January 10, 2021 - MCHS Family of Services

Resources To Help You Provide A Safe Environment For Your Infant

Resources To Help You Provide A Safe Environment For Your Infant

Posted On : 9/24/2020

Resources To Help You Provide A Safe Environment For Your Infant

September is National Baby Safety Month. At MCHS, we provide services and resources to ensure families have a safer and brighter future. Infancy is a very crucial developmental stage in a child’s life. As a foster parent, accepting an infant placement can be wonderful, yet overwhelming. MCHS is here to assist with resources to help provide a safe, healthy and happy environment for your baby. 

MCHS Detroit Resource Center

In April 2019, we opened the doors to our satellite office in the Durfee Innovation Society. Our Detroit office focuses on providing prevention and community programs. Additionally, our Detroit Resource Center is open and provides families with essential infant supplies at no cost. Families are encouraged to call ahead to speak with our prevention specialist to discuss needs and availability. With minimal paperwork and no limit to how many times a family can access our center, we are happy to assist families with access to vital infant resources. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about our Detroit Resource Center. 


Becoming a licensed foster family through MCHS gives you access to our thousands of generous donors who are eager to help our foster children and families. Our donors continue to step up when asked to assist a family in big ways! Foster families who need assistance are encouraged to share with their caseworkers work internally to connect with donors. Our amazing community of donors have provided financial support, medication expenses, in-kind items both large and small (even mattresses!) to ensure foster families have the support they need to build stronger families. 

Early On & Infant Mental Health (IMH)

MCHS ensures all of our foster families with foster children from infancy to six years of age receive a referral to Early On/IMH to determine if they qualify for any additional services and support. The Early On/IMH programs are designed to help families find the social, health and educational services that will promote the development of the young child(ren) they care for. 

Nutrition Resources

Infant formula and food can be expensive! The average family will spend nearly $1,800 each year providing formula for one baby. There are resources available to help you supplement your income to provide nutritious options for your child(ren). 

  • WIC
    WIC is a federally funded program through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) providing supplemental nutrition services to low-income pregnant women and children under five years of age. WIC is a great resource for families who need financial assistance and want to learn how to provide safe and healthy meals to foster a healthy baby. 
  • Produce Boxes 
    Becoming a licensed foster home at MCHS grants you access to resources secured through our community partnerships. We are proud to partner with The Eastern Market Partnership to provide our foster families with produce boxes filled with nutritious fruits and vegetables grown in Michigan. Each box differs from the last and gives families the produce they need to complete tasty and healthy meals. *This is a seasonal offering and will only continue while supplies last.

Clothing Resources 

As cute as baby clothing can be, it can also add up as infants experience rapid growth compared to adults!. There are resources available to foster families with infants looking for help with procuring infant clothing. 

  • Clothing Closets 
    Foster Care Closets provide clothing, shoes, bed linens, safe infant equipment and more to children in foster care at no cost. Our Foster Care team can provide a full list of local organizations that offer this assistance. 
  • Clothing Allowances
    For licensed foster families who take a child placement with little or no clothing, the State of Michigan will provide an initial clothing allowance to help foster parents purchase clothing. In addition, foster families receive a semi-annual clothing allowance in the spring and fall. At MCHS, our foster families can connect with their case worker at any time to request more assistance from MCHS and our amazing community of donors. 

To learn more about the resources we can provide, CLICK HERE or contact Juliana Rodriguez at jrodriguez@mchsmi.org.

Creating An Academic Environment At Home

Creating An Academic Environment At Home

Posted On : 9/14/2020

Creating an Academic Environment at Home

The school year is underway as students, parents and teachers adjust to the temporary normal of virtual learning. At Fostering Leadership Academy (FLA), families are given flexible learning options to cater to their needs. Whether students attend school in person or participate virtually, FLA provides individualized learning plans to meet the unique needs of each student. In honor of National Online Learning Day (September 15), read our blog for tips on how to create an environment at home that supports virtual learning. Remember – this is a “new normal” for all of us! 

Develop a Consistent Routine and Schedule 

It can be difficult for children to subscribe to a school routine at home. Developing a virtual learning schedule that works for your family can help facilitate an academic environment at home. When developing your schedule, make sure to factor in everyone at home who may be helping with virtual learning. Schedules should include time for recess, lunch and wellness breaks to allow your child to rest and exercise throughout the day and will help keep them focused. At FLA, recess and meditation are built into the schedule to encourage rest and relaxation. 

Have a Dedicated Work Space 

Take time to dedicate an area of your home to class time. Your child’s space should:

  • Be well lit. Lighting is important and helps kids stay alert and focused.
  • Have upright seating. It’s easy for children to want to relax at home. Seating them at a table with a chair will help them stay engaged in their virtual lessons. 
  • Be free of distractions. Find a space in your home that is free from televisions, video games and high-traffic areas of your home. 
  • Be engaging. Incorporate visual learning aids around your child’s workspace. Visit your local teacher store, office supply store or dollar store to find engaging aids to add.

Stock up on Supplies

Pens, pencils and folders — oh my! Having all of the necessary supplies at home will ensure your child is prepared for virtual learning. Your child’s teacher can provide a list of supplies appropriate for their grade level and needs throughout the school year. Students at FLA, whether attending virtually or in-person, are given a free backpack full of the supplies they need to have a successful year.

Consistent Communication

It’s important to develop great communication with your child(ren)’s teachers. Consistently check in with your child and communicate any needs or concerns with their teacher. If your child is struggling, your teacher will be able to provide additional support and resources to ensure that your child does not fall behind. 

Virtual learning is new to most families. If a personal situation arises or a major shift in the household occurs, be encouraged to disclose that information with your child’s instructor so they can understand changes in your child’s behavior or progress. Families and teachers should be transparent and in close contact with each other to develop trust and healthy relationships to have a successful school year. FLA staff lead with empathy and understand that shifts are a part of life. Speak with your child’s instructors about your child’s needs and any concerns you have. 

Keep Track of Online Resources & Login Information

In the age of virtual learning, students and parents are required to engage with their teachers online, which requires a great understanding of technology. To help tackle the technology side of virtual education: 

  • Bookmark frequently-visited websites. Make sure to bookmark the websites that your child will be required to visit often. This will make it easier for you to quickly find the websites you need.
  • Keep track of login information. Many of the online resources and education platforms will require a username and password to gain access. It can become overwhelming to remember the login information for you and your child(ren). Create a document or download an app that stores all of the login information for easy access.
  • Take time to watch tutorials. Each online platform is different and has its own set of challenges. Take some time to sit down with your family and review the “how-to” tutorials that walk through troubleshooting and fixing issues that may arise. If the website does not have this information you likely can find a video on YouTube that can help you with any technical issues. 

Virtual learning is a great option for families who require flexibility and prefer to remain socially-distanced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or a peer is interested in a school that offers both virtual and in-classroom options, CLICK HERE to learn more about Fostering Leadership Academy. We hope to hear from you!

Online Resources To Help Facilitate Virtual Learning At Home

Online Resources To Help Facilitate Virtual Learning At Home

Posted On : 9/24/2020

Online Resources To Help Facilitate Virtual Learning At Home

In this temporary new normal, families are finding themselves facilitating learning at home. Virtual learning can be overwhelming and many parents have to balance work in addition to their child’s schooling. Read our blog for online resources to help ease the challenges of virtual learning. 

At FLA, we offer families the option to attend school virtually or in-person. For students who attend school virtually, teachers actively engage and provide a tailored learning experience to meet the individual needs of each student. FLA staff understand the importance of consistent communication with families and building a strong relationship to foster growth and development.

Here are other great resources that can supplement at-home learning!

National Geographic Kids

National Geographic has been providing great educational content for children for decades! Their website has great tools and resources for your child(ren) to engage and have fun! CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Scholastic Learn at Home

For years, Scholastic has provided literary resources for families. Over the years they have adapted their offerings to meet the needs of children, parents and teachers. Scholastic continues to be a great resource for children’s literature. Now, Scholastic offers a Learn At Home monthly subscription service for families who need instant access to resources and experiences tailored by age. For $5.99 per month, families can access the resources they need to help guide their children’s academic progress at home. CLICK HERE to learn more. 


BrainPop provides great online tools and resources to help keep your children engaged and excited about learning. Their wide range of educational videos and games makes it fun to learn! The website provides content for each subject and includes resources to help English Language Learners. Parents can also access BrainPop Jr. for information for students in grades kindergarten through third grade. CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Khan Academy

Khan Academy Kids is a free, fun and educational program designed to inspire young children to become learners for life. The robust Khan Academy Kids curriculum and original content make learning engaging and fun for children ages two to seven. While most early learning apps focus on a narrow skill, this free program contains a breadth of learning materials across math, language arts, and social-emotional learning, aligned to the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Common Core. CLICK HERE to learn more. 

To learn more about Fostering Leadership Academy, CLICK HERE.

MCHS, Fostering Leadership Academy & The Journey To Being Truly “Trauma-Informed”

MCHS, Fostering Leadership Academy & The Journey To Being Truly “Trauma-Informed”

Posted On : 8/24/2020

MCHS, Fostering Leadership Academy & The Journey To Being Truly “Trauma-Informed,”

At MCHS, we’re committed to creating a truly trauma-informed community. But what does that mean? It’s no secret that the children and families we serve have survived significant trauma in ways that most of us couldn’t fathom. As an organization dedicated to serving their needs and creating brighter futures for each and every family we come across, this means that every interaction must be trauma-informed. From our youth specialists, clinical therapists, social workers all the way to our development and finance staff, MCHS is committed to teaching our entire community how to best serve our youth and stop the ongoing trauma that vulnerable communities face generation to generation. 

Trauma does not have one look, shape or form. It resurfaces at unexpected times and lingers the span of a lifetime, sometimes quietly and sometimes painfully loud. We know that children who’ve survived trauma develop mental, emotional and cognitive setbacks as a result of self-protection and defense. We know that trauma can hinder a child’s ability to form deep, loving connections — for their only experience with the love of a parent comes with the burn of abuse or neglect. We know that trauma significantly impacts a child’s ability to learn in a traditional school setting. And we know that trauma continues to transform and surprise even the experts. This is why we call it a journey, not a destination. 

That’s also why we’re breaking ground on Michigan’s first true trauma-informed K-8 charter school, Fostering Leadership Academy. We kick off our inaugural academic year on September 8 for grades 6-8 at our Kresge building. Accredited by and partnered with Grand Valley State University, we know that the need for trauma-informed education is so great in our area that this model is just the beginning. Principal Abby Stewart leads the staff at FLA with trauma-informed curriculum, small class sizes and individual learning plans. Each student’s education path must be as different as his or her thumbprint because we know that education is not one-size-fits-all, especially in a pandemic. The staff is trained in restorative practices, positive behavior interventions and empathy rather than control. FLA goes below the surface to understand why behaviors are happening rather than punishing behavior for happening. In short, at FLA, the staff listens. Every child, regardless of their past, deserves the opportunity to an education that works for them. 

To learn more about our journey to becoming truly trauma-informed and how you can support, contact info@mchsmi.org. 

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