaks. The fear of homelessness during breaks can create tremendous stress, preventing
students from focusing on schoolwork. 

For more information about how you can be a part of the solution, click here
Check it Out! 

We have made some important updates to the FSM Guide:   Getting to Know...Higher Education Resources for Students from Foster Care

Updates Include: 
Check out the Getting to Know...Higher Education Resources for Students from Foster Care here!
What FSM Region are you in?  
Often, FSM will target specific regions of Michigan for  relevant  events, publications, or other information.
Staying Connected

As Regional Network Meeting season draws to a close and I reflect on the amazing people and organizations FSM has the privilege of working with, I am in awe yet unsurprised by the dedication shown by each partner. It is fantastic to have the opportunity to connect together face-to-face, to share resources, to network, and to support each other in this work we do.  Not only did we have the chance to reconnect with familiar faces we also had the opportunity to connect with new partners working to support students with experience in foster care. I would like to take this time to thank you ALL for your commitment and camaraderie as demonstrated through connections at Regional Network Meetings around the state. 

One valuable learning moment this fall, among many, was understanding the opportunity for student engagement, particularly in areas where their voices need to be heard. If we expect students to be engaged, we also have to continue to maintain, build up, and create connections and opportunities for engagement with each other. Moving forward, I am eager to see the way in which partners stay connected and continue building powerful partnerships, whether it be through social media, the FSM Google Group, or through other conventional (and unconventional) methods! 

What were your learning moments? How are you staying connected and staying engaged? What are you continuing to do to #makeyourmarkFSM and build #powerfulpartnerships? Don't keep it to yourself! We would love to hear about it! The resources you have to offer make all the difference. 
Take care, 
Maddy Day, MSW
Director of Outreach and Training
Center for Fostering Success
Western Michigan University
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