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FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21

FYI • October 22, 2010 • No. 21
The next FYI bulletin will be issued November 5, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Meetings scheduled to address urgent budget/contract matters Scheduled earlier this month and then postponed by DHS, on October 26, Federation President Gary Tester and Federation Executive Director Janet Reynolds Snyder will meet with DHS Director Ismael Ahmed and have invited to join them in this meeting Michael Williams, representing Orchards Children’s Services and the Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies. Matters of critical importance that will be discussed include residential, foster care and adoption contract issues, the governor’s veto of the adoption rate increase in the DHS Budget, and implementation of “failure to report.”
That same day, a special meeting will be hosted by Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade with top DHS officials, the Federation’s Gary Tester and Janet Reynolds Snyder, and Michael Williams to discuss the governor’s veto and resulting issues.

FYI / October 8, 2010 / No. 20

FYI / October 8, 2010 / No. 20
The next FYI bulletin will be issued October 22, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Federation priorities reflected in FY 2011 State Budget—Federation legislative priorities reflected in the FY 2011 budget bill are the result of the tireless efforts of our members, staff, lobbyists, and the leadership of Sen. Bill Hardiman and Rep. Dudley Spade. As HB 5882 was voted out of the House and Senate on September 29, it included a number of the Federation’s priorities, as follows:

➢ Providing for a 36% rate increase to adoption rates (see note below about governor’s veto).
➢ Maintaining the $37/day administrative rate for foster care services for private child placing agencies.
➢ Maintaining the $28/day rate for general independent living services for private child placing agencies and provides for an SIL administrative rate no less than the rate paid in FY 08-09. (The governor’s proposed budget had cut/eliminated these items.)
➢ Boilerplate language increasing the floor funding for residential services from $130 to $137 a day; the $7 daily per diem rate will carry forward from its July 1, 2010 effective date.

Note: Gov. Granholm signed her veto letter for HB 5882 on September 30, vetoing the 36% adoption rate increase and the boilerplate language stating private agencies shall receive $16,000 for each finalized adoption of long-term wards. The Federation is pursuing further clarification on the funding allocated to the Department and how this relates to adoption work. See more detail in this week’s FYI (below).

STATE LEGISLATIVE/EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES

Erin Gruwell featured at Starr's Founder's Day

ALBION -- Hundreds sniffed and wiped tears from their eyes as Erin Gruwell recounted her days as a public school teacher in Long Beach, California.

Aided by clips from her appearance on "Primetime Live" and a Hollywood film made about her, the former teacher Gruwell told the heart wrenching tales of her 150 students in Long Beach who went from hopelessness to success through the power of writing and positive reinforcement.

Gruwell co-wrote "The Freedom Writers Diary", which was made into the 2007 film "Freedom Writers" starring Hillary Swank. She was the guest speaker at Starr Commonwealth's 97th-anniversary Founder's Day celebration.

About 155 students from Starr attended her speech, the highlight of the day's celebration, along with hundreds of teachers and members of the public.

FYI • September 24, 2010 • No. 19

FYI • September 24, 2010 • No. 19
The next FYI bulletin will be issued October 8, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

HHS awards $39 million to states for increasing adoptions; 9% of the total comes to Michigan!—The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $39 million to 38 states and Puerto Rico for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States use the funds from this adoption incentive award to improve their child welfare programs. Michigan’s adoption incentive award is $3,511,033. Only two states earned more of this funding: Texas $7,468,475 and Florida $5,718,271. Find a list of each state’s award at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2010/fy10_adoption_incentive_awards.htm.

Senior Management Conference scores high marks—Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s Federation annual conference at Crystal Mountain! Here’s what folks had to say afterward:
The topics were relevant and the networking superb!
I thought the conference was great this year! Thanks for all your work and planning.
Thank you for a wonderful conference. I appreciate all of the work and energy that made this conference a success. Great job!
The best ever!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

FYI • September 3, 2010 • No. 18

FYI • September 3, 2010 • No. 18
The next FYI bulletin will be issued September 24, 2010

HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

Powerful line up of presenters secured for Senior Management Conference September 15-17
If you attend only one conference per year, this should be the one.

This is the only venue with access to the caliber of expertise and insight you need to best serve Michigan’s vulnerable children and families in these challenging and changing times. Every CEO and top-level administrator and program director within child welfare services should make it a priority to attend. The full program description is included on the last page of this bulletin.

Presenters include nationally recognized care systems management expert Dr. Marcella Wilson, President/CEO of Federation Member Matrix Human Services; nonprofit leadership training expert Sean de Four, COO of Federation Member Judson Center, partnering with Dr. John Arnold of Wayne State University; longest term and highly-valued Federation agency-university partner, Dr. Gary Anderson, Director of MSU’s School of Social Work; Attorney William F. Abrams whose legal counsel prevailed in the California private agency association’s legal case against the State of California when faced with a 32% rate reduction; and lastly, Children’s Rights Lead Attorney Sara Bartosz and Kevin Ryan and Lisa Alexander-Taylor of Public Catalyst Group, members of the Michigan Monitoring Team overseeing implementation of the federal consent decree.

Register today!

STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

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Reports

Dr. Gary Anderson, director of MSU's School of Social Work, has made available several research reports and a resource booklet issued in recent years by the School. While additional reports will be added eventually, at this point, you can download the following items by clicking on the title:  

Michigan’s progress in helping foster youths aging out of care will get national exposure at the second meeting of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices Policy Academy Nov. 28-30 in Miami, FL.

LANSING -- A 21-step action plan - based on recommendations from - foster care youths - will improve health care, education, job opportunities and resources for young people aging out of foster care, according to a report released to the Michigan Legislature today by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS).

About 450 youths in Michigan left foster care, or "aged out," at age 18 during 2005. These young adults are at greater risk for poverty, homelessness, unemployment and other negative outcomes. In January 2006, DHS director Marianne Udow and Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan convened a task force to evaluate existing services for foster youth and propose improvements.

Annual Report to the Membership 2005 Click here to discover how collaboration, networking and influence equal VALUE for Federation members.

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