Pathways to Potential Program to Help Children Stay in School and Learn

August 9, 2012 Last week in Detroit, Governor Rick Snyder joined with community leaders in kicking off Pathways to Potential -- a new program from the State of Michigan designed to help schoolchildren across the state. Maura D. Corrigan, the director of the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS), explains how that program will work in today's Detroit News:

Michigan Department of Human Services director Maura Corrigan In the upcoming school year, schoolchildren in Detroit, as well as in Saginaw, Pontiac and Flint, will find that they have a champion in their corner with the implementation of Pathways to Potential. DHS will dedicate a full-time social worker inside the 22 pilot schools and, by January, each elementary public school in these four communities will have its own full-time DHS social worker.

A key focus for each of our workers will be tackling the ongoing problem of truancy, and removing barriers that keep children from attending school. From hunger and transportation to the need for tutoring or mentorship, these social workers will be side-by-side with parents and teachers, identifying and implementing the many public and nonprofit resources necessary to ensure our children stay in school and learn.

But it's not just the children for whom these workers have been dedicated. Our case workers will be a resource serving an entire neighborhood, regardless of whether those in need of assistance are DHS clients. In this way, the school becomes the hub of the neighborhood and stabilizing presence...

Through Pathways to Potential, DHS workers will be on hand and accessible to assist families with issues ranging from employment opportunities to job preparedness.

By helping parents take the next steps on the road to self-sufficiency, an independent lifestyle is modeled for their children. Through that independence comes the hope of economic prosperity and opportunity.