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August 15, 2020 - Page 2 of 3 - Methodist Childrens Home Society,
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MCHS Q & A With Foster Parents Ken & Tim

MCHS Q & A With Foster Parents Ken & Tim

Posted On : 6/29/2020

Becoming a foster parent can be daunting for anyone. It can be extremely difficult for members of the LGBTQ community who often face discrimination on their parenthood journey. Newly licensed foster parents Tim and Ken spoke with us about their experience fostering as a same-sex couple.

Q: What inspired you to become foster parents?

Ken: Tim and I have always wanted kids. We talked about it very early in our relationship. For same-sex couples, to have kids you have two options – surrogacy or adoption. Because I was adopted, I felt a calling to be able to foster because there are so many kiddos in this world right now who already exist and need a home. For me, it felt close to home to be able to provide opportunities for someone else.

Q: What was your biggest obstacle in the foster care/adoption process?

Tim: The process has been smooth for us. It’s just a very long one! We had two home studies, we attended PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information Development and Education) training and we provided more financials than when we bought our house. It was an intense process, and we didn’t know it was going to be like that. There weren’t any roadblocks or hurdles; it was just a long process.

Q: If you could choose one word to describe your experience, what would it be?

Tim: The word for me is ‘rollercoaster.’ I think we hear stories of other people’s experience and you never really understand or empathize until you go through it yourself. For us, it was really quick. A month after we were certified, we had already received our first call for placement. That placement didn’t work out and it broke our hearts because we were really excited. Then we got a call about Jane two days later. It’s been such a rollercoaster of emotions — you have the joys of parenting on one hand and then you have the heartbreak of potentially not being able to be her forever family.

Ken: I would say, ‘life-changing.’ We’ve never been parents before. It alters your life, especially when caring for a newborn. There’s a lot of effort that goes into fostering a newborn child. The child is very dependent on us as foster parents and needs a lot of care. Being a man, you don’t get a ton of time off from your job when caring for a new foster child. I’ve had to balance work and caring for a new child.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a same-sex foster parents?

Tim: There weren’t too many challenges. The biggest thing we had was deciding what we should have Jane name call us? It was cool because we happened to get her shortly before mother’s day. So we were trying to decide which person gets which holiday. It’s a good problem to have. In essence, because there aren’t many traditions for LGBT parents, you get to make up your own traditions.

Q: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for those in the LGBTQ community who are interested in adoption but don’t know where to start?

Tim: When we started this journey more than a year ago, we talked to other members of the LGBTQ community who tried fostering a while ago and it wasn’t very encouraging. Others spoke about their struggles and I don’t know if times have changed, but that wasn’t our experience at all. We being LGBT made no difference. Our case worker just wanted to match the children up with good homes. Anybody who is looking into foster care, they should dive in with both feet. We haven’t had any road blocks and nothing but positive experiences.

Q: What’s been one of your favorite family memories so far?

Ken: We knew about Jane on the second day of her life, but because of COVID-19, we weren’t able to get her from the hospital right away. When we finally got the call from Ashley that we were approved to get Jane from the hospital, we were very excited and had a ton of energy. When we picked her up from the hospital, only one of us could go in because of COVID-19 restrictions. I think the coolest thing was when I brought the baby to the car and seeing Tim’s face light up from excitement. Our favorite memory was definitely our first day with the baby and the excitement from bringing her home from the hospital.

Tim: Everyone was excited ­— even our dog! I have never seen our dog so happy! Her tail was wagging so aggressively, I thought it was going to fall off!

Q: What are some of your favorite resources you can recommend for new foster parents?

Tim: As a foster parent, the best resource for us was the MCHS foster support group. We meet every Wednesday but they’re really good. Even if you don’t have any questions, they have good discussions and you learn a lot. It’s not easy being a foster parent (that may be the understatement of the century) but nobody knows what it’s like for other foster parents. That was the best resource for us.

Ken: Being connected with other foster families who are going through similar experiences and having the support to foster with other foster families. You can truly confide in each other because you’re going through similar experiences.

If you’re interested in foster care and adoption, CLICK HERE 

MCHS Summer Camp List

MCHS Summer Camp List

Posted On : 7/1/2020

Looking for a local summer program to keep your children engaged? Check out our list of fun and educational summer resources curated by the MCHS Foster Care team!

The Salvation Army Summer Day Camp

The Detroit Temple Summer Day Camp offers a variety of programs and provides a safe and secure summer learning environment for children ages 5 to 13. The camp includes daily teachings from the Bible. Weekly activities include games, field trips, arts & crafts projects and recreation. The camp also offers field trips to roller skating rinks, bowling, Hydroplane Races and weekly trips swimming at a waterpark. Our facility has an indoor gym, library, computer lab and classrooms. Outdoor activities are also a part of the daily routine. Children are served lunch and snacks daily. Contact Julian Sykes at 313-897-2914 to sign up.

Cost: Roughly $35 per week

CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Mosaic Youth Theater First Stage Summer Camp

This virtual summer program provides youth with online instruction and programming revolving around the performing arts. Topics include singing, music, dancing and acting! The program is open to youth ages 7-14 and begins July 13th.

Cost: Free

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Love for a Child

Summer camps are designed to bring joy for each child. Team-building games, individualized child recognition and the celebration of hope are just a few things we look forward to giving each child at camp. The camp experience allows children to be kids in a controlled environment where they are taught skills and activities they will come face-to-face with in life.

Cost: Free

CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Royal Family Kids Camp

At the Royal Family Kids Camp, children receive the attention and encouragement of an adult camp counselor and his/her “buddy camper.” Each camper is exposed to a variety of fun activities designed for their success and to build self-esteem. For most children, it’s the best week of the year – a special time when they can focus on having fun and enjoy being a kid.

Cost: Free

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Joe Dumars Fieldhouse Summer Adventure Camps

The Fieldhouse provides week-long half day and full day summer programs. Parents can also elect before/after care programs that allow their children to be challenged and entertained during periods where Mom or Dad can’t be there. This summer, the Shelby Township facility will feature more than 80 different offerings including Sports, Adventure and Imagination, Pee Wee, and Lil’ Kickers Camps.

Cost: Varies

CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Michigan Science Center Camp

Camps are designed to fill your child’s day with fun activities that explore exciting STEM phenomena all at their own pace. Campers will have the opportunity to talk with Anna and the MiSci Educators as well as other STEM professionals. We will continue to explore the interconnected world around us from the comfort of your living room, kitchen, or backyard! Camp will occur both online and offline for a flexible learning experience. Activities and online programming will span the day but can be done at the camper’s own pace.

Cost: Varies

CLICK HERE to learn more. 

All Things New Summer Camp

Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake is a vintage year-round retreat center and summer camp — an intentional setting for mission and worship located in northern Michigan. It is surrounded by acres of wooded forest on a beautiful, crystal-clear lake. Camp Westminster’s summer programs enable children and youth to try exciting activities, gain confidence, make real connections with new friends and positive role models, and spend valuable time splashing in the lake, all while growing in their faith.

Cost: Varies

CLICK HERE to learn more. 

And for a larger list of what’s open this summer for the kiddos, check out this link: https://bit.ly/31GSyl3

For more information about how MCHS can assist your foster family with resources, please contact Director of Child Welfare Stephanie Sears at ssear@mchsmi.org

Seven reasons to OT be a Foster Parent Right Now (And The Overwhelming Reasons Why You SHOULD)

Seven reasons to OT be a Foster Parent Right Now (And The Overwhelming Reasons Why You SHOULD)

Posted On : 7/24/2020

Let’s be honest — #fosterhood is rewarding, but thinking about becoming a foster parent in the wake of COVID-19 can seem uncertain and presents new challenges. We came up with seven reasons why you may be hesitant to begin your journey to fosterhood and seven ways MCHS dismantles those hurdles to make your process simple. 

Deterrent: COVID-19 Health & Safety Concerns

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MCHS has led our community in implementing health measures and enforcing restrictions to ensure the continued safety of our staff, children and families. MCHS continues to monitor the health of our staff, residents and visitors by requiring temperature checks and health screens upon arrival. MCHS also continues to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and licensed foster families. No staff or community member tied to MCHS lacks access to the necessary PPE during this pandemic!  

Deterrent: Cost of Child Care

The average American spends nearly $15,000 per year on child care for one child. The cost of child care can be a deterrent for people interested in expanding their family. In Michigan, foster children have the potential to have child care costs waived. Visit the link below to learn more about how to access child care as a foster family.

Click Here: https://bit.ly/32Un630 

Deterrent: Educational Resources

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed virtual educational resources to support our foster families. MCHS provides families with virtual learning tools to ensure they stay engaged during the pandemic. In addition, MCHS provides monthly virtual support and information sessions and frequently checks in with families to gauge their needs. MCHS team members are willing to meet with families, one-on-one virtually or in-person to address any questions and provide resources and support.   

Deterrent: Cost of Transportation

MCHS is happy to provide its licensed foster families with resources to aid in transportation needs. MCHS provides bus tickets, ride services and gas cards when appropriate and on a case-by-case basis. At this time, MCHS has re-opened to in-person family visitations while some continue to be done virtually. All MCHS trainings continue to be done virtually to meet social distancing standards which assists with cutting down on required transportation.. Many families have found this to be helpful and MCHS will continue to work with families to best suit individual needs!

Deterrent: Lack of Support 

It’s not just our staff who go above and beyond to support our families. It’s our community at large! Upon licensing, each MCHS foster family is paired with a mentoring foster family which encourages communication and offers insight from folks who’ve walked the same journey. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MCHS swiftly adjusted our standard programming to encompass virtual services to reach our families where they were. Since March 2020, MCHS has been innovative in creating ways for our whole community to  support our families through this global crisis. MCHS has partnered with local organizations and  donors to provide our foster families with produce boxes, pizza dinner delivery and restaurant gift cards to ensure our families stayed healthy and safe. This is only a small way to thank our families for doing the greatest good in our community!

Deterrent: Licensing Process & Paperwork 

The process to become a licensed foster family can often be lengthy, taking months to finalize. We guarantee that our MCHS staff members are thorough, diligent, easy to work with and excited to walk you through the process from start to approval. The MCHS Foster Care team can conduct the foster care on-boarding process virtually, making sure they are with you every step of the way. As of July 24, 2020, MCHS resumed working with interested families face-to-face while practicing social-distancing guidelines. 

Deterrent: Quality of Service 

MCHS goes above and beyond to develop long-lasting relationships with our foster families and support our foster families by answering questions and concerns via phone, video conferencing, text and email no matter the time of day. After all, foster care is not a 9-5 operation! MCHS continues to complete assessments and home visits virtually and collaborates with community partners to ensure virtual services are provided to our children and families consistently and effectively. 

So should you become a foster parent?

YES – The time is now. A child is waiting for the love and safety of your heart and home. The devastating impact of COVID-19 has shaken our community. At MCHS, we have been preparing for an increase in children entering our care due to the pandemic, and unfortunately, that’s exactly when we have seen.

While you may be on the fence about becoming a foster parent in an unpredictable time, know that our community’s most vulnerable children are feeling this uncertainty tenfold. Our amazing Foster Care team is here to support you in every way possible. 

Learn more today about becoming a licensed foster parent. Contact Director of Licensing Danielle Stevens at dstevens@mchsmi.org or (313) 531-3372. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about foster care.

When “Different” Is Deadly

When “Different” Is Deadly

Posted On : 7/14/2020

What we can learn from Elijah McClain, our children and the danger of “otherness”

He didn’t care to fit in. He didn’t care what he looked like wearing a mask. He had his music and he lived in his own world. He was “different” – self-proclaimed in his final words to officers as he struggled to breathe – yet in his final moments, found the civility to repeatedly apologize for it. In his last conscious moments, he didn’t panic. He didn’t forget his training. 

We’re talking about Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old young Black man murdered by police officers in Aurora, Colorado last year as he walked home from a convenience store, picking up an iced tea for his brother. His crime? Officers responded to a call regarding a man in a ski mask waving his arms in the air. McClain was unarmed and had done nothing illegal yet he died days later as a result of the officer’s carotid hold (now banned in Aurora) and a paramedic’s injection of Ketamine. 

We’re also talking about our own children at MCHS who, for a temporary portion of their young lives, refer to our campus as “home” where they heal from an unfair past riddled with abuse, neglect and trauma at the hands of their caregivers.

We’re talking about our children who are Black. And despite the fact that all are under the age of 18, outside of our campus, they can be perceived as “men,” not children. Within our 80-acre idyllic campus, our children are safe. They are respected. They are loved. Just outside our borders, we cannot guarantee their safety – or justice – despite the promise our children are given by policy-making leaders and legislators. 

And for 16-year-old Cornelius Frederick who died earlier this year at the hands of staff at a western Michigan residential facility meant to heal his trauma, we saw again how Black children are continually perceived as a threat. At least seven adult male staff restrained the child for more than 10 minutes, continuing long after he uttered “I can’t breathe” just as George Floyd did. 

Our children, all members of Michigan’s foster care system, have a wide range of emotions and cognitive developmental setbacks due to the trauma and pain they’ve endured. And as a result are learning life and social skills that will ensure they can successfully navigate through life. Unfortunately, they cannot do anything about the color of their skin and how America views them.

April Young, a friend of McClain, describes him as having “a child-like spirit … He lived in his own little world. He was never into, like, fitting in. He just was who he was.” Another friend, Marna Arnett, explains McClain’s mask-wearing habit, a source of warmth to combat his chronic anemia. “He would hide behind that mask,” Arnett said. “Wearing a mask helped him manage his social anxiety … It made him more comfortable being in the outside world.”

Imagine how our children might want to hide away from the world after the unfair hand they’ve been dealt. Many of our children, among their unique and quirky characteristics, are “different.” They don’t conform to the standard ideals for what a child or teen should look or behave like. Because for so long, they’ve lived in a world where their only goal was to survive. 

Sometimes this surfaces as unpredictable behavior. Sometimes it seems like not listening to authority. Sometimes it means they don’t pick up on social cues or don’t make direct eye contact. And it almost always means they carry nervousness and anxiety around police officers. There is often a resurgence of trauma to see a man in uniform as it links to a past memory of their abusive homes. 

Let Elijah McClain’s last words be a warning, a painful reminder to each and every citizen, officer, classmate and parent to treat our brothers and sisters with the kindness, dignity and respect we all deserve. 

“I can’t breathe.
I have my ID right here.
My name is Elijah McClain.
That’s my house.
I was just going home.
I’m an introvert.
I’m just different.
That’s all.
I’m so sorry.
I have no gun.
I don’t do that stuff.
I don’t do any fighting.
Why are you attacking me?
I don’t even kill flies!
I don’t eat meat!
But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat.
Forgive me.
All I was trying to do was become better.
I will do it.
I will do anything.
Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it.
You all are phenomenal.
You are beautiful and I love you.
Try to forgive me.
I’m a mood Gemini.
I’m sorry.
I’m so sorry.
Ow, that really hurt.
You are all very strong.
Teamwork makes the dream work.
Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that (vomiting).
I just can’t breathe correctly.”

Black Lives Matter. Say his name. Elijah McClain.

Methodist Children’s Home Society Acquires Community Social Services of Wayne County

Methodist Children’s Home Society Acquires Community Social Services of Wayne County

IMG_3771 edited

DBusiness on CSSWC Acquisition, 7/29/19

Click here to read the full story on the DBusiness site.

Redford Township’s Methodist Children’s Home Society (MCHS) has acquired Detroit’s Community Social Services of Wayne County (CSSWC), bringing together two organizations with nearly 200 years of combined experience serving Michigan’s underserved children.

The acquisition, according to the entities, is an opportunity to better strengthen programs and services, impacting more children and families through individualized and innovative programming.

“Our focus since we initially began discussions was how to enhance our programs and better serve our families and ultimately, our community,” says Kevin Roach, CEO of MCHS. “As we explored this unique opportunity to partner with such a great organization, it became clear that together, we’d be able to support and serve even more families throughout the region.”

CSSWC, with 73 years of rebuilding broken lives in Detroit, comes under the wing of MCHS, with more than 102 years of providing safety and stability to Michigan’s most vulnerable children. Roach will stay on as CEO after the acquisition, while William “Chuck” Jackson, CEO of CSSWC, will join as a senior executive.

Existing programs will see an uptick in foster care placement, adoption services, residential care, housing services for at-risk mothers, senior services, substance abuse, and community relations. Plans to boost education and independent living programs already are in motion. Early this year, MCHS opened offices in Detroit as part of its strategic plan to reach and serve more families.

The acquisition makes MCHS one of the largest foster care and adoption agencies in Michigan, with an immediate impact on more than 2,500 individuals in the current care of both groups.

MCHS will lead the acquisition in all facets including human resources, finance, programming, development, and communications. Human resources will find the best fit for each role moving forward, with many staff members from CSSWC staying on in either their current or new roles.

What is Trauma-Informed Education?: The FLA Difference

What is Trauma-Informed Education?: The FLA Difference

Posted On : 8/3/2020

Fostering Leadership Academy will serve as Michigan’s first K-8 charter school with a fully trauma-informed curriculum, focusing on healing and learning simultaneously. So what exactly is “trauma-informed education?” FLA Principal Abby Stewart breaks down what trauma-informed education really is and how our community’s most vulnerable children will benefit. 

Trained Staff 

FLA staff are trained and equipped to provide an environment that promotes learning and healing. Staff are trained on restorative practices, positive behavior interventions and positively navigating  behaviors stemming from emotional difficulties rather than reverting to traditional punishments. Teachers and support staff are prepared to support students through emotional barriers and help children process all of their emotions. After all, no child can focus on learning when their emotions and thoughts are unsettled.

Reformed Discipline 

Children who are survivors of abuse and neglect often face higher rates of disciplinary actions in school. While FLA is not specific to only children in foster care of who have experienced trauma, we recognize that our model is beneficial to a wide range of children. FLA has developed a reformed disciplinary policy to ensure that students are able to process their emotions without being punished and removed from their environment. Instead of detentions and suspensions, students and staff will participate in restorative meditation and effective communication exercises. 

Focus on Rehabilitation

Our teachers listen! When dealing with emotional flare-ups, we go beyond the surface and ask “why” instead of meeting the child with anger or punishment. When children are upset, we empathize and seek to understand their feelings, emotions and perspectives. Students are encouraged to share their feelings and process their emotions while learning and growing as students. We know that students learn a lot more than just math, science or english from the teachers and adults in their lives. 

In addition to what our teachers do for our children, our brand new building has been designed with attention to calming and restoring peace. We’ve created a comfortable and nurturing atmosphere by selecting lighting, paint colors, furniture, and space arrangement to encourage serenity and peace. 

Individual Learning Plans

The phrase “one size fits all” shouldn’t apply to education. FLA will provide students with individualized learning plans to help them develop at their own pace. Every student has their own unique emotional and educational needs. Students will also have access to self-paced online courses tailored specifically to each student and their level of learning. Each student’s learning plan will be as individualized as his or her thumbprint!

Promote Community 

Children who have experienced extreme trauma require the reassurance of a safe environment. FLA provides students with the confidence they need to thrive in school with classmates and teachers who understand their need for safety. We accept all ideas and give a voice to all students by encouraging them to share their beliefs, feelings and needs. For so many children, having a voice and being heard is a need that goes unmet. At FLA, we’re here to listen, learn and grow together.

To learn more about Fostering Leadership Academy, join us for our virtual open house on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7-8 p.m. To RSVP, contact FLA Principal Abby Stewart at astewart@mchsmi.org. 

Zoom Meeting ID: 929 651 4508

To learn more about FLA, visit https://fosteringleadershipacademy.org/  

Fostering Leadership Academy’s Plan to Open in the Midst of COVID-19

Fostering Leadership Academy’s Plan to Open in the Midst of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we are stronger as a community and to remain flexible in an ever-changing environment. Fostering Leadership Academy is prepared to open for the 2020-2021 school year and able to provide our students and parents with the reassurance and resources they need to thrive this school year. 

Flexible Instruction 

At FLA, we understand that everyone’s comfort level about returning to school differs. We are offering three different options for students to engage for the 2020-2021 school year: in-person full time, virtual full time, hybrid instruction. Virtual learning is great for families who are not comfortable with full time in-person instruction, who are high-risk (with pre-existing conditions) or living with a multi-generational family. We are proud to offer families multiple options to cater to their needs and comfort levels.

Personal Protective Equipment 

FLA has an adequate supply of PPE to provide to all staff, students and families. We prioritize the health and safety of our community and strive to create a safe environment. We will require students and staff who attend in-person instruction to wear face masks. Hand sanitizer will be readily available. For families who are in need of PPE, please contact the FLA team. We’ve got you covered!

Resources & Technology 

FLA will provide families with the resources and tools necessary to participate in hybrid learning. Families who choose to enroll their children and select the virtual option will be provided with Google Chromebooks and hotspot internet access if needed. In addition to students receiving Chromebooks and hotspot internet access, FLA will provide families with Google Classroom access and online learning platforms. 

Contingency Plan 

FLA has developed a COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness Plan and a COVID-19 Response Plan to be proactive in our rapidly-changing environment. 

Safe Environment

FLA has implemented multiple safety measures to ensure the safety of our staff, children and community. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic we have 

  • Required daily health surveys and temperature checks of all staff and visitors 
  • Provided PPE to all students, staff and visitors on a daily basis
  • Offered self-care resources to staff and students to help promote mental and physical health 

We will continue to monitor the health of all staff, students and visitors and abide by the state Executive Orders of Governor Gretchen Whitemer. 

Rest assured that FLA is prepared to offer high-quality individualized education to your child in the form that works best for your family! For inquiries, contact FLA Principal Abby Stewart at astewart@mchsmi.org or (248) 933-3864.

Easing Anxiety Into The New School Year

Easing Anxiety Into The New School Year

The start of a new school year can cause anxiety for both adults and children. With the uncertainty of school plans for the fall due to COVID-19, anxieties can be higher than usual as we prepare to start school, whether that be in-person or virtually from home. Read our blog about how you can ease anxieties before the start of this school year!

Communicate 

Talk to your children about their feelings toward starting at a new school or entering a new school year. It’s important to discuss what the school year may look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Provide your children with age-appropriate facts about the COVID-19 virus to calm their anxieties. Gauge their feelings and provide them with reassurance and comfort for starting school. If you feel anxious about the new school year and are uncertain about the procedures and expectations, contact your school’s leadership for insight. It’s important for children to know they can come to you with any questions!

Prepare for the Big Day

A great way to settle anxieties about the first day of school is to organize and prepare for the big day. Research your child’s school supply list and take them shopping for their school needs. Encourage them to be excited about their supplies and give them the autonomy to select their clothing, too.. If your children will attend school virtually, allow them to help set up their workspace. Preparing for the big day can ease any worries a child may be having. 

Ask Questions

Everyone has questions about the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ease your anxieties by asking your child’s school leadership questions about how they plan to navigate the 2020-2021 school year. There’s no such thing as an illegitimate question. You should have enough information to feel confident in deciding  your child’s upcoming academic year.. 

COVID-19 Preparation

If you plan to send your children to school in-person this fall, create a plan for the health and safety of your family. Be sure to have an adequate amount of PPE and hand sanitizer for your children. Ask your school about their COVID-19 plan for the school year and if they plan to supply PPE for students and teachers. Make sure you are equipped with the technology you need for your child to participate in virtual learning whether that’s provided by the school or on your own. Having a plan for both in-person and virtual learning will help you be able to navigate any changes that may occur throughout the school year. 

Create a Schedule

Sit down with your family and discuss a schedule to prepare your children for the start of the new school year. Begin implementing an evening and morning routine a few weeks before the first day of school. Talk to your children about the tasks that need to be completed to prepare for the school day. If your children will be attending virtual school, draft a daily schedule that includes structured learning time coupled with time for exercise and resting. 

Methodist Children’s Home Society Earns Re-accreditation From The Council On Accreditation

Methodist Children’s Home Society Earns Re-accreditation From The Council On Accreditation

REDFORD, Michigan (November 12, 2018) – Methodist Children’s Home Society (MCHS) today announced it has earned re-accreditation from the Council On Accreditation (COA). COA is an international, independent, nonprofit accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and human service organizations.

The COA accreditation process involves a detailed review and analysis of both an organization’s administrative operations and its service delivery practices. All are measured against national standards of best practice . These standards emphasize services that are accessible, appropriate, culturally responsive, evidence-based and outcomes-oriented. In addition, they confirm a skilled and supported workforce is providing all required services, and that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

“Earning our COA re-accreditation demonstrates MCHS’s dedication to the children we are entrusted with,” said Kevin Roach, CEO, Methodist Children’s Home Society. “I’m grateful to our dedicated staff who worked extremely hard to earn this prestigious accreditation.”

The accreditation process took approximately 12-to-18 months to complete. During the evaluation, MCHS’s processes and programs underwent an in-depth review against current best practice standards, an on-site visit by an evaluation team, and a review of findings by the accrediting body. At the end of the extensive evaluation COA was highly impressed with MCHS and extended them its full four-year accreditation.

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About Methodist Children’s Home Society

For more than 100 years, Methodist Children’s Home Society (MCHS), a nonprofit organization, has offered foster care and adoption placement, residential treatment and transitional living programs for children who have survived child abuse and neglect. MCHS finds safe, caring homes for children across southeast Michigan and also provides vital therapies, educational services and life skills training. Located in Redford, Mich., MCHS is a secular 501(c)(3) organization, proudly serving children and families of every creed, background and lifestyle.

Michigan must remedy child abuse

Michigan must remedy child abuse

Detroit New Opinion, 4/30/19

Click here to read the full story on The Detroit News’ site.

Child abuse is a nationwide health crisis. Most recent data shows that, across the U.S., a staggering 676,000 children are victims – numbers that are increasing.

In Michigan, as we continue efforts toward sustained economic recovery and where strong families are vital, the picture is bleaker. From 2010-2016, the rate of abuse rose 30 percent to nearly 40,000 victims each year, while the number of children actually decreased. This, dramatically higher than the national average, places us 46th in child safety.

More alarming: Michigan ranks 50th (last) where abuse leads to fatalities of infants under the age of 1. We’re moving in the wrong direction.

Child abuse and neglect take on a multitude of faces: maltreatment, homelessness, food insecurity, academic difficulty and many more maladies. Poverty effectuates and exacerbates. Today, the opioid epidemic brings a new stark reality: parental drug abuse.

In 2017, 49,000 people died from opioid abuse in this country. Experts estimate that number skyrocketed to 72,000 in 2018. In turn, 1 of every 3 children is now entering the foster care system due to parental drug misuse.

There are no simple solutions yet several to consider. One is reporting. We must know how extensive the problem is. States may voluntarily submit information on child abuse to the national database but reporting is not mandatory. We need consistency, transparency, accuracy – who, what, when, where and why. Only then can we allocate resources necessary to prevent, remedy or end the problem.

To tangibly affect the lives of these children and their families, there must also be a commitment by government to funding child abuse prevention programs. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), up for reauthorization with Congress, currently faces an uncertain future. Such funding must be maintained if not increased and improved upon. Moreover, if we are declaring war on opioids, let’s put a plan in place and money behind it. We either fund now or pay dearly later.

And there needs to be a coalition of community that brings together all sectors – faith based, business, education, legal, philanthropic, nonprofit and civic government – to mobilize, build and maintain strong families and safe communities. Methodist Children’s Home Society (MCHS) has opened a new satellite office in Detroit to expand our child abuse prevention and substance abuse programs throughout the community. This, in addition to providing foster care and adoption services. We all must play a role.

I would suggest a mandate for each of us to discuss, understand and tackle the issues and effect change. With more knowledge and resources, we can be better together. We talk a lot about the need for a strong, skilled, competitive workforce – to fill jobs, fix roads and move our economy forward. Yet, we are faced with the prospect of raising a generation of children who are emotionally, physically and mentally unable to function let alone succeed. Nelson Mandela put it best: “The true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children.”

Kevin Roach is CEO of Methodist Children’s Home Society, with facilities in Detroit and Redford.

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