Michigan Department of Human Services, Spaulding for Children kick off I-CARE 365 campaign aimed at recruiting foster and adoptive parents

Contact: Christina Fecher, media relations coordinator 517-373-7394

Sept. 15, 2011

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in partnership with Spaulding for Children, are proud to announce the kick-off event for a diligent campaign aimed at recruiting foster and adoptive parents in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. The tri-county project is called Inter-Agency Community Adoption/foster Family Recruitment Exchange, I-CARE 365.

"The Oakland, Macomb and Wayne county offices of the Michigan Department of Human Services, along with our community partners at Spaulding for Children, are excited about receiving a $2 million federal grant," Oakland County MDHHS Director Susan Hull said.

"As we move forward from our planning year into implementation, we hope to learn new and innovative ways to recruit and retain quality foster and adoptive parents."

The event will be held at Spaulding for Children, 16250 Northland Dr., in Southfield, Mich. 48075 from 11 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. 

The I-CARE 365 Project is a multi-faceted recruitment program designed to recruit, retain, train, utilize, and support a range of resource families for children and youth. Integrating the philosophy that recruitment should occur every day in all child welfare departments, the project will promote safety, permanence and well-being for Michigan children and increase positive permanency outcomes for children by:

- Increasing awareness of the need for resource families;
- Improving timely achievement of permanency goals for children;
- Increasing appropriate placement resources for teens, juvenile sex offenders, youth in residential treatment settings, youth in psychiatric in-patient settings, children with disabilities or other physical care needs, African Americans and large sibling groups; and
- Improving customer service and increasing retention rates among newly recruited resource families.

In July, there were 14,535 children in foster care statewide. Of those, 3,813 children were from Wayne County, 970 children were from Macomb County, and 775 children were from Oakland County.

Hull said the project will also emphasize public and private agency partnerships, the involvement of all similarly focused projects, and a data-driven evaluation that will result in a comprehensive evaluation report and assist in developing a replication manual.

For more information on MDHHS, please visit www.michigan.gov/mdhhs. Follow MDHHS on Twitter @MichiganDHS.