Thursday, June 20 was Michigan's Family Reunification Day and families, judges and justices from around the area celebrated reunifying foster children with their families.
The Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services held a Reunification event at the Michigan Hall of Justice on June 30th. The event featured several speakers, including reunified families and remarks from Chief Justice Stephen Markman and Justice Bridget McCormack. More information are videos are available on the Court’s website and on their Youtube channel (below).
On June 24, 2016, a Reunification Day celebration was held at the Hall of Justice in Lansing. SCAO’s Child Welfare Services Division, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and several tribes celebrated successful efforts at family reunification as part of Michigan’s contribution to National Reunification Month. Families who have reunified attended, and the program featured remarks by judges and child welfare advocates on the topic of family preservation and reunification. The vital role that community partners play in helping to strengthen, support, and reunify families was a focal point.
This state and tribal event jwas also a learning opportunity for the planners who intend to share resources so that other counties and tribes can have local events next year. Over the years, several Michigan counties had had events, but this was the first statewide recognition of Reunification Day. If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth Henderson, SCAO Child Welfare Services, at 517-373-2621 or HendersonE@courts.mi.gov.
On June 26, 2015, Washtenaw County had their first Reunification Day. The Child Advocacy Law Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, helped organize it. Presenters included Justice Bridget McCormack from the Michigan Supreme Court as well as tribal representatives.
Kenosha county has had reunification picnics for several years. A video was produced documenting one of these http://youtu.be/PdcxGTQZu7c
On June 23, 2011, the second annual Family Reunification Day celebration was hosted by the Wayne County Circuit Court Juvenile Division, in partnership with Michigan Department of Human Services, private foster care agencies and the juvenile attorney bar. There was a formal program and reception at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. Over a dozen recently reunified families were honored. The families foster care specialists, caregivers and other community partners were also recognized.
For more information: Christina Vadino, Permanency Specialist, 313 833 2981