LANSING: Children and families involved in Michigan’s child
welfare system will benefit from $4 million in federal grants
this fiscal year. The Michigan Department of Health and Human
Services (MDHHS) Children’s Services Agency was awarded the
funding from the Federal Adoption and Legal Guardianship
Incentive Payments Program.
Funds being spent this year will allow the MDHHS Children’s
Services Agency to address a number of priorities, including:
Increasing safe and stable placements with relatives.
Reducing maltreatment of children placed in foster care.
Shortening the amount of time it takes to find a permanent
home for children in foster care – either through safe
reunification with their families or adoption if it’s not
safe for them to return home.
Improving Children’s Protective Services responses to
reports made to the toll-free Centralized Intake phone
number for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.
Placing a greater share of children in family home settings
and decreasing use of congregate care facilities for
children in foster care.
Developing a new training curriculum for foster, adoptive
and relative parents.
“We need to do whatever we can to protect the safety and
well-being of Michigan children,” said JooYeun Chang,
executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency.
“That means keeping children safe and providing them with
loving, permanent homes where they can enjoy stability and
connections with relatives and their communities. This federal
funding helps us meet these important goals.”
MDHHS will work with private partner child-placing agencies from
around the state in using the federal dollars to improve the
child welfare system. “Community-based organizations are
committed to supporting the highest quality services possible to
children and families in Michigan,” said Janet Reynolds
Snyder, executive director of the Michigan Federation for
Children and Families that represents the private nonprofit
child and family services organizations in the state. “We look
forward to continuing our work together with our partners at
MDHHS to invest these federal dollars wisely to continue
improving outcomes for children and families.”
The funds are from the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services Administration for Children and Families. Michigan was
first awarded this Adoption and Legal Guardianship grant for
fiscal year 2016. Grants are awarded to states based on their
ability to increase adoptions and legal guardianships of
children in foster care.
The state uses the funds for services related to adoption from
foster care and legal guardianship of children in foster care –
with a focus on adoptions and legal guardianships for older
children in foster care from ages 14 and up, and for
preadolescent children ages 9-13.