FYI • April 1, 2011 • No. 7

FYI • April 1, 2011 • No. 7
The next FYI bulletin will be issued April 15, 2011


• Federation leadership to meet with DHS Director Corrigan—Federation Board President Gary Tester and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder, on behalf of all Federation members, will meet with DHS Director Maura Corrigan on April 7. The purpose of the meeting is to share with Director Corrigan the priority interests and efforts of the Federation. Payments, contracting, consent decree requirements, and more, are on our agenda.

• Federation membership to meet with Federal Monitoring Team—Kevin Ryan, the Federal Monitor for the state's child welfare reform, continues to want feedback from nonprofit agencies as to how agencies are experiencing the reform. Federation members have been extremely helpful in this process during the past several years when Kevin and the Monitoring Team have attended the Federation's senior management conferences as well as the trips they have made to individual agencies. As discussions continue with Kevin, Federal Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, Children's Rights, the offices of Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette, and DHS Director Maura Corrigan, regarding possible modifications of the settlement agreement, your input continues to hold great weight.
Federation Executives/CEOs: Please plan to attend a meeting with the Monitoring Team on Wednesday, April 13, from 1 PM–2:30 PM. The main focus of this meeting is on training and changes in the current DHS implementation that would make the process more efficient. This event precedes a meeting the legal parties have in federal court the next day. Our meeting with the Monitoring Team is being graciously hosted by Lutheran Child and Family Service of Michigan, 15160 West 8-Mile Road, Oak Park, 48237. Please RSVP to Jenny Crichton to confirm your attendance:

TLC resources in use with Japanese traumatized youth

tlcstarr.pngThe National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children providing materials for interventions

ALBION, MI – The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC), a program of the Starr Institute for Training, is currently providing intervention assistance to professionals from the Tokyo Center for Play Therapy in Japan who work with survivors of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Among TLC’s many resources and tools for working with traumatized children, adolescents and adults is the best-selling storybook “Brave Bart,” about a young kitten who overcomes a sad and scary event with the help of a helpful neighborhood cat. This playfully illustrated story normalizes many trauma-related reactions children experience. Kyoko Kobayashi Porteux, a TLC Certified Trauma Specialist, translated the book into Japanese.

TLC Director Caelan Kuban has been in touch with Yumiko Ogawa Fariss from Tokyo Center for Play Therapy who asked for the Japanese translation of the storybook. This organization believes that “Brave Bart” will be extremely helpful to the people of Japan experiencing disaster and loss, especially young children.

“They are very thankful to have access to ‘Brave Bart,’ and it is my professional belief that several thousand children will benefit from the therapeutic messages in the book,” said Kuban. “The devastation in Japan is beyond our comprehension. We are deeply saddened by the tremendous amount of loss but more than willing to provide any assistance we can toward the healing process.”

Governor Snyder reappoints Verlie Ruffin as Children's Ombudsman

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has decided to retain the children's ombudsman appointed by his Democratic predecessor.

Snyder's office announced Wednesday that he has reappointed Verlie Ruffin of Detroit to the job. Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Ruffin in 2006. She was confirmed unanimously that year by the GOP-controlled state Senate.

Ruffin previously was associate director of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families for 20 years. She also taught in the Detroit Public Schools. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University.

The Office of the Children's Ombudsman is an independent government agency that works to assure the safety and welfare of Michigan children involved in foster care, adoption or protective services.

The office investigates complaints and recommends improvements to laws and policy affecting children.

FYI • February 18, 2011 • No. 4

FYI • February 18, 2011 • No. 4
The next FYI bulletin will be issued March 4, 2011


Adoption Contract— The private agency negotiating group, which last met with DHS officials on November 1, 2010, resumed negotiations for the adoption contract on Thursday, February 10, with DHS Deputy Director Dudley Spade at the Federation office. The negotiating committee worked with Dudley Spade to come to an agreement on making three languages changes to the existing contract dated effective October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. The new contract, will be issued with a 15% increase to the adoption rates! Agencies can bill at the adjusted rates effective March 1, 2011.

Agencies are encouraged to quickly review the content of the contract, and sign and return the new contract in a swift manner so that payments can begin to be processed immediately. If your agency has already signed the adoption contract, details will be forthcoming on how to proceed with the new contract and procedure.

Moving forward, DHS and the negotiating group will concurrently be working on restructuring the new three-year contract to become effective later this year, October 1, 2011. The negotiating group has made several recommendations for rate structure reform, and contract language amendments that will allow agencies to operate more efficiently, and these changes will all be taken up for further consideration.

Thank you for all of your patience during this time, we know it has been very trying on some of your agencies and the ability to perform business. We are also grateful to all of the members of the negotiating committee who dedicated their time to resolving and working through these matters, as well as the leadership that Deputy Director Dudley Spade has exercised to resolve this critical matter.



The Right Start in Michigan 2009 report, released today, finds that Michigan has improved in six of eight areas when it comes to maternal and infant well-being. It reports substantial reductions in births to teens, repeat births to teens and prenatal smoking.

Click here to view the report.

On June 24, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan released a comprehensive report that examines the severe disciplinary policies and practices that push children permanently out of the classroom and into the criminal justice system.

childtrendslogoTwo new Child Trends briefs draw on research across the fields of college readiness, workplace readiness, and youth development to identify the skills and competencies high school students need to master for future success. The briefs also highlight strategies that high schools can use to help students develop these skills.

CTlogoClick on the title to download the full report:

Elements of Promising Practice in Teen Fatherhood Programs: Evidence-Based and Evidence-Informed Research Findings on What Works

Compiled by: Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew, Ph.D, Mary Burkhauser, M.A., Allison Metz, Ph.D.

The timing of the onset of fatherhood is a powerful predictor of the paternal role and is likely to determine men’s levels of involvement with their partners and children (Parke, 2001). Early entry into fatherhood is often viewed as a non-normative event and an accelerated role transition (McCluskey, Killarney, & Papini, 1983; Parke, 2000).


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