Campaign aims to inspire kids to be physically active; 13,000 Michigan kids are in the foster care system and more foster parents are needed
Royal Oak, Mich. — May 10, 2021—Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency and designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), in tandem with its affiliate, Child Safe Michigan, is extending appreciation to foster parents and other members of the community who enhance the lives of children in foster care throughout May as part of National Foster Care Month. As part of the month’s activities, Judson Center has launched Spring into Action!—a donation drive to collect new bikes and running shoes to encourage youth in foster care to ‘get moving.’
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, there are more than 423,000 children in foster care nationally, and Michigan has nearly 13,000 children in the foster care system at any given time. Judson Center has been providing family focused services since 1924 in family preservation, foster care and adoption. Chief Strategy Officer Khadija Walker-Fobbs, who has mentored more than 50 youth in foster care, said Judson Center is guided by the belief that every child deserves a safe, permanent, and loving family where they can grow up to be happy and productive members of their communities.
“Judson Center is committed to reunifying children with their biological families, or absent that possibility, adoption by forever families,” Walker-Fobbs said. “The need for foster care parents is not seasonal, so we have a year-round mission to recruit and retain families to assist with children who come into our care. With Spring into Action!, we’re bringing awareness not only to the need for foster care families, but the importance of youth in foster care having access to healthy and fun activities.”
Judson Center is accepting Spring into Action! donations of new running shoes for ages 8 – 18 years and new bikes for ages toddler to teen throughout the month of May. For more information on how you or your organization can help, contact Peggy Kerr, Community Engagement and Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-837-2019.
Bouncing back from pandemic challenges
Following the challenges presented to foster care by the pandemic, including fewer calls about children in potential distress being reported with schools and churches not in session, the need for prospective foster parent physicals during a time of limited access to general healthcare services, and the barriers to in-person home visits, Judson Center placement services are bouncing back. Michelle Carlton, MS, a program manager for foster care, adoption and mentoring at Judson Center, reports that since October 2020, they have provided loving foster homes to 196 children and assisted 41 other children in reaching permanency through either reunification or adoption.
“Seeing positive outcomes for our kids is what really matters. I am proud to work at an agency with such dedicated foster parents and staff. None of this would be possible without them,” Carlton said.
Want to learn more about what it takes to become a foster parent? Judson Center is hosting a Virtual Info Panel at 11 am on Saturday, May 22nd. A panelist of foster and adoptive parents and agency staff will provide insight and answer questions. Click here to register for the free event. More information can also be found on Judson Center’s website at https://www.judsoncenter.org/child-family/foster-care/.
About Child Safe Michigan
Child Safe Michigan, an affiliate of Judson Center, provides foster care, adoption and mentoring services to neglected and abused children in Southeast Michigan. More than just meeting the basic requirements, Child Safe provides safety and stability allowing children to grow and thrive in our care. Child Safe received the 2019 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Team Excellence award for its commitment to Michigan children and families. Visit https://www.childsafemichigan.org/ to learn more.
About Judson Center
Judson Center, trusted by Michigan families for more than 97 years, is a non-profit human service agency that provides comprehensive services that strengthen children, adults and families impacted by abuse and neglect, autism, developmental, behavioral, and physical health challenges so they can achieve whole health, well-being, and maximum potential. Judson Center also offers integrated primary healthcare for all through Judson Center Family Health in Warren and is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Since opening its doors in 1924, Judson Center has grown to change the lives of over 12,000 children, adults, and families each year. Judson Center has offices in Genesee, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. Headquarters are located at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-3277. Learn more at https://www.judsoncenter.org/.