foster care http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org en State Supreme Court changes child welfare practice, says "one-parent" rule unconstitutional http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/state-supreme-court-changes-child-welfare-practice-says-one-parent-rule-unconstitutional <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled a practice by the state's child welfare system is unconstitutional.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Yesterday the State Supreme Court&nbsp;<a href="http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/Clerks/Recent%20Opinions/13-14-Term-Opinions/146680-Opinion.pdf">struck down a 12-year-old rule</a>&nbsp;they said violated the constitution because it allowed the state to punish both parents for abuse or neglect of a child for whom only one parent was responsible, even when parents were not living together.</p><p>A person's right to raise their child without interference from the state – their "parental rights –" is constitutionally protected.</p><p>"Before, the state could put a child in foster care for what just one parent did," says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law.umich.edu/FacultyBio/Pages/FacultyBio.aspx?FacID=vss">Vivek&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.law.umich.edu/FacultyBio/Pages/FacultyBio.aspx?FacID=vss">Sankaran</a>, who&nbsp;argued the case against the state. "Now the state has to make findings against both parents before it can take a child away and put them in foster care."</p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 18:52:15 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 598 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org State Supreme Court changes child welfare practice, says "one-parent" rule unconstitutional Movie review: Short Term 12 http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/movie-review-short-term-12 <p>Destin Daniel Cretton's film&nbsp;<em><a href="http://shortterm12.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">Short Term 12</a>&nbsp;</em>(2013) brings to light a number of issues around kids in foster care. We've written here in the State of Opportunity blog about teens who are <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/term/foster-care">aging out of foster care</a> and the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">challenges they face moving into adulthood with a tenuous support system. But, <em>Short Term 12</em> does a great job of delving into the issues of trust, confidentiality, and uncertainty children face when removed from parental care and entrusted to other adults. Those adults may or may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, much less the needs of at-risk kids. &nbsp;</span></p><p> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 14:26:00 +0000 Kimberly Springer 522 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Movie review: Short Term 12 Aging out of foster care: 'the remainder of a busted equation' http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/aging-out-foster-care-remainder-busted-equation <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">My most recent radio story </span><a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/could-more-lawyers-make-michigans-child-welfare-system-work-better" style="line-height: 1.5;">focused on some of the adults in the child welfare system</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. These adults, like the children involved, can feel lost and powerless.</span></p><p>Right after hitting the "publish" button on the post, I took a look at <a href="http://www.psmag.com/navigation/politics-and-law/american-child-welfare-ruins-lives-heres-receipt-74665/">a link</a> my colleague Dustin Dwyer had sent me on the other side of the coin, the kids stuck in the system. We've brought you<a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/can-michigan-make-aging-out-foster-care-easier"> some of these stories</a>, but with&nbsp;<a href="http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6242-children-0-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&amp;loct=2#ranking/2/any/true/867/any/12985">more than 13,000 kids</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;in Michigan's foster care system, we should continue to tell more.</p><p>The piece is written by Thomas Rios, a freelance journalist who is also an alumnus of the foster care system. It's definitely an opinion piece.</p><p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 05:06:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 520 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Aging out of foster care: 'the remainder of a busted equation' Could more lawyers make Michigan's child welfare system work better? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/could-more-lawyers-make-michigans-child-welfare-system-work-better <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Michigan’s foster care system is the </span><a href="http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6242-children-0-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&amp;loct=2#ranking/2/any/true/867/any/12985" style="line-height: 1.5;">sixth-biggest in the country</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, with more than 13,000 kids around the state. The system has been plagued by problems over the last several years.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Court monitors, appointed after the state was sued over the treatment of children in its foster care system,&nbsp;say the system has&nbsp;improved over the past few years, but it&nbsp;still falls short when it comes to keeping kids safe.<br /><br />The court has also said the state&nbsp;needs to reduce the&nbsp;time children are in the system while they wait to be adopted or reunited with their families.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For every one of these 13,000 kids, there is a specific&nbsp;story behind&nbsp;what landed them in foster care in the first place or how their life unfolded afterward. The same can be said of their parents or the adults who stand in for parents. Many of these adults&nbsp;can feel just as trapped in the system as the children. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Vanessa Moss is one of those adults.&nbsp; She&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">had guardianship of some of her grandchildren for years. In all, she took care of four of her grandchildren. She stepped in because the children’s mother, Moss' daughter, has had serious mental and physical health issues.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">When Moss began caring for her grandchildren, she didn't know much about, or want much to do with the child welfare system. &nbsp;<br /><br />"</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I don’t want my grandkids in the system." Moss says tearfully. "The only thing I wanted to do for my daughter was keep her kids all together." &nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 12:40:33 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 519 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Could more lawyers make Michigan's child welfare system work better? Volunteering gives kids in foster care and listener's spirits a lift http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/volunteering-gives-kids-foster-care-and-listeners-spirits-lift <p><em>For the next few days we're featuring stories of ordinary listeners who read or heard a story on State of Opportunity and decided to give some of their resources or time as a result. We know many of you have done the same. <a href="http://pinsight.org/q/en/7202f0ae3e58">If you've got a story to share or an idea of how people could help let us know here</a>. If you need ideas of what you could do, check out the <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/resources">resources page</a>. We'll update it with &nbsp;listener suggestions as they come in.</em></p><p>Amanda Eding&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">can't remember the specific moment when she felt it was time to move beyond getting upset at the State of Opportunity stories she heard on her radio. The stories about kids in the child welfare system touched a nerve. "S</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">ome of the stories I would hear, I would think this is such an injustice!" she says, almost laughing at herself. "Sometimes I would get mad, and sometimes, I would cry." </span></p><p> Thu, 19 Dec 2013 13:47:00 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 476 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Volunteering gives kids in foster care and listener's spirits a lift Report: Poverty, abuse and neglect on the rise for Michigan's children http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/report-poverty-abuse-and-neglect-rise-michigans-children <p>The <a href="http://www.mlpp.org/misc/MLPPkidscountFINAL.pdf">new Kids Count report is out</a>, and things are not looking good for kids in Michigan. You would think with the recession now a few years behind us that economic trends would be on an upswing, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I'll break down the report into three sections: The Good, The Bad, and the Stagnant.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 474 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Report: Poverty, abuse and neglect on the rise for Michigan's children Can Michigan make aging out of foster care easier? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/can-michigan-make-aging-out-foster-care-easier <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The roughly</span><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-60126_7117---,00.html" style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;14,000 young people</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Michigan’s foster care system are expected to live on their own once they turn 18, if they're still in the system at that time. It is a transition that for many, does not go well.</span></p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 03:05:43 +0000 Sarah Alvarez 348 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Can Michigan make aging out of foster care easier? Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/program-aims-keep-kids-safe-homes-and-out-foster-care <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More than 400,000 children are currently in foster care in the U.S. Once a child has entered the system, they remain there on average for </span><a href="http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport19.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">nearly two years</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, according to a federal report. As part of our State of Opportunity project, we looked into a unique program that’s working to prevent kids in Michigan from even entering foster care in the first place.</span></p> Wed, 03 Jul 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 343 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Program aims to keep kids safe in homes and out of foster care National Foster Care Week: what happens to kids that age out of foster care? http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/national-foster-care-week-what-happens-kids-age-out-foster-care <p>We've already <a href="http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/mixed-messages-teachers-appreciation-day">acknowledged</a> the proliferation of different days and weeks, whether by official proclamation or organizational mandate, declared for raising awareness of various social issues. But let's talk about just one more: <a href="http://www.fostercaremonth.org/">National Foster Care Month</a>. Fri, 17 May 2013 10:26:00 +0000 Kimberly Springer 297 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org National Foster Care Week: what happens to kids that age out of foster care? Guest blogger: Adoption and early childhood trauma http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org/post/guest-blogger-adoption-and-early-childhood-trauma <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At 30, my husband and I became adoptive parents to a 5-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. We began the adoption process through the Michigan foster care system in 2008.</span></p><p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:05:00 +0000 Shannon Mackie 263 at http://stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org Guest blogger: Adoption and early childhood trauma