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May is National Foster Care Month: Pass It On & Change a Lifetime!Approximately 14,000 Michigan children are in foster care at any given time. To help draw attention to this important youth population, the month of May is celebrated as National Foster Care Awareness Month. Whether you are a mentor, a concerned community member, foster care worker or someone interested in making a difference, there are many ways you can get involved. We need your help to keep these children safe and cared for until they can be returned to their family.
This 2013 Foster Care Month Mentoring Program Toolkit has compiled resources for a variety of audiences. There are links for conferences and grants; links to studies and data, and links to websites for organizations all over the country that provide support and resources for foster care youth, as well as for the people and organizations that support them. Thank you for what you do, and for helping celebrate National Foster Care Awareness Month.
Foster Care in Michigan
Interested in learning more about foster care in Michigan? The Michigan Department of Human Services has a comprehensive website which covers a wide variety of foster care topics and issues: from how to become a foster parent, parent resources, foster youth resources, forms, publications, and more. Visit their site to learn how you can raise hope and foster dreams for a young person in foster care.www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome
Resources for Organizations Who Support Foster Care Youth
Follow this link to learn more about foster care and the National Foster Care Month campaign. It will also help you find out how you can get involved in changing a life, provide access to the National Foster Care Month Toolkit, and features national events, as well as foster care alumni success stories.http://fostercaremonth.org
If you're looking to learn more about youth in foster care and how mentoring can make a difference, check out MENTOR's webinar Mentoring Youth in Foster Care: Emerging Research and Lessons from the Field. This webinar was offered in 2011 and has important information on how to recruit, train and sustain mentor matches with youth in foster care. http://www.mentoring.org/downloads/mentoring_1338.pdf
This toolkit is designed to help Senior Corps directors recruit, train, and place volunteers in mentoring programs serving foster youth: http://bit.ly/bZuyst.
The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008 completed a study that concluded that mentoring relationships are associated with positive adjustment during the transition to adulthood for youth in foster care. Read the entire article at the link listed below. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/121/2/e246.full
Resources for Youth in Foster Care
The 2013 Michigan Teen Conference "Take Charge of your Journey," being held June 19-20 at Ferris State University. This conference, for youth ages 14-21 who are leaving foster care. The conference not only offers workshops about education, employment, and leadership, but also provides several fun recreational activities! Registration closes May 30th, 2013.
U of M Dearborn offers a 10 week program called UTOOLS specifically geared towards youth in foster care ages 14-20. New classes will begin in May, and are held on Saturdays from 10am-3pm. For more information contact Suzanne Reid at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 858-1537.
Learn more about the Foster Care Club, a national network for young people in foster care at: http://www.fosterclub.com/
The Foster Youth in Transition (FYIT) web site was the result of a recommendation made by the Statewide Task Force on Youth Transitioning from Foster Care in 2006. Over 100 members from public and private organizations that care about improving services to foster youth participated. Youth representatives were part of the Task Force and acted as a lead for each of the six subcommittees that consisted of the State Court Administrative Office, Child Welfare Services Division; the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice; the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Institute; the Office of the Children's Ombudsman; and Children's Charter of the Courts of Michigan. www.michigan.gov/fyit
Michigan Department of Human Services has announced that seven colleges statewide will share in more than $800,000 of federal funding to provide former foster youth with a support program to help them succeed in higher education. This program will follow the success of Western Michigan's Seita Scholars program. The colleges receiving the funds are: Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Baker College of Flint, Ferris State University, Saginaw Valley University, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan-Flint. For more information, call Dave Akerly at (517)373-7394. http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124--291071--,00.html
Upcoming Trainings and Conferences for Professionals Working with Youth in Foster Care
Fostering Success Michigan will be hosting their 2nd annual Foster Success Michigan Summit on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at U of M in Ann Arbor, MI. For more information and to register online, visit: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e74b0lnm2c3dd762&llr=edqvjwiab
Free webinar on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 3:00-4:30 p.m., EDT. The webinar entitled, Supporting Youth in Transition: The Importance of Caseworker Visits, is brought to you by the Children's Bureau, the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC), and the National Resource Center for Youth Development (NRCYD) as part of National Foster Care Month. It will provide information about the importance of quality caseworker visits as a tool for supporting youth in foster care during times of transition. To register visit: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/more/webinar.cfm
FAME is a resource center for foster youth alumni, youth who were in kinship care, or have experienced homelessness, or are otherwise independent, and are attending MSU. FAME provides support and resources to these students during their time at on campus and during their transition to becoming MSU alumni. The program also hosts an annual 4 day summer camp for youth interested in attending MSU. http://socialwork.msu.edu/outreach/foster_youth_alumni_svcs.php
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