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MDHHS seeking applicants for Kinship Advisory Council

Relatives, loved ones, others involved with kinship care invited to apply

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is seeking applications from individuals involved in kinship caring for children full-time to apply for its Kinship Advisory Council. 

The council is designed to help guide the department on the needs of kinship caregivers and the children in their care. Members advocate for reform that will lead to a better coordinated and family-centered system.  

Kinship care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by family members or other important adults in the child’s life. This could include grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings or family friends. Kinship care can occur when a child is placed through the MDHHS foster care system or through an arrangement between the parent and the kinship caregiver.   

“Michigan has been a national leader in kinship care and believes children who need placements outside their homes should be placed with relatives or other close family friends whenever possible,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “This allows children to maintain connections with relatives, friends and communities they know and aligns with our priority to keep families together.” 

The Kinship Advisory Council goals include: 

  • Devise a plan to engage support groups and programs providing services to kinship families to obtain a better understanding of the issues facing kinship families.  
  • Establish a public awareness campaign to inform the public about kinship caregivers and the state’s efforts to better serve them by increasing visibility of the Kinship Support Program. 
  • Consult and collaborate with the Kinship Support Program on the design and administration of that program. 
  • Identify gaps and barriers for kinship families regarding service awareness, coordination and utilization, peer support and the use of technology to create pathways to resources and supports. 
  • Ensure equity is considered when broader systemic strategic suggestions are made. 

The Kinship Advisory Council is actively seeking new members and encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds, including professionals from various fields and individuals with lived kinship experience. Applications for membership must be submitted by Friday, June 28 at  

Anyone who is interested in being considered for the Kinship Advisory Council or has questions on the application process can email Jessica Bodell at  

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