Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw hosted its annual Birth Mother’s Day celebration on Saturday, May 13th. Birth mothers, adoptive families, adoptees, and other friends of the program were in attendance. The event consisted of a luncheon, crafts, and an open-mic time for participants to share affirmations. We are ever grateful to the student interns who assisted in coordinating this event, as well as the many community donors who provided food and dessert for the luncheon.
Every child deserves a loving, supportive, and safe home. Every child deserves to thrive in an environment that supports their creativity, dreams, and sheer curiosity. Every child deserves to be taken care of and fed without fear. Every child deserves to be hugged and told that they are loved.
Unfortunately, this is not what every child receives when they are born.
Currently, there are approximately 14,000 children in foster care in Michigan. This is where our foster care team steps in to be a voice and advocate for these children.
Our foster care team works one-on-one with the birth parents, children, and foster parents to ensure that all of the child’s needs are being met. The case managers also help the birth parents access community services and resources to help alleviate the barriers that brought the children in care. This could be anything from substance abuse issues, housing, employment, mental health issues, or medical issues. The case managers work with the birth and foster parents to provide services for the children if they are experiencing any academic, mental health, or behavioral issues.
There are two main goals of the foster care program. The first goal is to achieve permanency for the child in a timely manner. Ideally, this would be reunification with the birth parents when the parents have removed the barriers that brought the child into care. The other option for permanency is adoption once the court system has decided that the birth parents are not able to appropriately provide for the child. Our second main goal goes hand-in-hand with the first goal and it is to keep the focus on the child’s well-being and what is in their best interest. Our case managers and foster parents are the voice for the child. Whether it be attending school board meetings, therapy sessions, medical appointments, etc to ensure that the child is receiving the best and most appropriate services possible. We strive to work with the family to help them stay together. However, sometimes that cannot be achieved and it is in the child’s best interest to remain with their foster family on a more permanent basis.
Our foster parents play a vital role in the foster care system and the children’s lives. They provide the children with a supportive, nurturing family environment and treat the children as if they were their own. They provide for the child’s medical, emotional, developmental, and educational needs. They work with the foster care workers to be an advocate for the children. They also support the child’s reunification plan wit
h the birth family. In some case, the foster family agrees to care for the child for a longer period of time.
We are always looking for individuals, couples, and families that are looking for a way to help their community and the families within them. Foster parents have a tough job but it makes a huge impact in a child’s life and their family’s lives.
Qualifications of a foster parent/family include:
• Being of good moral character
• Ability to physically, mentally, and emotionally provide for the needs of foster children
• Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the needs of children
• A willingness and ability to work with the child’s family
• Completion all required trainings
If you are interested in learning more about our program and how you can help, please contact our foster care department at 734-971-9781 ext 448 or go to our link and fill out an interest form.
Family Time is a program which offers supervised parenting sessions in cases where it may not be safe for one parent to be alone with their children. Most of these cases are court ordered and often related to domestic violence.
Tanya’s situation was a little different; at 3 years old she lived with her dad and got to see her mom for a few hours each week at Catholic Social Services. Tanya’s mother Deana had severe mental health issues and as much as she loved her daughter, was not able to provide a safe environment for Tanya even for an afternoon.
For many families in this situation, Tanya wouldn’t be able to have a relationship with her mother. CSSW staff stayed in the room each week while Tanya and her mother played games and told stories. Once in a while, staff might help mom stay on track and avoid conversations or situations that might seem scary to Tanya. Mom gained confidence as Tanya was thrilled to see her every week.
Last week Tanya didn’t feel good at all, but came to Family Time and ran right into her mother’s arms to be snuggled and comforted. This time of bonding, essential to Tanya’s development, might not seem extraordinary to other families, but for this mother and daughter was a profound milestone that nurtured the spirit and psyche of both. What seems as natural and ordinary as a mother caring for her daughter could not have happened without the safe, secure and supportive environment offered by the Family Time program and their skilled staff.
The limitations of Deana’s ability to safely parent Tanya might never go away, but her influence on Tanya’s future cannot be underestimated. This experience at Family Time offers the best chance of instilling it with a positive and rewarding foundation.
Go home and love your family.”
Are you ready to shop, moms? On Sunday, May 21, between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM, Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County will host its annual Mom 2 Mom sale to benefit the Thrive parenting classes of our Family Time program. The sale will take place at our building on 4925 Packard Road in Ann Arbor.
Moms in the know are sure to find fantastic deals on toys, equipment, clothing, and more. Admission after 9:00 AM is $2.00. Early Bird admission for $3.00 begins at 8:30 AM. Admission includes an automatic raffle entry for fabulous children’s items! Admission is free for children under 12!
Looking to sell some of your own children’s items? Selling tables are available for $20, but quantity is limited, so act fast!
For questions or to reserve a table, contact Talia Anderson at email@example.com, or 734-926-0158.