Michigan's Children In the News

Ingham Sheriff’s race candidates sound of on issues of young offenders
October 18, 2016|WILX.com
Michigan’s Children hosted a youth-led candidate forum last night at the Ingham Family Center focused on powerful questions from young people involved with Ingham County court programs.

We’re just three weeks away from the November elections and candidates for Ingham County Sheriff had to answer to some of the youngest people they could serve. They were students who have gone through the juvenile justice system.

Ingham Academy youths to pose questions to local candidates
October 12, 2016|Fox 47 News
Candidates running for local and state offices will hear from youth enrolled at Ingham Academy during a candidate forum.

The special candidate forum will be held on Oct. 18, and court-ordered youths enrolled at the Ingham Academy will pose questions that are on their mind to those running for State House, Ingham County Prosecutor and Ingham County Sheriff’s offices.

Some questions for state rep candidates
October 12, 2016|By Robert Burgess – Herold Palladium Opinion Maker Columnist
Thursday evening the League of Women Voters will host forums for candidates running for Michigan state representative for the Michigan 78th and 79th Districts. Kudos to the League for hosting these discussions at Berrien RESA in Berrien Springs. State representatives do not get as much attention as presidential candidates. However, the issues that our legislators in Lansing vote on do impact our day-to-day lives. With that in mind, here are some of the questions that I hope candidates for state representative address.

Educators seek ideas to help homeless students graduate
October 4, 2016|Detroit News
Michigan’s Children facilitated a series of youth-led workshops at the recent National Dropout Prevention Network conference in Detroit. Prompted by that work, the Detroit News talked with one of our partners, Ozone House, and brought attention to the specific educational needs of young people who have been homeless.

State stands to let $20M in childcare funding slip away
October 4, 2016|The Steve Gruber show (WJIM)
Matt Gillard discusses the loss of more than $20 million in federal child care subsidies for low-income working families on WJIM’s Steve Gruber Show.

The Time is Now for Senate to Pass Family First Prevention Services Act
September 21, 20016|The Chronicle of Social Change – The following is a blogger Co-op
For decades, child welfare reform has had strong bipartisan support, even during times when heated partisanship has divided Congress on national matters. Several of Michigan’s own U.S Representatives and Senators have been among the most active leaders in shaping improved child welfare policy over that time.

We, and they, should be proud of those efforts. Now, before the end of 2016, Congress has the opportunity to act on a critical bill that would help Michigan expand its work to keep children safely with their families, preventing the need for foster care.

State stands to let $20M in child care funding slip away
September 19, 2016|Detroit Free Press
We all know that families need affordable, high-quality child care. This is true for middle-class families and even more so for low-income families who spend a significantly higher percentage of their income on child care.

Two of three Michigan children have all parents in the workforce, but despite parental efforts to work, child poverty rates are ever increasing. So this is a major issue for our state. That’s why scores of family and child care advocates in Michigan and nationally in recent months have been left incredulous – and you should be, too – that Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration and the state Legislature are willing to leave $20.5 million in child care assistance on the table.

Youths complain foster system hinders sibling ties
August 10, 2016|Detroit News
Michigan’s Children sponsored our latest KidSpeak youth forum at Wayne State University. The Detroit News highlighted several of the key take aways from the powerful testimony given by young people.

Nearly half the families of Michigan’s child care workers rely on public assistance, report says
July 8, 2016|Mlive.com
The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California-Berkeley released a report detailing the wages of workers in the child care industry. Preschool teachers earned a median wage of $13.34 in 2015, down nine percent from five years earlier. Child care workers fare even worse. They have a median wage of $9.43, down 10 percent during the same period.

Detroit Youth Ask the Questions at Special Candidate Forum for State House Districts on Thursday, July 7
June 29, 2016
Detroit, Mich. – Michigan’s Children and The Children’s Center will team up to host a candidate forum featuring Detroit youths as the panel of questioners and the state House candidates that want to represent them beginning at 6 p.m. on July 7. The forum is open to the public and takes place at the Center, 79 Alexandrine West in Detroit.

Michigan’s Children Recognizes Denise Ilitch for Lifetime of Philanthropy, Service to Women and Children of Michigan
Business Leader Lauded for Untiring Advocacy Work, Charitable Support
May 26, 2016
Detroit, MI — Michigan’s Children, a nonpartisan and nonprofit voice for children and families, will honor Detroit-area business leader and philanthropist Denise Ilitch as its 2016 Honoree at a special Heroes Night celebration at the MGM Grand Casino on June 6, 2016.

“We are so proud to honor Denise Ilitch,” said Michigan’s Children Board Chair Kristen McDonald. “She has been an integral part of Detroit’s business and philanthropic communities for 30 years as a dedicated business leader, a devoted community servant, a supporter of many charitable causes and a tireless advocate for women and children.”

Finding quality, affordable day care a challenge
May 25, 2016|WoodTV.com
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While you can’t put a price tag on your child’s safety, many parents are often forced to choose price over quality when it comes to day care.

“If you’re going to pay more you’re probably going to be paying the staff of that particular place better. That’s the other challenge in this process. What am I willing to pay for is really kind of the question,” explained Mark Jansen, director of child care licensing in Michigan.

Jansen says child care costs vary across the state.

To watch video click here.

Foster Child Bill Of Rights
May 16, 2016|Gongwer News Service
In his comments on the House Floor encouraging passage of the Assurance of Quality Foster Care Act, Rep. Runestad identified his partnership with Michigan’s Children on annual KidSpeak opportunities to hear directly from young people impacted by that system.

Gillard: State funding needed to combat child abuse
April 22, 2016|Lansing State Journal
On Tuesday, hundreds of parents and child and family advocates gathered at the state Capitol for the Children’s Trust Fund-sponsored Prevention Awareness Day. Matt Gillard talks in this editorial about the missing state investment in prevention services, funded inconsistently in Michigan through private donations and federal funds.

How much money does the state appropriate for programs to prevent child abuse? $0
April 20, 2016|Michigan Radio
In Lansing every year, there is a day set aside as Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day. That day was yesterday. So, on the steps of the Capitol, people got up to speak, children from an elementary group sang and dozens of people involved in organizations that work to keep kids safe stood in the rain to show their support. Matt Gillard spoke to Michigan Radio’s Dustin Dwyer suggesting that Michigan legislators have not made good on their promises to support children and families.

Child poverty rates rose in Lansing area, group says
March 22, 2016|Lansing State Journal
Lansing, Mich. —  The number of children living in poverty in the Lansing area continues to rise along with most of the rest of the state, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Nearly 24 percent of Ingham County children were living in poverty in 2014, up from 21.5 percent in 2006, according the 2016 Kids Count report released Monday by the nonpartisan institute based in Lansing.

Getting Michigan’s kids out of poverty
March 21, 2016|WILX.com
Lansing, Mich. (WILX) – Almost one out of every four children in Michigan lives in poverty according to the annual “kids count” report released Monday. That’s a 26% increase in the last eight years.

Michigan is getting a failing grade on early childhood care.

“We have way too many kids living in poverty, way too many indicators of child’s health and success not being obtained” said Michigan’s Children’s President Matt Gillard.

Forum: Support needed for grandparents raising kids
February 13, 2016|Record Eagle
For many social and economic reasons, the number of grandparents who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren has risen sharply in recent years and your report has shed a needed spotlight on a timely and critical issue.

Nearly one-third of children in the state’s welfare system are placed with grandparents and many others are cared for by grandparents not in the system. Nearing or in retirement, often ill and living on fixed incomes, these caregivers face many challenges. Children whose own parents are dealing with incarceration, drug addiction or mental health issues often arrive on their grandparents’ doorsteps suffering from trauma that’s difficult to navigate.

Water Contamination Raises Health Concerns for Flint Students
January 25, 2016|Education Week
Educators in Flint, Mich., have long taught students buffeted by the pressures of poverty and urban blight.

Now, they’re facing a new crisis: toxic tap water.

City and school officials are dealing with the fallout of a contaminated-water crisis, after it was discovered several months ago that hundreds of children in the financially strapped city have high levels of lead in their blood, in part because of the state’s decision to switch Flint’s water supply.

Current State | 1/15/16 | Ep.683
January 15, 2016|WKAR’s Current State
Matt Gillard and Sen. Rick Jones discuss potential benefits in legislation under consideration by state Lawmakers plus more that is needed on WKAR’s ‘Current State.’ Note: Their interview with host Mark Bashore begins 29 minutes into the program.

What Will Happen to Flint’s Lead-Poisoned Children?
January 14, 2016|The Daily Beast
“I love Flint, I am Flint, I do community work in Flint, but if there’s one thing that can actually drive me from Michigan right now, it’s this water,” said Chia Morgan.

Morgan, a social worker and mother of a 3-year-old daughter, has lived in the Flint area her entire life but she may soon leave the state for fear of lead poisoning.

‘Devastating’ Lead Exposure Could Pose Problems for Flint, Mich., Schools
January 8, 2016|Education Week
With hundreds, and possibly thousands, of children in Flint, Mich., confirmed to have potentially toxic amounts of lead in their blood, a school district already racked by poverty and poor performance could face yet another challenge.

Lead poisoned kids in Flint will need more than apologies, declarations
January 7, 2016|Mlive.com – The following is a guest column for The Flint Journal
The children of Flint will need more than new declarations of emergency, state-level resignations and public apologies to help reverse the damage that has been done to their young bodies and developing brains. And now is the time for the state to step in with a proven strategy to help the most vulnerable citizens among us.

Letter: Family plight shows need for better safety net
December 26, 2015|The Detroit News
Re: The Dec. 9 Detroit News story “Homelessness, asthma force family to give up children”: The story of Siretha Lattimore, Dwayne Cole and their son Malik, is unfortunately, not unique in Michigan or throughout the nation. The experiences of this family are all too common in today’s child welfare system.

Malik’s story reads like a Greek tragedy, but it’s an American one. Working full time and barely getting by on $24,500 per year, losing their home and spending time in shelters, transitional housing, and sleeping in their car, Malik’s family had to make some heartbreaking choices. Many readers may have found it shocking that parents Siretha and Dwayne ultimately had to place their kids in foster care in order for their children to receive the care they needed.

State lawmakers taking up proposed changes to Michigan’s foster care program
December 1, 2015|Michigan Radio
A state House committee will consider legislation to help foster kids navigate the system.

Among other things, the bills would require a “children’s assurance of quality foster care policy is developed” and that current and former foster children participate in developing the policy.

Michigan Legislature Considers Bills to Remove Youth from Adult Prison
December 1, 2015|Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency
LANSING, MI – Today, the Michigan Legislature will hear testimony on a package of bills aimed at reducing the number of young people exposed to the dangers of adult jails and prisons. Among the 15 bipartisan sponsors of this legislative package, Representatives Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) and Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) are focused on the positive impact that these policy changes would have on public safety and cost-savings.

‘This is Why I’m Doing This’: Adult Students Tell Legislators Improving Their Education Ultimately Helps Their Children
November 18, 2015|School News Network
Students from the Wyoming Public Schools Adult Education Program were among those who traveled to a Michigan’s Children-sponsored FamilySpeak titled, “Building Family Literacy Through Adult Education.” Their story appears in this piece carried by the School News Network.

Addressing School Bullying with Michele Corey
November 11, 2015|The Tony Trupiano Show
Michigan’s Children Vice President for Programs Michele Corey tackles the subject of school bullying, discussing remedies such as evidence-based, trauma-informed practices and integrated school services, on this Blog Talk Radio program hosted by Tony Trupiano.

Too many Michigan kids are bullied
November 5, 2015|The Detroit News
The new Wayne State University report into the fear and victimization that too many Michigan schoolchildren face every year from bullying must serve as a call to action and some shifts in thinking about solutions for policymakers around the state.

Wayne State social work researchers say Michigan schools must do more to reduce bullying
October 23, 2015|Wayne State University
Wayne State social work researchers this month will present Michigan policymakers, youth advocates, religious leaders and educators with the results of a new study suggesting five-year-old legislation requiring school districts throughout the state to develop and implement anti-bullying policies has not been effective.

Young parents call for adult education investments
October 28, 2015|WLNS.com
LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Two state policy groups say many young adults have turned the page on their own literacy skills.

Report Shows Bullying Remains Despite Required Policies
October 26, 2015|Gongwer.com
Michigan law requires school districts to develop policies to combat bullying, but those policies appear to be having little effect, a report released Monday by Wayne State University said.

More than half of students say bullying is still a problem in their schools and have seen someone bullied, the report said.

1 in 4 Michigan students faces bullying in schools, report says
October 26, 2015|Mlive.com
More than half of Michigan students in a recent survey said bullying is a serious problem in their schools, according to a new report from Wayne State University.

“Bullying can end lives,” said John Austin, state Board of Education president at a press conference Monday morning in Ann Arbor. “It’s an issue we’ve been dealing with for a long time.”

Foster care advocates cite training, funding as top priorities
September 23, 2015|WKAR.com
Yesterday, the public policy organization Michigan’s Children held a forum called “Raising the Voices of Caregivers from the Foster Care System” to discuss how to improve the system. Current State speaks with Michele Corey, vice president of programs at Michigan’s Children, and state Rep. Jim Runestad.

Lawmakers meet with group calling for caregiver improvements
September 22, 2015|WLNS.com
LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Michigan lawmakers learned more about the state’s foster care system Tuesday and the ways it can be improved for caregivers.

Foster Families Speak Out on Child Welfare System
September 22, 2015|Publicnewsservice.org
LANSING, Mich. – It’s welcome news for some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, as advocates for foster children believe the political climate is favorable for making improvements to the child welfare system.

Runestad joins panel to hear from foster parents
September 14, 2015|Hometownlife.com
State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, will join a collection of other policymakers Sept 22 on a listening panel to hear from the caregivers of children in foster care.

Helping vulnerable children early is key to closing achievement gaps
September 8, 2015|Bridge.com
No longer a top tier state for education, Michigan today has larger gaps in student outcomes among its diverse populations than many other states, jettisoning our state to 37th in the nation according to the National Kids Count project. These learning gaps start early and persist and grow throughout educational careers without appropriate intervention and support, threatening our state’s future and the futures of thousands of our children.

Supporters Stand Up for Earned Income Tax Credit
August 19, 2015|WILX
Don’t touch the Earned Income Tax Credit.  That message came today from a group opposing a house bill that would eliminate the credit and put the money toward fixing the roads.  The head of the nonprofit Michigan’s Children says getting rid of the benefit would hurt families more than it would help the roads.

Michigan EITC coalition encourage lawmakers to avoid including credit in road funding debate
August 19, 2015
A coalition of organizations supporting the state Earned Income Tax Credit today urged lawmakers to maintain support for the state EITC as a popular key tool for fighting poverty, particularly among children.

For foster care kids, bus tickets don’t solve transportation woes
August 14, 2015|stateofopportunity.michiganradio.org
Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity series joined Michigan’s Children’s KidSpeak forum in Detroit last week and produced this report that highlights forum participant Amber Thomas’ voice on the issue of transportation and her recommendations.

Improving third-grade reading isn’t enough
June 16, 2015|bridgemi.com
Governor Snyder’s Third Grade Reading Workgroup recently released its recommendations to improve Michigan’s lagging third-grade reading scores. While almost every other state has seen reading proficiency rise, Michigan’s reading proficiency has steadily declined for the past 12 years. This troubling trend is even worse for students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students struggling with other big challenges like homelessness – all of whom are falling even more behind in their reading abilities.

One Man Making a Difference
May 28, 2015
LANSING ‐‐ Terry Murphy, the immediate past president of the public policy group, Michigan’s Children, has been recognized with a national public service award from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) for his work with at‐risk kids in Grand Rapids and Detroit.

Most readers still not convinced on Proposal 1
May 2, 2015|Detroit Free Press
The election will arrive shortly with long-term implications for schools, families and communities for years to come.

Let’s seize the opportunity provided by Proposal 1 to invest in our schools, children and communities by going to the polls Tuesday and urging our friends and neighbors to do the same! This is likely our best chance to fix the roads and continue support for the programs that matter most for our schoolchildren and families in this legislative session.

Gillard: Pass Prop 1, for the children
April 28, 2015|The Detroit News
While much attention around Proposition 1 has been focused on roads and transportation safety, we’ve been looking at the prospects of a “yes” vote on the May 5 ballot proposal through the eyes of children and families.

We are both excited by the expectation for additional resources to help children in Michigan, particularly vulnerable children, and scared of what a “no” vote will bring.

Matt Gillard and Michael Foley: Help fight child abuse and neglect
April 22, 2015|Lansing State Journal
In a perfect world every child would grow up experiencing a happy, healthy childhood, safe from harm, and able to fully realize their potential as adults. But we know we don’t live in a perfect world. Thirty years after the start of the national observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the rate of childhood abuse and neglect in our state continues to rise.

Why? Increasing economic stresses are one big reason. And there are clear connections between child maltreatment and limited parenting skills, social isolation, domestic violence, untreated substance abuse and behavioral health problems. Worsening childhood poverty rates combined with a troubling trend of competing priorities that have led to a reduction of child abuse and neglect prevention and intervention programs. The result is that too many families hurting, and too many children’s futures threatened.

More action needed to improve early literacy (Guest column)
April 16, 2015|Mlive.com
There’s a new spotlight on the long-standing problem of third-grade reading proficiency among Michigan schoolchildren. Gov. Rick Snyder understands we need a well-educated workforce and all children must be literate by the end of third grade. His 2016 budget recommends a comprehensive set of measures to improve early literacy – a key component of academic success and career readiness.

The annual Kids Count in Michigan Data Book closely tracks critical literacy benchmarks. From the Data Book, we know that one-third of Kalamazoo County fourth-graders are not reading proficiently on the state’s MEAP test, nor are 43 percent of high school students on the Michigan Merit Exam. The statistics are worse for students of color, from low-income families, and those facing other challenges.

Early learning summit in June could impact Michigan’s children
April 14, 2015|Bridgemi.com
Take the realization that young children learn quickest and best ‒ by far ‒ from birth to around age 5. That has led to the creation of pre-kindergarten and early childhood programs all over the country, some private and some publicly funded.

That, in turn, has led to big increases in funding for public early childhood programs, especially here in Michigan, which now leads the nation in increasing public support for our Great Start Readiness Program, which is aimed at poor and vulnerable four-year-olds.

Prop 1 would help Michigan’s children
April 7, 2015|Macombdaily.com
A new spotlight has been cast on addressing the long-standing problem of third-grade reading proficiency among Michigan schoolchildren. Gov. Snyder understands we need a well-educated workforce and to get it we must increase the number of children who are literate by the end of third grade. His 2016 budget recommendations include a comprehensive set of measures to improve early literacy – a key component of academic success and career readiness for children here and statewide.

Coalition: More funding needed to help kids reach reading standards
April 3, 2015|Dailytribune.com
Living in temporary housing, not knowing where or when your next meal is coming. These are examples of poverty educators say can stunt a child’s educational growth so greatly it could lead to academic futility — and one day, even to their incarceration.

Oakland County remains fifth in the state in regards to child well-being, according to a study by Kids Count in Michigan, which is part of a national effort to gauge children’s welfare. The percentage of Michigan children living in poverty, however, has increased dramatically since the recent economic recession.

Our View: Early childhood programs among best investments
March 29, 2015|Holland sentinel.com
HOLLAND – One of the most encouraging signs on the political landscape in Lansing in the past couple of years has been the growing recognition that it’s cheaper to deal with social problems by preventing them before they occur than once they’re persistent and entrenched.

Always the numbers guy, Gov. Rick Snyder has increased funding for the state’s Great Start Readiness preschool program by $130 million, recognizing that getting more kids prepared for school will save money by reducing the need for later interventions. And in his proposed 2015-16 budget, the governor includes a broad-ranging $48 million initiative to improve third-grade reading skills, considered a key predictor of future academic performance. Yet not everyone’s on board with that kind of investment for the future — when a state House appropriations subcommittee approved its education budget last week, it included no funds for the third-grade reading initiative.

Muskegon County leaders highlight need for increased third-grade reading proficiency in Gov. Snyder’s 2016 budget
March 23, 2015|Muskegon Chronicle
MUSKEGON – A group of Muskegon County leaders in the fields of education, human services and law enforcement are making a push to increase literacy in the community, particularly in elementary age children.

The leaders came together Monday, March 23 at the MLive Muskegon Chronicle offices in downtown Muskegon, as well as stops in Grand Rapids and Holland, in an effort to recognize a statewide and countywide problem in literacy. The group presented a series of figures and statistics in their respective fields, highlighting education and how it ties into poverty, healthcare, employment and incarceration statistics.

Advocates say economic recovery leaves too many MI children behind
February 19, 2015|WKAR
Michigan takes a lot of pride in its nickname as the “comeback” state. And after taking a beating during the Great Recession, Michigan is indeed on the upswing. Forecasts say the state should continue to see economic growth and improvements to the unemployment rate in the next two years. But not everyone is feeling the impact of that recovery yet. Among those left behind are the nearly 550,000 Michigan children living in poverty.

Child abuse, neglect rise sharply in Ingham County
February 19, 2015|Lansing State Journal
LANSING – Ingham County saw a 38 percent rise in child poverty and 82 percent increase in victims of child abuse and neglect since 2006, according to a new report on the well being of children.

The Michigan League for Public Policy’s Kids Count Data Book, which looks at the overall well being of children in the state, analyzed change in key categories from 2006 to 2012 or 2013, depending on the category.

Foster kids’ stories inspire moves to reform
February 13, 2015|Capital News Service
LANSING – The number of Michigan children in the state’s foster care system is at its lowest in almost a decade, but anecdotes from kids within the system have legislators considering bipartisan reform.

About 18 foster children told legislators recently about their experiences in the system, highlighting issues such as sibling separation and limited resources available once they age out of the system.

Testimony taken at KidsSpeak Jan. 26
January 21, 2015|Hometownlife.com
On average, 12 children from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties enter the foster care system each day.

For the 13,500 children in foster care in Michigan, of which nearly 40 percent come from greater Detroit, growing up without a permanent home or parents holds unique challenges with lifelong consequences, such as achieving a high school diploma and post-secondary education, teen pregnancy and contacts with the juvenile justice system. These issues, plus a strong focus on educational concerns, will be explored at the annual KidSpeak event 6-8 p.m., Jan. 26. The event will feature real life stories of foster kids and adult foster children.

Foster Teens to Testify at Michigan’s Children’s KidSpeak Program before Oakland County Board on Jan. 26, 2015
January 19, 2015
PONTIAC ‐‐ On average, 12 children from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties enter the foster care system each day. What are their experiences? How are their lives and futures shaped by their care as wards of the state? What happens when they age out?

For the 13,500 children in foster care in Michigan, of which nearly 40 percent come from Greater Detroit, growing up without a permanent home or parents holds unique challenges with lifelong consequences – among them, achieving a high school diploma and post‐secondary education, teen pregnancy and contacts with the juvenile justice system. These issues plus a strong focus on educational concerns will be explored at the annual KidSpeak event featuring real‐life stories of foster kids and adult foster children on Jan. 26, 2015 from 6‐8 p.m.

To help the lives of Michigan’s children, help families
November 20, 2014|Detroit Free Press
With 1 in 4 Michigan children born into poverty today, too many of our children will face serious obstacles to success. Poor children are more likely to face health problems, a shortage in basic needs and a lack of educational opportunities. The support of one’s family has traditionally been the first and best response across time.

Local teens lead candidate forum
October 29, 2014|Candgnews.com
MOUNT CLEMENS — Candidates vying for seats in the House and Senate this upcoming general election tackled some of the biggest issues and concerns facing teens today during a Meet the Candidates forum Oct. 21.

Held at Mount Clemens High School and hosted by Teen Talking Truth, a youth advocacy group from CARE of Southeastern Michigan and Michigan’s Children, the Youth Voices.

ELECTION: Candidates answer tough questions from teens
October 29, 2104|Sourcenewspapers.com
On Oct. 21, Teens Talking Truth, a youth advocacy group from CARE of Southeastern Michigan, and Michigan’s Children, a statewide advocacy organization focused solely on public policy in the best interest of children from cradle to career, hosted “Youth Voices: Changing Public Policy,” an opportunity for candidates to lay out their plans for addressing the most critical issues facing youth and talk about how, if elected, they will work toward better outcomes in local communities. Participants included Steven Bieda, Anthony Forlini, Kenneth Paul Jenkins, Phillip Kurczewski, Marilyn Lane, Peter Lucido and Robert Murphy.

Candidates answer questions from local teens Oct. 21
October 17, 2014|Macomb Daily
Middle school and high school students, their families and members of the community are invited to a special, youth-hosted meet the candidates night, Oct. 21 at the Mount Clemens High School auditorium. Youth Voices: Changing Public Policy is hosted by Teens Talking Truth, CARE of Southeastern Michigan’s youth advocacy group, and Michigan’s Children, a statewide advocacy organization specializing in public policy for children and families.

Local Candidates Forum Gives Voices to Youth Issues
October 13, 2014|WKAR
Matt Gillard, CEO/President of Michigan’s Children talks with WKAR’s Current State’s Kevin Lavery about our youth-led candidate forums that Michigan’s Children has been hosting across the state.  This interview focuses on the candidate forum in Lansing and includes two young people from Peckham, Incorporated in Lansing who will also be asking tough questions to candidates at the October 13th forum.

Parents Evaluate Public Programs during Michigan’s Children FamilySpeak Event at National Black Child Development Institute Conference in Detroit
October 13, 2014
DETROIT – With poverty affecting one in four children born in Michigan – and worse, half of African-American children in the state — public policies are needed to better support the distinctive challenges faced by struggling parents and their children.

Families dealing with homelessness, chronic childhood illnesses, foster and adoptive parents, and others will provide frank testimony on the impact of public programs.

Lansing area high school students to pose questions to area candidates Monday
October 11, 2014|MLive
Peckham, Inc., the Peace and Prosperity Youth Action Movement and Michigan’s Children, a statewide advocacy organization focused on public policy for children, youth and families, will host a candidate forum on Monday, Oct. 13 for state House and Senate hopefuls in the Nov. 4 general election. What sets this candidate forum apart from most is that a diverse group of 7th to 12th grade students from Lansing and Lansing-area high schools (Eastern, Everett, Holt, Waverly and Sexton) will lead the questioning of the candidates.

Children to question candidates Wednesday
October 8, 2014|WZZM13
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – The candidates running for state House and Senate districts around Grand Rapids appear at a forum Wednesday night, October 8. What is unique is the questioners.

They will be a “diverse group of youth from Grand Rapids Public Schools”, according to the sponsors, LINC Community Revitalization, Inc. and Michigan’s Children, a statewide advocacy organization focused on public policy for children, youth and families.

Kalamazoo ‘Spotlight’ Show Features Matt Gillard
September 25, 2014|Public Media Network
Kalamazoo-based Public Media Network featured Michigan’s Children CEO Matt Gillard’s in an extended interview on its “Community Spotlight” series. Gillard discussed current children’s issues, including quality child care and education, support for child care credits, the state’s child care subsidy for low-income families, and much more. See the interview with host Harold Beu here. In Kalamazoo, it can be viewed on Charter Channel 187 (AT&T U-Verse Channel 99).

Our kids’ futures hinge on getting out the vote
July 31, 2014|The Detroit News
Matt Gillard, CEO/President of Michigan’s Children, talks about the importance of primary election voting in this opinion piece.

While the stakes are high this season, we also know that most registered voters don’t come out in August primaries. To that we say, don’t let other people decide who will represent you and your families for the next two and four years.

Survey: Recession sent Michigan’s child poverty up
July 21, 2014|The Detroit News
More of Michigan’s children fell into poverty during the Great Recession, according to the annual Kids Count survey released Tuesday.

The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation on the well-being of children said 1 in 4 Michigan youngsters was in an impoverished household in 2012, up from 19 percent in 2005. In addition, the number of children living in high-poverty areas rose from 8 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2008-12, the survey said.

Children’s issues in this year’s election
July 14, 2014|WMUK-FM
LANSING, MI — There’s “pocket book,” “hot button” and social issues. Then there’s the “Sandbox Party.” The group is trying to highlight issues related to children before voters head to the polls for the August primary and the general election in November. Michigan’s Children CEO Matt Gillard told WMUK’s Gordon Evans that the Sandbox Party started about four years ago among advocates for early childhood programs. Gillard says they’ve expanded that focus on children’s issues from “cradle to career.”

Voters urged to head to the polls this August
July 7, 2014|WKZO-AM
LANSING, MI — Matt Gillard talked to WKZO-AM’s Andrew Green about the Sandbox Party’s drive to encourage voters to go to the polls in August when winners in nearly 80 percent of state Legislative districts will be decided. “The way these districts have been drawn, particularly our state legislative districts, the decisions that are made in August are the ones which are relevant,” Gillard told WKZO. Listen in!
Not Just for Kids: Sandbox Party offers resources for voters
July 7, 2014|Public News Service
LANSING, MI — Matt Gillard is spreading the news about the importance of taking an interest in the August primaries, particularly because many races will be decided then. Here, he talks to the Public News Service’s Mona Shand about the Sandbox Party’s election-year focus. Listen in![/col-full]

Matt Gillard talks about the Michigan Sandbox Party on MIRS Monday Podcast
June 30, 2014|MIRS Podcast
Matt Gillard, CEO/President of Michigan’s Children, talks about education funding and a new party in town — the Michigan Sandbox Party. Also, what kind of marks did the recently signed education funding bill get?

Listen in to this MIRS Monday Podcast and hear Matt discuss why people who care about kids should be involved in selecting candidates for the November run-off. (Matt’s talk begins around 11 minutes into the podcast.)

Sandbox Party Joins with Michigan’s Children and Focuses on Making Children’s Issues Top Priorities
June 25, 2014|Nightlight
LANSING, MI — With a critical Michigan election season upon us, the Michigan Sandbox Party has joined forces with Michigan’s Children to raise awareness and make children and family issues top priorities in state political campaigns.

Michigan’s Children is the only statewide, multi-issue advocacy organization focused solely on public policy in the best interest of children, from cradle to career, and their families.

Long-time Children’s Advocate Embraces New Role
May 7, 2014|Michigan Nightlight
LANSING, MI — As Matt Gillard takes the helm of Michigan’s Children, a statewide, nonpartisan advocacy group, he plans to move children’s issues up the priority list for elected officials.

How would Michigan look if the government prioritized the welfare of children above all else? Matt Gillard is championing that ideal as the recently appointed president and CEO of Michigan’s Children, a statewide, nonpartisan children’s advocacy organization fighting for strong public policy to protect vulnerable children and to make Michigan an excellent place to raise kids and be a kid.

Well-being of African-Americans in Michigan among worst in nation
April 1, 2014|The Detroit News
The well-being of African-American children in Michigan is among the worst in the nation, according to a report to be released today.

The Kids Count report found only Mississippi and Wisconsin fared worse than the Wolverine state, based on 12 criteria, including normal birth weights, education of parents and the number of children living at or above poverty.  Matt Gillard says the state’s performance is disappointing but not surprising.

Child Health & Wellness
March 12, 2014| Michigan NightLight
Matt Gillard recently shared some of Michigan’s Children’s strategies to improve children’s health with the Michigan Nightlight.

The 2013 national Kids Count data book reports Michigan ranking 31 out of 50 in child well-being. With this shaky foundation, Michigan has some serious work to do in improving child health and wellness outcomes.

County, state officials learn about foster care system from those who lived it
February 24, 2014| The Oakland Press
Milford resident Dennis Schneider, who was raised through the foster care system, doesn’t want sympathy.

“That’s not what you want to hear” being a foster kid, said Schneider, 18, an engineering student at Western Michigan University. “What we really need is for the money (for foster care) to distributed correctly …. need to provide a stable house for the child to grow up, and we need mentors ­— we need guidance.”

Schneider and several former graduates of the foster care system in Oakland County and beyond stood in front of lawmakers and elected officials Monday for the first KidSpeak event in Oakland, an event geared towards helping shape policy in foster care. The event, sponsored by the Kitsie and Albert Scaglionoe of Park West Foundation Voices for Michigan’s Children, Foster Care Alumni of America-Michigan Chapter, Michigan Youth Opportunity Initiative and the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, was a chance for those in the system to share their stories.

Make candidates accountable to vulnerable Michigan children and families
January 22, 2014| Detroit Free Press
As the election blitz begins in Michigan, amid the stump speeches, attack ads and debates we’ll see in upcoming months, it’s unlikely you’ll hear much about our most pressing issue: the future of children and families in Michigan.

Children and families don’t have high-priced lobbyists, superPACs, or nationwide ads. They do have us.  And in a democracy, that’s still enough to make a real difference.
Read Michele’s related blog.

Area Resident selected among Riley Institute’s 2013-14 class of white Riley-Peterson policy fellows
September 4, 2013| furman.edu
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Fifteen leaders in the afterschool and expanded learning fields nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between The Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

From September this year until the end of May 2014, fellows will study afterschool and expanded learning policy, and develop state-level policy plans in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

Foster youth share experiences, ideas for system reform with policymakers
August 19, 2013|Today@Wayne
Michigan’s Children facilitated a KidSpeak event in Detroit on Monday, August 12 in partnership with the Wayne State College of Law, Wayne State School of Social Work, and the Foster Care Alumni of America – Michigan Chapter.  Decision makers heard concerns and recommendations from current and former foster youth working to transition to successful adulthood.
The Great Start Readiness Program is seeing a huge expansion, but is it enough?
July 23, 2013| Michigan Radio
Senior Policy Associate Mina Hong alongside Scott Menzel, Superintendent of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, was on Michigan Radio’s Stateside with Cynthia Canty to discuss the Great Start Readiness preschool expansion and what’s left undone.  Specifically, they focus on the need to expand services to young children prenatally through age three and their families to build a comprehensive early childhood system that prepares all children – particularly children of color and from low-income families – to succeed in school and life.
Why are Michigan’s child abuse/neglect rates so high?
June 18, 2013| bridgemi.com
The number of abused and neglected Michigan children rose in recent years, during a period when state spending on abuse and neglect prevention plummeted.

The state’s rate of abuse and neglect, below the national average as recently as 2006, is now more than 50 percent higher than the national rate. Michigan now ranks 41st, according to an analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Guest commentary: Preschool funding boost praised, but there’s work to do for Michigan’s 0-3’s
June 18, 2013| bridgemi.com
The Legislature recently approved an historic expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program – the state’s preschool program for 4-year-olds at risk of being underprepared f or kindergarten. This $65 million increase – a 60 percent expansion of the program – will provide a preschool experience f or thousands of children who are currently eligible, but not enrolled in the program. This will be the most signif icant move that we’ve seen in recent years to provide support to the 29,000 4-year-olds currently living in Michigan who cannot access GSRP, an unmet need that was uncovered by Bridge Magazine.
Michigan moves into national forefront of preschool funding
May 30, 2013| bridgemi.com
Michigan will move from middle of the pack to top of the heap when Gov. Rick Snyder signs off on a massive expansion of state-funded early childhood education in coming days.

The $65 million increase in funding for the Great Start Readiness Program, allowing at least 10,000 more 4-year-olds to attend high-quality, publicly funded preschool, is the biggest increase in the nation this year and leads an emerging trend to invest in children before kindergarten.

Guest commentary: Michigan leaders recognize the wisdom of investing in preschoolers
May 30, 2013| bridgemi.com
We tip our hats to Michigan’s governor and the Legislature for funding expansion of the state’s Great Start Readiness Program. This program offers high-quality preschool to needy families of 4-year-olds.

Culturally and scientifically, evidence abounds that nurturing and investing in children before they reach kindergarten pays extraordinary dividends. For each dollar spent on early education and care, there are $7 of savings in grade repetition, social welfare and corrections. Expanding pre-K can save $100 million in special education costs and the high cost of kindergarten repetition. Business leaders – people who think about returns on investment – strongly support public and private investments in the building of talent.

State adopts ‘nation’s largest’ expansion of early childhood funding
May 30, 2013| bridgemi.com
Ten thousand additional Michigan 4-year-olds will be in classrooms next school year, after Republican and Democratic legislators Wednesday passed the largest expansion in early childhood education in the nation.

The $65 million expansion for the 2013-14 budget year is a major victory for business leaders, educators and children advocates, as well as Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders who believed early childhood education offers a good return on investment. But the biggest winners will be Michigan’s low- and moderate-income children, who will now be able to enroll in a program proven to improve test scores and lower drop-out rates.

Expanding preschool is first step in education advance
March 7, 2013 | bridgemi.com
Advocates across the state are rejoicing in Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed $65 million expansion ($130 million over two years) for the Great Start Readiness Program– Michigan’s public preschool program for 4-year-olds at-risk of being under-prepared for kindergarten. Credit is due to the Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine for bringing additional public attention to the thousands of eligible children unable to access GSRP; the Children’s Leadership Council of Michigan for making GSRP expansion a priority; and legislative and administrative champions for putting comprehensive funding proposals in motion.
Child wellness declining in Hillsdale County
February 3, 2013|Hillsdale.net
LANSING — The overall wellbeing for children in Hillsdale County has worsened according to a report released this week by Kids Count in Michigan. The report states that out of the 82 counties in the state, Hillsdale ranks 61st overall in the study that was conducted using numbers from 2005 to 2011. While the state as a whole saw child poverty increase by 28 percent, Hillsdale County saw the numbers jump by 33 percent.
Ottawa County Ranks Best In Child Well-being, Lake County Worst
January 31, 2013|Gongwer New Service
The latest Kids Count in Michigan report ranks counties for the first time since its beginning in 1992, and the overall study shows an increase in child poverty and a decrease in children in foster care
and teen birth rates.

Kids Count in Michigan is a collaboration between Michigan’s Children and the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Ottawa, Livingston and Clinton Counties were ranked best for child well-being overall and Clare, Roscommon and Lake Counties were ranked worst.

Forum: Kids at edge of fiscal cliff
December 20, 2012| Traverse City Record-Eagle
As the federal “fiscal cliff” approaches, we’re hearing more about how various scenarios would affect politicians, defense contractors, high-income taxpayers, seniors, and other constituencies. But an important group of Michiganders with a lot on the line has been largely ignored: children.

The stakes are immense, because the recession has been hard on children. A recent analysis by the nonpartisan Urban Institute found that nearly 210,000 Michigan children live with an unemployed parent. Compared to 2007, that’s nearly a 27 percent increase — and when you look at kids living with a long-term unemployed parent, the increase is 130 percent.

Copyright 2016 Michigan's Children | 215 S. Washington Square,Suite 110 Lansing, Michigan 48933 | 517-485-3500 | Contact Us | Sitemap