Families & Community

The connections that build opportunity.

Brittany Bartkowiak / Michigan Radio

Last week I went to Washtenaw County's first-ever Family Reunification Day. The event, held in honor of  National Reunification Month in June, celebrated  four families who managed to complete their court-ordered permanency plan and be reunified with their kids. 

Teens make the best teachers when it comes to sex and consent

Jun 26, 2015
Paul Weaver / Flickr

In response to what has been a national movement to address sexual assault on college campuses, the University of Michigan released results from a campus survey on sexual misconduct earlier this week. The goal behind the survey, says President Mark Schlissel, is to get a better idea of what’s happening on campus to ultimately improve sexual assault prevention efforts.

Jessica Lucia / Flickr

There was a protest at the University of Michigan hospital earlier this week about what one family says is a flawed child abuse investigation case. The protestors claim there’s a financial conflict of interest between the hospital and Child Protective Services because CPS pays U of M hospital to provide expertise on child abuse cases.

Tamara Craiu / Flickr

Michigan’s new faith-based adoption law has come under intense criticism from those who claim it discriminates against same-sex couples. The law allows faith based adoption agencies to deny service to same sex couples, even if the agency receives state funds.

user ValeryKenski / flickr

Who is poor? Who is low-income? It’s a question our team and others who report on issues of poverty grapple with a lot.  

My news editor and I did a quick search of the newsroom's story database from the past two months, and it turns out Michigan Radio reporters and hosts used the term poor on air twice as often as low-income. So I wanted to know: does it matter which term we use to describe people?

.imelda / Flickr

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED ON 6/15/15

Chris Wieland / flickr

People in the city of Inkster are being made to pay extra property taxes for a settlement between the city and motorist Floyd Dent. Dent was beaten during a traffic stop in January, and the assault was videotaped. 

pikturewerk / flickr

Journalists try to stay away from editorializing, but I'm going to break the rule here and say I'm 100 percent comfortable calling CBS's new poverty porn offering, The Briefcase, disgusting. 

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. If you watch The Briefcase (and 6.8 million people did watch the premier episode Wednesday) I'm not saying that we can't be friends anymore.

Riccardo Bandlera

Many kids in foster care (as many as 1 in 5 but more on the numbers later) don't live with a foster family, but instead live in something called a "group home." It's a form of institutional or residential placement that I know from personal experience is NO place to grow up. The white, concrete walls resemble a jail cell more than a bedroom and there are rules against giving other people hugs. Yes, you read that correctly - not even hugs are allowed under the "no physical contact" rule that still exists in some group homes today. 

Michael Rosenstein / flickr

I've learned a lot through my reporting on State of Opportunity, but the thing that really changed how I see almost every other issue is what I've learned about the effect of trauma on kids' brains (helpful backgrounder here for those of you wanting to know more). 

Up until a few years ago I'd missed this important work. I don't think I'm alone in that.

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