12 Dec FCAA Michigan Trains the Foster Care Review Board
This year, the Michigan Chapter of Foster Care Alumni of America conducted the state’s Foster Care Review Board annual training. The Foster Care Review Board Program is administered by the michigan State Supreme Court to ensure safety and permanency for children in the state foster care system. More than 250 volunteers attended the all-day training to learn what more they can do to strengthen the child welfare system as they review cases and make recommendations on the behalf of foster children.
One of the priorities of the Michigan chapter is to educate the community and act as an example of what success after foster care looks like. “People don’t see the positive stories about people who are so resilient that they overcome challenges from foster care, ” explained chapter president Robert Thomas, who facilitated the training. Robert has been on the Foster Care Review Board since 2010 and was approached to organize the training.
The diverse group of alumni who presented to the Foster Care Review Board include lawyers, professors, engineers, child welfare professionals, human resource professionals, medical professionals and current college students. “Everybody who was a part of the training experienced the foster care system, except one ally,” explained Robert. “It was coming from people who came out of the foster care system. …The volunteers see and hear all these bad cases and bad news of people coming from the system. One of the rings they got out of it was seeking that we aren’t just kids from foster care, but we also are professionals. They see these faces and it gives them insight and hope. …It was good for them to see what a foster kid can become.”
During the training, the Michigan chapter presented on:
- Childhood trauma and how it affects education
- Navigating a child’s foster and birth family
- The untold stories of foster children
- Sibling visits and connections
- Caseworker turnover
- Guardian ad Litems and the courts
Dr. Julia Charles was the dynamic keynote speaker. She shared about her experience in the child welfare system and how it shaped the woman she’s become. Julia was adopted at the age of 23 by her foster mother. In her message, she explained that although her experiences were traumatic, she would do it all again if it meant finding her forever home.
To learn more about the Michigan chapter click HERE to visit the chapter page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.