State Leaders and Faith Community Gather for Third Annual Foster Care/Adoption SummitContact: Dave Akerly, DHS Director of Communications 517-373-2059
Lansing, Mich. April 29, 2014 – The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) and its faith community partners hosted the third annual statewide summit in the Kellogg Center on Michigan State University’s campus in East Lansing.
The Faith-Based Initiative on Foster Care and Adoption works to bring many congregations and faith leaders together with DHS & agency partners. The goal is to help increase faith community involvement in growing the number of foster and adoptive homes across Michigan and to support the many needs of children in the foster care system.
“Since 2007, we have been working with our faith based partners on the mission of supporting our children in care,” said Maura Corrigan, DHS director. “We are proud of our accomplishments together. We look forward to building faith communities coalitions in every county.”
Faith-based partners have always been a critical link in attracting and retaining foster and adoptive parents through the individual efforts of various churches and religious groups. The latest summit once again reflects a more recent, concerted effort to maximize resources within the diverse faith community, harnessing time and talent toward a common goal and doing this in partnership with other community agencies and DHS.
Noted speakers at the summit included, among others, the Rev. Dr. Kate Thoresen, Coordinator of the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care; Pastor Kyle Ray, Senior Pastor of Kentwood Church and Bishop Aaron Blake, Director of Harvest Family Life Ministries & Chairman of the Texas Advisory Council.
This year’s summit also featured a special video message from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, an address on the Mental Health Commission report by Jim Haveman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health and presentation of the DHS Faith-Based Partnership Awards to various honorees. The awards were handed out by DHS director Corrigan, State Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-Hillsdale) and State Rep. Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater). Sen. Caswell and Rep. Kurtz were also honored for their commitment and long-standing support of the Faith-Based Initiative and foster/adoptive families.