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foster care

Renee McGurk / Flickr

Last week on State of Opportunity, we shared Alex’s story about how hard it is for kids in foster care to get a car, let alone a driver’s license.

Transportation isn’t just an issue in rural areas of the state like Berrien County, where Alex was 20 miles away from everything. It can be a huge barrier for folks who live in the city, too - like Amber Thomas.

PAULA LAQUERRE

I first met Alex back in January, when I did a story about aging out of the foster care system.

Alex lives in rural Berrien County. At a minimum, he's 20 miles from everything; college classes, any work he could find, really everything. He didn't have a car, so he caught a lot of rides with Paula Laquerre, a state worker helping Alex as he left the foster care system. During those rides they would plot how Alex was going to finally get a car.

One student's journey from court ward to business owner

Jul 31, 2015
Jada Davis

After writing about the latest KidsCount report last week, I was feeling pretty discouraged. It’s hard to get excited about the future of kids in Michigan when one in four is living in poverty.

This week I wanted to write about something a little bit lighter. This is a state of opportunity, after all. Michigan’s statistics don’t always reflect that, but Jada Davis’ story does. 

Ana C. / flickr

Dr. April Ping is a pediatrician in Livingston county. She's known by foster parents in her area as somebody who understands the complications the foster care system brings, and the health concerns it creates for kids.

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. 

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.

.imelda / Flickr

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED ON 6/15/15

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. 

Brittany Bartkowiak

We just celebrated Mother's Day, and Father's Day is right around the corner. Lots of people look forward to these special days. But not everyone. For some, Mother’s and Father’s Day is not a happy holiday.

It’s one that can cause a lot of grief.

Joanne Johnson / Flickr

Many colleges are making more of an effort to support students who come from foster care. But Professor Angelique Day says that’s way too late for most kids, since half of all kids in foster care don’t even graduate from high school.

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