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Crain’s Detroit Business: Best-Managed Nonprofit

Crain’s Detroit Business: Best-Managed Nonprofit

Posted On : 11/30/20

Crain’s Detroit Business: Best-Managed Nonprofit, 11/30/20

Click HERE to read the full story on Crain’s Detroit Business

Methodist Children’s Home Society Named Crain’s
2020 Best-Managed Nonprofit

In a relentless year of uncertainty and surprise, Methodist Children’s Home Society proudly accepts the honor of being named Crain’s
2020 Best-Managed Nonprofit.

Typically the most recognizable award annually bestowed upon a nonprofit in Michigan, it’s also the most competitive. As shared by Crain’s Detroit Business, the program “honors the best in leadership and financial stewardship in Southeast Michigan’s nonprofit community. This was not your average year by any stretch. But judges said were awed at how the nonprofits under consideration rose to the occasion and then some, pivoting, collaborating, being creative and innovative and through it all, being good stewards of the people they serve.”

Yet, as emphasized by Kevin Roach, “This recognition was about all the employees, the entire team, each of whom did their part in ensuring the very best care and services to children and families in Michigan. That regardless of how challenging and uncertain 2020 was, our staff came together in the most remarkable ways, with a determination and commitment to ensure we emerged stronger. I couldn’t be more proud to be a small part of this effort and how the team continued to fight through the year, through everything, to make MCHS what we are today and what we will be tomorrow.”

This year, the annual award hosted by Crain’s Detroit Business focused on how nonprofits have adapted their operations to continue fulfilling their missions in the age of COVID-19.

MCHS was recognized for its dedication to not only the children, families and communities we serve, but also to its essential workers – our silent heroes of this pandemic.

In March, when the pandemic reached Michigan, MCHS quickly pivoted to protect its entire community with a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We knew this plan had to be as aggressive as the virus itself. This included implementing an internal day care to support staff who found themselves with children at home once schools closed. Also, an employee assistance fund was established, hazard pay for essential staff who remained on campus daily began and remote options for non-essential staff who had the ability to work from home. Direct care and operations staff saw increased salaries to recognize the risk they faced continuing around the clock care for our children through food, health, education, therapy services and general care.

The agency also pivoted its fundraising goals as all planned in-person events for the remainder of the year were cancelled. The focus quickly shifted to creating the MCHS COVID-19 Relief Fund, a majorly successful campaign that supported ongoing essential operations helping the agency continue its mission of uplifting the most vulnerable populations through an incomprehensible time in history. Through this campaign, we found that our partners – both existing and new – felt strongly compelled to do their part in helping others through this pandemic. Our partners heard our calling and stepped up in a huge way!

During 2020, the children who live on campus as part of the MCHS residential treatment program taught its staff the greatest lesson of all – the power of dignity and respect. As the world outside battled severe racial injustice at a boiling point with the death of George Floyd, the foster care world was also rocked by the death of 16-year old Cornelius Frederick, a teen at a residential facility in Michigan who died from a physical restraint by staff. With this news, while MCHS continued the external fight against COVID-19 to protect our youth, it also made the organic change within to become the first restraint-free residential treatment program in the state. We knew that safety and protection starts internally. Our children deserve the restored respect and dignity that they had already been stripped of early in life. MCHS, like every other organization in 2020, has gone through a year of massive change and uncertainty. We’ve upended our service lines, delivering them at times through virtual format only. We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve lost routine. We continue to struggle with the collective grief the world is experiencing. But through it all, we will come out stronger. We know that our relationships are what uplift us and allows us to continue our mission through the darkest days. We know that none of this is possible without our amazing staff who continue to show up for our children, day in and day out. We send a heartfelt THANK YOU to all who make MCHS the organization it is today.

Click HERE to read the full story on Crain’s Detroit Business

Q&A With T.I.P.S. Supervisor Andrea Dye-Farginson

Q&A With T.I.P.S. Supervisor Andrea Dye-Farginson

Posted On : 10/6/2020

The Teen Infant Parenting Services (T.I.P.S.) program supports young, displaced mothers in search of support and safety. The program provides young mothers, ages 18-24, with resources to help them gain access to jobs, housing, and bright futures. T.I.P.S. Supervisor Andrea Dye-Farginson has led the program for more than 22 years and shared insight into the program and her favorite moments from her tenure. 

Q: How do mothers become a part of the program?

Andrea: Pregnant or parenting mothers, between the ages of 18-24, who reside in emergency shelters are recommended to our program. We evaluate each case to ensure they will be a good fit and benefit from our residential program. The program is completely voluntary and each mother can choose which resources she would like to receive. Each family is given their own furnished apartment for them to live comfortably and have direct access to the program supervisors and resources. The mothers can voluntarily stay in the program for two years. Our goal is for each mom to leave our program with a consistent stream of income and safe, affordable housing. 

Q: What kind of programming does T.I.P.S. provide? 

Andrea: T.I.P.S. provides women with information and tools they need to lead successful lives. Many young mothers don’t have access to information to help them find jobs and affordable housing. We lead sessions that teach women interpersonal and life skills including financial literacy, home management, parenting skills, financial aid assistance and more!

Q: What inspires you to work with young mothers? 

Andrea: I love helping homeless young women gain access to a safe and clean environment for their families. It’s a place where mothers can be united with their families. Our programs help families stay together by giving them the resources they need to create a safe environment for their children. 

Q: What is the biggest challenge young mothers face? How does T.I.P.S. address that need? 

Andrea: One of the biggest challenges young mothers face is finding and maintaining employment. Many of the ladies did not complete high school and don’t have job training. Because of this, they have a hard time staying employed. Our program works with young mothers to teach them life skills including, but not limited to: resume writing, job-readiness skills and interview preparedness. 

Q: How do you encourage young mothers to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?

Andrea: Many of the women that come into our program have low self-esteem and need affirmation and encouragement to know they can succeed. We assist them through the barriers they face by providing available resources, counseling and positive prompts. 

Q: How has the program adjusted to support the new needs of young mothers through the last twenty years? 

Andrea: In the most recent years, mental health has become an issue impacting more of our program participants. We encourage our mothers to seek professional help and receive the resources and care they need to heal and address their mental health concerns. 

Q: Do you have a favorite success story? 

Andrea: Our program has had many successes but Bianca’s story is unforgettable. She entered our program at the young age of seventeen with her daughter. She was different. Many girls that enter our program struggle with confidence but Bianca was confident and passionate. She was a self-starter and was proactive about creating a plan to obtain her goals. Since leaving our program, she’s obtained a job and a home with her husband and three children. She is an entrepreneur and owns an event planning company and event space. When I met Bianca, I knew she would be successful because of her confidence and her drive.

To learn more about our T.I.P.S. program, CLICK HERE or contact T.I.P.S. Supervisor Andrea Dye-Farginson at adfarginson@mchsmi.org

2019 BOMA Detroit Bike Build

BOMA Metro Detroit members personally deliver bikes to boys at their cottages on May 16 2019.

 

Bikes For All!

Posted On : 5/16/19

We say this often but it’s true — We are only as strong as the community that supports us. On May 16, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Metropolitan Detroit returned for their annual on-campus bike building event. This year, more than 60 volunteers spent the day with us to supply every child in our residential program with a brand new, hand assembled and personally delivered bike and helmet!

At the same time, other members of BOMA and Brightview built the groundwork for a beautiful veggie garden that our first ever Garden Club will care for over the summer.

It was a day of joy and excitement that goes beyond just bikes or vegetables, but something much deeper. When we think of the building blocks of childhood, the things that every child should have in his or her life, a bike is high on that list. And for our group of children, some who have never had a bike and others who long for their old bikes, we know that a bike comes to represent so much more.

Seeing our children on the bikes over the last month, with smiles as big as our campus, has been amazing. For those who never owned a bike of their own, it was a rite of passage. And for others who left their bikes and most of what they knew behind when they entered the foster care system, it represented a sense of freedom. And for all of our children, regardless of their age, it represented hope and the promise of better days ahead… That there is still so much good in a world that hasn’t been good to them.

From the children, staff and families at MCHS to our friends at BOMA Metro Detroit, THANK YOU for your amazing gift.  

2019 BOMA Detroit Bike Build

BOMA Metro Detroit members personally deliver bikes to boys at their cottages on May 16 2019.

 

2019 Golf Classic

2019 Golf Classic

Posted On : 6/10/19

The rain didn’t stop our shine as we held our 4th annual Golf Classic at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. With just a brief delay in tee time, more than one hundred golfers joined us for a day filled with fun, golf, and giving back.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors and golfers, we were able to raise a record-breaking amount of funds, directly impacting our mission of providing individualized treatment, care, advocacy, and permanency to children and families impacted by childhood trauma. Funds raised will help us provide our youth with summer shoes, a trip to the Detroit Zoo, rubber mulch for their playground, and provide resources to our Detroit Resource Center. Our day ended with an impactful program, and attendees leaving with raffle prizes, silent auction items and a sense of knowing they made a difference for our children. 

A special thank you to our premiere sponsors: DTE Energy Foundation, Advantage Living Centers, NSA Architects, Total Healthcare, Guy Hurley, Pharmascript, Kienbaum Hardy Viviano Pelton Forrest, E&L Construction Group Inc., DDI Insurance, White Construction, Bank of America, All Inclusive, Detroit Free Press, Yeo & Yeo, DBbusiness, PNC Bank, and Suburban Eye Care. Also, thank you to our non-golfing sponsors: Inc. Systems, Watkins Ross, Embassy Title Agency, New Found Hope Community Church, Occupational Car Services, Dickinson Wright, Lawson’s, and our very own MCHS Board of Directors. 

Thank you to all of our volunteers and staff who helped coordinate this successful event! We look forward to next year!

What To Expect At Our Annual Gala

What To Expect At Our Annual Gala

Posted On : 10/9/2019

As MCHS continues to grow and increase its footprint in southeast Michigan, we thought “Rooting For Their Future” was an ode to the future of our children, of our organization and of the community we serve. As we grow into our next century of care, we’re laying new roots down through innovative program expansion and child abuse prevention.

The gala will be held at the Roostertail near downtown Detroit. The upscale venue offers gorgeous sunset views of the Detroit River and provides an ambiance to create the perfect formal evening for our guests! Attendees will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the community’s most charitable CEOs, political leaders and philanthropists, all coming together for our mission. 

The evening’s program will be led by Detroit’s very own Erika Erickson of Fox 2 News. In addition to dining a hand crafted menu and unlimited cocktail options, guests will enjoy heartwarming testimonials, high end auction and raffle items (wait for the twist!) and an unforgettable performance by Nuclassica, an electro-pop violin musical experience! The night will be jam-packed with surprises and a special announcement about the future of MCHS. 

THE BASICS:

Attire: Formal wear to black tie

What time to arrive: You’ll want to arrive at 6 pm to check in and get the first look at our silent auction items and entertainment! 

What’s included: Full plated meal and an open bar

Entertainment: Nuclassica (Check out one of their performances here to get excited!)

Parking: Complimentary valet services will be available for all guests. 

Coat Check: Complimentary coat check will be available for all guests.

Where do the funds raised go: 100% of funds raised at this year’s gala go directly toward our MAJOR 2020 endeavor (to be revealed at the gala)!

Five Myths About Foster Care & Adoption

Five Myths About Foster Care & Adoption

Posted On : 8/16/19 (Updated 5/7/2020)

So you’re interested in foster care and adoption? There’s a ton of information out there surrounding foster care and adoption, but the tricky part is separating the truth from the myths. We’re here to help you figure it out!

Myth: Adopting a child is expensive. 

False! Private adoption can be expensive. However, if you’re interested in adopting through your local Placement Agency Foster Care (PAFC) Services, expenses are relatively affordable and in some cases, fees could be waived! When participating in adoption through the state of Michigan, parents could pay up to $300 in court fees. This fee may be reimbursed through the state or agency, making the adoption free!

Myth: Teenagers don’t want to be adopted and are more difficult to care for. 

False! Everyone needs a family, including teens in foster care. In some cases, teenagers have been in the system for many years and desire to have a family to call their own. Each one deserves the love a family has to give and is eager to find that forever family. As teens navigate closer to adulthood, they need all the support they can get!

Myth: MCHS can discriminate against potential foster families based on sexual orientation. 

False! If you have love in your heart and meet the requirements set by the state, then you qualify as a potential foster parent. Despite the September 2019 Michigan ruling that allows religious-based agencies to discriminate against families in the LGBTQ community, MCHS is proud to work with families of all backgrounds if they have love in their hearts and a safe home. Additionally, MCHS is a non-secular organization. The state of Michigan recently conducted a training session for foster care and adoption agencies to reiterate the Michigan Department of Human Health and Services (MDHHS) non-discrimination policy stating “Adoption and Placement Agency Foster Care (PAFC) Services contracts prohibit discrimination against any individual or group because of race, sex, religion, age, national origin, color, height, weight, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, political beliefs, or disability.” MCHS has a responsibility to abide by state rules and provide all potential foster and/or adoptive parents with the resources they need to thrive.

Myth: The cutoff age for the foster care system is 18. 

False! When children in foster care turn 18, in the state of Michigan, they have the option to request voluntary foster care status. This means children from 18-21 have the option to remain in system and continue receiving the placement services provided by the agency. At MCHS, children can apply to our Independent Living Program (ILP) starting at 16. This transitional living program provides resources and support to boys preparing for life after foster care. Residents must be in school or working while we help prepare them with necessary life skills such as financial literacy, trade skills, job readiness, etc. 

Myth: Kids in foster care are mistreated.

False! People hear the term “foster care” and Hollywood characters, like Mrs. Hannigan from Annie, come to mind. MCHS provides quality care for children in our system and ensures that the families they are paired with are equipped and prepared to provide the best environment for each child. Each family is required to attend a three hour orientation in addition to a two-day state developed PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) program. Each potential foster family also goes through an extensive assessment process to become licensed for fostering. Once approved and paired with a child, our foster families are also subject to consistent an unplanned home visits to ensure the child’s environment promotes safety, love and healing.  

Truth: MCHS is your trusted resource!

MCHS provides top of the line support and resources to adoptive and foster families. We have many children waiting and ready to be welcomed into your loving home! 

For more information about foster care and adoption, CLICK HERE!

Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Considering Adoption, 11/8/2019

Questions You Should Ask Yourself When Considering Adoption, 11/8/2019

It’s no doubt that the adoption process can seem daunting. We’re here to help! Here are a few questions you should ask when considering adoption. 

Question: What are the child’s current routine and schedule?

Understanding the existing routine of the child’s life will be advantageous in their adaptation process. Speak with your caseworker and therapist to gain insight into the daily activities your child participates in to help them retain a sense of normalcy in their new home.

Question: What type of relationship did the child have with their birth parents?

It’s important to understand the child’s previous or existing relationship with their birth parents. The quality of their relationship with their birth parents may affect how they attach to their new family and home. Remember that foster care children are victims of circumstance. Time and patience are required to ensure a welcoming environment. 

Question: What types of behaviors are you willing to work with? Which behaviors do you consider unacceptable?

If you’re adopting a child with a traumatic past, you must be prepared to ask yourself what kind of behaviors are you willing to accept and which are unacceptable. It will be vital to study your child’s records and diagnoses from the caseworker and therapist to help you understand the potential behaviors of your child. This will help you determine your boundaries as it relates to behavior.  

Question: If the child is not a member of my race/ethnicity, how do they feel about being a member of a family of my race/ethnicity?

Blending into a new home is difficult. Blending into a new home of a different race/ethnicity is even more challenging. Make sure to check with the child to get their thoughts and concerns around joining a family of different races/ethnicity. Are you willing to incorporate the traditions and values of the child’s race/ethnicity into your home? 

Question: Are you open to a child who expresses confusion regarding their gender or sexual identity? 

It’s necessary to understand the identity of your child. Speak with caseworkers and therapists to gain an understanding of how your child currently identifies. Be sure to educate yourself on the fluidity of gender identity and sexual orientation. Are you open and prepared to have a child who expresses confusion regarding their gender or sexual identity? 

These are just five ways to prepare yourself as you consider adopting. To speak with an adoption specialist, please contact (313) 531-6190 or CLICK HERE for more information. 

Six Ways To Prevent Substance Abuse Relapse During The Holidays

Six Ways To Prevent Substance Abuse Relapse During The Holidays

Posted On : 10/24/2019

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. It can be especially difficult for people who have battled substance abuse. With an increase in family gatherings and stress, individuals who struggle with substance abuse can feel an increased temptation to use during the holiday season. Whether you are personally affected by substance abuse or you know someone who struggles, here are six tips to help avoid relapse during the holiday season.

1.    Evaluate each situation

It’s important to have a game plan before arriving at holiday parties. Ask yourself a few questions before you arrive:

  • How long is the event? Is there a point during the event when substances will be highlighted (i.e. toasts)
  • Will there be any high tension moments that may cause an increase in stress?
  • Does the event space allow me to sit separately from the substances?

Understanding the layout of the event space and the agenda will help you prepare and understand the moments that may be most tempting.

2.    Bring the party with you

Before heading to the next party, ask the host what’s on the menu and should you be aware of any potential triggers. This information will help you gain an understanding of what you’ll experience. If there will be alcohol, request to have a non-alcoholic beverage or offer to bring your favorite drink.

3.    Keep stress under control

While the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be extremely stressful. Understanding your stressors will help you better assess situations and prepare for moments of high stress or anxiety. Consider practicing breathing techniques or meditation during the holidays to thwart you from the feeling of temptation.

4.    Accountability buddy

Ask a friend to join you as your accountability buddy! Have a conversation about your triggers and transparently share any concerns you have about attending an event. Create a list of boundaries that your accountability buddy can help you with. Consider asking your buddy to refrain from any substance use in solidarity with your choices. Your accountability buddy should be someone you trust.

5.    Rehearsed responses

People tend to ask a lot of questions, especially if you refrain from partaking in substance use. Before heading to the next event, create a shortlist of responses to recite if asked about your refusal of substances. Practice your responses in the mirror or rehearse with a trusted friend or family member. Your rehearsed responses will help decrease the anxiety that comes with saying “no” at holiday events.

6.    Lean on your support system

Your support system is rooting for you! Be encouraged to talk to your support system about your past and current struggles. Share your plan for the holiday season and lean on them for extra support through the end of the year. If you attend substance abuse support meetings, consider increasing your visits during the holiday season. Be encouraged to share your plan, victories, or setbacks. Your plan may help another during the holiday season.

What No One Tells You About Adoption

What No One Tells You About Adoption

Posted On : 11/19/2019

Adoption is a life changing experience that can positively impact the lives of everyone involved. However, everyone’s adoption process is different. Here are five things not commonly shared about adoption. 

You may fall in love instantly, but the child may not

Everyone dreams of love at first sight. While you may instantly love your adoptive child, they may not reciprocate those feelings immediately. Remember, this child will have mixed emotions about their new home and it may take a while for them to process their feelings. With time and patience, your child may learn to love their new surroundings and family. 

The child may want to seek their birth family.

As the child ages, there is a possibility that they will want to seek their birth family.  This is a natural feeling and one that you should prepare yourself for. Consider your feelings around your child engaging with their birth family and what that process would look like. 

Don’t expect a “thank you.” 

While your decision to adopt is undoubtedly commendable, you may not receive a verbal “thank you” from your adopted child. Remember that your child is a victim of circumstance. They did not ask for the life they lived before being placed in your home. Being patient and providing the love and safety they deserve will give them a feeling of gratitude, even if not outwardly expressed. 

You may question yourself.

There will be times during the adoption process when you ask yourself, “Am I making the right decision? Will the child adapt well? Will my family be open to receiving a new child?” There will be times when you will question your decision. Your adoption caseworker will be able to help you navigate your feelings. Ultimately, if you have love in your heart and a safe home environment, you are saving a child’s life. 

Build your support network.

It truly takes a village to raise a child, and an adoptive child is no different. It will be vital for you to have a strong support system to help you through this process. Your case manager, family, friends, and fellow adoptive parents will be great resources for emotional support and valuable information to help you through the process. 

To speak with an adoption specialist, please contact (313) 531-6190 or CLICK HERE for more information.

Home For The Holidays

Home For The Holidays

Posted On : 12/19/2019

The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, especially for foster children who are adjusting to a new home. Read below for ways to decrease the stress around transitioning into a new home during the holidays. 

Ask about their traditions. 

Sit down with your child and inquire about their favorite holiday traditions of their family or past foster families. Consider incorporating some or all of their traditions into your seasonal festivities. This is a great way to provide a sense of normalcy during their holiday season. 

Be transparent about upcoming events. 

Transparency is a great way to prepare your child for the holiday season. Discuss the events, traditions, and ceremonies you plan to attend. Give them insight into what each obligation entails and who will be attending.

Be patient. 

While the holiday season is filled with cheer and joy for most, it may be an emotionally difficult time for your child. Remain patient and keep an open dialogue with what you can do to ease any pain associated with the holidays. 

Prepare your family. 

Have a discussion with your family, both immediate and extended, about your foster child. Be open about any potential triggers your child may have and prepare your family for any behavioral tendencies your child may express. 

Get them involved.

Create fun memories and get your child involved in your holiday preparations! Consider fun holiday activities like decorating, baking and games and give your child some accountability in creating the holiday atmosphere. 

Incorporate their biological family. 

If your child would like to spend time with their biological family during the holiday (if appropriate) consider speaking with your caseworker about arranging a time with their family.

The holidays are a great time for creating new memories filled with love! CLICK HERE for more information about foster care and adoption.

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