Meeting to address Michigan's foster-care crisis
November 14, 2007
DEARBORN / Nov. 14, 2007---The crisis in Michigan’s foster-care system will be the focus of a day-long meeting at the University of Michigan-Dearborn on Friday, Nov. 30.
The “Save Our Children Summit” is sponsored by Child’s Hope, the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Out-Wayne County Michigan, and supported by a host of other organizations including UM-Dearborn’s School of Education.
“A growing record of failure demands a comprehensive plan of action,” according to Gail Bagale, a member of Child’s Hope board of directors. “We’re planning for a better future and building a coalition for change.”
More than 19,000 children are in the state’s foster care system, which faces serious shortages of placement options as well as other problems exacerbated by the state budget cuts.
Sessions at the Nov. 30 program will focus on the experiences of both parents and children in foster care situations, the role of the courts and the state Department of Human Services, and community supports for foster-care families and children. The program also will examine potential efforts to reform the system, and options for building awareness and advocacy for change.
Speakers will include Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan; Ismael Ahmed, director of Michigan Department of Human Services; Rep. Hoon-Yung Hopgood; and Sophie Womack, president of Wayne County Medical Society.
“Part of our work as educators is to protect and nurture children through programs that enhance their health and family support,” according to Paul Zionts, dean of the UM-Dearborn School of Education. “With this program, we hope to provide education to leaders in the community and to generate support to reform this system and prevent abuse, neglect and injury for these most vulnerable children.”
The program will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30, and cost $15 including lunch. To register or for more information, see www.childshope.org.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers’ views.