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Granholm Says Family Resource Centers are Critical to Helping Children and Families Succeed Governor celebrates center at McKinley Foundation Academy

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Ismael Ahmed today visited a newly opened Family Resource Center inside Flint's McKinley Foundation Academy made possible by a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

"Family Resource Centers help children and families succeed by offering human services in a safe, non-threatening school environment," Granholm said.  "Each center uses community resources to support school-age children and their families in and out of the classroom, allowing educators to focus on preparing tomorrow's leaders."

Family Resource Centers, a Granholm initiative, began with 20 sites in 2003.  The centers, located within or near select elementary and middle schools based on need, coordinate services according to goals developed and shared by students' families, the school, local community and government agencies.  There are currently 49 Family Resource Centers operating statewide.

McKinley's Family Resource Center is staffed by two caseworkers from the Genesee County DHS office.  The center provides all DHS services as well as direct support services and referrals for other community resources.

"All children should be able to go to school with their heads held high so they can concentrate on learning," Ahmed said.  "As families continue to struggle in today's economy, we have to ensure that every child has an opportunity for a bright future."

"The C.S. Mott Foundation made this grant as part of our ongoing commitment to help families lift themselves out of poverty and to increase the educational outcomes of Flint children," said Shannon Polk, Mott associate program officer.  "This grant enables the Michigan Department of Human Services to produce measurable results by providing caseworker services to 80 percent of Flint Community Schools' middle school students."

The launch of McKinley's Family Resource Center is part of the DHS "Helping Families 101: Get Ready 2 Learn" statewide campaign that focuses on the combined efforts of the department and its partners to meet families' ongoing needs so children can focus on learning.