Fostering Success Michigan Newsletter                   Volume    46         April 2016
Student-Driven and Student-Centered

As we enter into the final weeks of the spring semester and look toward celebrating the end of the school year and graduation, it can be challenging to stay centered in this work when there are pulls in many directions. The FSM team stays present by keeping the focus on students and reminding ourselves that students are the expert informants of our work. Some tools to help stay student-driven and student-focused include: 
Upcoming Webinar!
Our FSM Toolkit Webinar for April will highlight Medicaid to 26 for students with experience in foster care! 

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! 
FSM Toolkit Webinar: Getting to Know Medicaid to 26
Thursday, April 26th, 2pm to 3pm
    Fostering Futures Scholarship
The Fostering Futures Scholarship (FFS) provides eligible foster youth with scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room/board, books, and supplies/equipment required for enrollment.  
  • The 2016-17 application deadline is June 30, 2016
  • Maximum award amount for Fall & Winter is $3,000
  • Only one application is required per academic year
The 2016-2017 FFS Application is available for download at:
Resource Spotlight:
31 Resources in 31 Days!

Coming in May, in honor of National Foster Care Month, FSM will feature 31 resources in 31 days on our Twitter and Facebook
The featured links will provide students, supportive adults, and professionals with information and resources in each of the seven life domains: education, housing, health, relationships, identity, life skills, and finance & employment! 
Partner Spotlight: Community Colleges with Campus Support Programs and Designated Campus Champions
Students with experience in foster care often attend community colleges. Click on the links below to learn more about Community College Programs that support students from foster care! 
Want to find out how your community college can create a campus support program or have a Designated Campus Champion? Contact FSM here!
2016 Michigan Teen Conference
Tuesday and Wednesday June 21-22, 2016 at Eastern Michigan University

Preregister here or learn more about this event for youth ages 14-21 in foster care, supportive adults, and professionals.
Fostering Success Coach Training 2016  Dates Now Open for Registration! 
Training Dates for Level I Coaching:  
August 17-19, 2016: Kalamazoo, MI

November 16-18, 2016: Kalamazoo, MI

Click here to register! 


Coming Soon: 

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 out new MYOI Links! 

The FSM Network Map now includes a new
 section for Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative and updated links!

Click here to learn more about MYOI or click here  to find an MYOI location near you! 

News You Should Know!

comes an issue brief, Supporting Youth Aging Out of Foster Care through SNAP.  Download the brief here

The 2016 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book is now available! For more information, click here

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (LSSM) is now Samaritas. Check out their website for more information!

Training opportunity from Samaritas (formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan), the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Treasury. Check out the flyer here
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 here or subscribe on iTunes
A Year with FSM: 
A Reflection from the FSM Graduate Assistants
As the end of the 2015-2016 school year draws near, we take time to celebrate with our FSM Graduate Assistants, Becky and Kaley , as they transition on to the next phase in their education and post-graduate careers! We asked them to describe five things they learned from their FSM experience and what they will take with them into future endeavors. Here's what they had to say:

  1. Treat Yourself to Self-Care
  2. Having a Fellow Intern Around = Blessed
  3. Social Media is a Beast to be Reckoned With
  4. Take Advantage of Creative Freedom
  5. Don't Be Afraid to Fail
"Although it is time for me to transition onto new experiences, I learned a lot along the way and am thankful I was able to become a part of the Fostering Success Michigan Community."
  1. Collective Impact is How the Work Gets Done
  2. Strengths-Based Leadership-Fit the Work to the Person, Not the Person to the Work
  3. Conflict is Not Always Bad (and Sometimes It's Good!)
  4. Self-Care = Your Best Self
  5. Never Underestimate the Power of Teamwork

"At FSM I had the honor of working with the most amazing, talented group of people and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity."  

Seven Second Sociables! 
With just a couple of clicks, you can share valuable resources with your social network! 
  . @FSMichigan: Pre-Register for the 2016 Michigan Teen Conference!   Click here for more information!    
[Click here to Tweet  or post to Facebook ]
 .@FSMichigan: Have a listen to FSM's Podcast Series (now on iTunes)! Click here to listen! 
                                                            [Click here to Tweet or post to Facebook]
Student-Focused and Student-Driven 

Although it may not feel like it, spring is here and summer is just around the corner! As a professional who works in the intersecting arenas of child welfare and higher education, I am of two minds when it comes to summer break. On the one hand, I think about the energy of anticipation on our college campus as graduation dates draw near and the excitement of students looking forward to the rejuvenation of summer break. On the other hand, I think about the very real experience of an 18-year-old student graduating high school and navigating the uncertainty of that summer break before college. This student may not be thinking about rest and relaxation, but instead about where they will sleep tonight. This reality can mean that the excitement of today is diminished by the worries of tomorrow.

Understanding the opportunities and challenges our students from foster care face because of, and in spite of, their foster care experiences is essential to the work of increasing access and success in the education to career pipeline. This understanding comes from keeping our eyes and ears open to the lived experience of foster care. It is all too easy to let emails, meetings, and paperwork overwhelm us, but if you make time to listen to the students from foster care in your life, the celebrations of success will be richer and the solutions to challenges will be more authentic. As our friends in the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative say, "nothing about us, without us".

The month of April is 2016 National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Although Fostering Success Michigan is focused on raising awareness of the great resources available to students with experience in foster care, this month reminds us why these resources are needed. We have to make certain we are building a strong network of partnerships and community collaborations to ensure our students of all ages are able to access these resources when needed. With this student-focused and student-driven perspective, we can partner with students, the professionals who work with them, and the supportive adults in their lives, to address the gaps and promote access and success in postsecondary education and career transitions.

As Sir Philip Sidney once said, "either I will find a way, or I will make one".

Take care,  
Maddy Day, MSW
Director of Outreach and Training 
Center for Fostering Success 
Western Michigan University
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