National Volunteer month in the United States takes place in the month of April. This month is dedicated to honoring all the volunteers in our communities, as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the month and beyond.
At Spaulding for Children, we appreciate all our volunteers who donate their time, talents and treasure to help us support our families. Volunteers include our board members who are committed to the well-being of children, families and communities.
During National Volunteer Month 2021 we are honored to spotlight Spaulding Board Member Dr. James Krolik. In addition to his service on the board, Dr. Krolik recently gained recognition as an official "Grandfather-in-Residence," a volunteer educator serving class of Pre-Kindergarten age learners.
“My personal schedule changed, so I decided to look for some alternative activities to fill in the holes," Dr. Krolik wrote. "My two grandchildren have attended a Day Care near St. Joe's Hospital. I decided to be the Grandfather-in-Residence at the Day Care Center. I am with a teacher of four-year-old children.”
Dr. Krolik recently took up this new role. His presence also makes an impact on the youngsters.
“So far, it is going well," Dr. Krolik wrote. "As you can imagine, I am the only male that these children see during the day. I am only there for several hours and I'm not sure how long it will last. However, for now, I am enjoying it.”
Perhaps that joy in school will also be a lesson remembered by the young children. And may those students continue to enjoy learning throughout their academic careers in the years to come.
Furthermore, in addition to teaching and making a big impression on youngsters in his "class," Dr. Krolik serves as a remarkable example and inspiration for grown-ups who would like to make a difference in the lives of others. Please see the article below for volunteer opportunities at Spaulding.
Join Us as a Volunteer
If you are searching for an opportunity to make a positive impact, please join us at Spaulding for Children. Among roles we are seeking to fill for volunteers are
Tutors (can be virtual)
Book Donors (monthly)
Assemble and Distribute Family Gifts and Activity Packets
Would you like to volunteer? Click here or on the button below to find out how you can get informed of upcoming opportunities.
To better support today’s adoption and guardianship families, it is important to understand service availability as well as service delivery systems.
Please join Project Director Leslie Cohen, Site Consultant Stephanie Hodge Wolfe, and North Dakota Administrator of Adoption Services and QIC-AG site champion, Julie Hoffman for a webinar to learn about QIC-AG’s continuum assessment process.
Participants will receive:
Practical information about the QIC-AG assessment process pertaining to exploration of the target population, macro level organizational structure, and direct services and interventions.
Hands-on instruction on the use of the assessment tool including the engagement of key stakeholders.
Precise details on how the assessment process informs decision-making and prioritization of services in order to best serve families.
Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Time: 3 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. EST Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
In addition to serving children and families, the team at Spaulding is proud of our work to develop the professional capabilities and leadership skills of talented men and women.
This work includes initiatives to strengthen the representation of minority professionals working in the child welfare system across the country.
Ivana Maplanka credits one pioneering program, the Minority Adoption Leadership Development Institute (MALDI), a program led by Spaulding and funded by the Children’s Bureau, with helping her discover and develop her professional interests and competence. Today, she advances the interests of children and families as the Acting Director of the Department of Health and Human Services in Oakland County, Michigan.
Years ago, Ms. Maplanka was recommended for the MALDI program by a District Manager in her office at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
Then a Supervisor with Child Protective Services, Ms. Maplanka was not sure the program with its focus on foster care and adoption was the right fit. As an investigator, she had gained extensive experience with foster parents and childcare institutions and, later, with adoptive families.
Ms. Maplanka attended the first MALDI meeting in Detroit and was excited by all the talent in the cohort. She knew that she had much to learn about the work and wondered what she might contribute. In answer, the team at MALDI showed her how she could make a difference. A distinctive and invaluable aspect of the program is the mentor each member receives.
While Ivana and her MALDI mentor then worked in the same department, Ivana had not previously worked closely with her at MDHHS. Through this experience, Ms. Maplanka not only gained great insight in the area of adoption, but established a great mentoring relationship that continues to this day. In addition to providing information and guidance, MALDI mentors were important for helping participants determine the focus of the yearlong program. The program’s other resources included consultants and advisors who each generously shared their knowledge and suggestions.
“I will always remember the support I received in the MALDI program," Ms. Maplanka said. "With guidance from my mentor, and the support from MALDI, I was able to determine my focus for my project. As a worker in the child welfare system, I had not realized before the program how many decisions were made without the full realization of the impact on all programs. So, I took on the exploration of adoption through the Child Protective Services' lens. I learned to ask what could have been done differently when a family came in contact with CPS.”
Ms. Maplanka incorporated the concept of the continuity of care into her MALDI project and ultimately into her professional career. With her research, she now sees the child welfare system through a different lens.
“Every professional in the system needs to understand their role and how it affects all other programs,” Ms. Maplanka said.
Following the program, Ivana’s career path continued to expand with new opportunities from Supervisor to Section Manager, District Manager and now Acting Director.
“I believe that because of the MALDI program and what I learned and the connections I made, I have greater insight into the field I work in," Ms. Maplanka said. "The experience I gained through the MALDI program has put me on a different level in understanding the Child Welfare System."
When asked what she would say to professionals considering the program, Ms. Maplanka replied: “It’s a lot of work, but it’s all purposeful. It helps us to always look for ways we can find meaning and improve how we can make a true difference in child welfare."
The MALDI program has evolved into the current Minority Leadership Professional Development (MPLD) program. Learn more, including opportunities to join the coming cohort, in the article below.
Currently, the Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program is led by Spaulding and administered by the Adoption Exchange Association (AEA) as one of the components of the multifaceted AdoptUSKids project funded by the Children’s Bureau. As with MALDI, the MPLD program was established to develop the professional leadership skills of men and women working to make positive change through service in the child welfare system. Both programs have made major impacts in the child welfare system through the work and contributions of their professional alumni.
You and other professionals in the child welfare fields can develop new leadership skills, expand your professional network and gain transformative insights that MALDI and MPLD graduates have experienced when you sign up for the next cohort.
Please enroll by June 7. See article below for detailed information.
Reminder: MPLD Applications
Now Open Through June 7
The Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program at AdoptUSKids is accepting candidates now through June 7 for the cohort class which starts October 2021.
The MPLD fellowship is designed to develop leadership skills and promote connections for emerging minority leaders who work in the field of child welfare. The fellowship includes hands-on experience, exposure to national adoption experts and mentorship opportunities.
IPP SPECIALIST -- The IPP (Individual Permanency Plan) Specialist is responsible for the completion/coordination of the services needed to achieve the identified permanency plan of children in Spaulding for Children foster and adoptive homes. This includes providing services to the child and family from the date of placement until reunification, guardianship or adoption is achieved. The IPP Specialist is responsible for the completion/coordination of the services needed to achieve the identified permanency plan.
INTERN -- Seeking enthusiastic and motivated individual(s) interested in having an invaluable learning experience that not only broadens their horizons, but also gives them a chance to work for a good cause and build invaluable connections. Spaulding for Children is looking for Bachelor and Master’s level students interested in exploring career paths in our Business Office, Foster Care/Adoption and/or Human Resource Department. We are looking for semester long field placements as well as those able to commit to short term projects such as: action steps related to the strategic plan, federal/local laws, policy/procedure development or review and accreditation standard review.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect. Through this collaboration, prevention services and supports help protect children and produce thriving families.
Families and professionals in child welfare can get details and support from ChildWelfare.gov, including "The 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide," the latest Child Maltreatment Data, and resources to help "Spread the Word." Click here or on the button below.
Wednesday, April 21 is Administrative Professionals' Day. The professionals who help us get things done at Spaulding include:
Charles Bragg, Foster Care Aide
Cheryl Gist, Executive Assistant
Kimberly Hernandez, Accounting Clerk
Andrea Nava, Receptionist
Sylvia Ross, Administrative Assistant
The entire team at Spaulding for Children thanks you for all you do to help us do our work -- and help bring out the best in our organization.
Wendy's Detroit Area Restaurants
Contribute $10,000 to Spaulding for Children
The owners of Wendy's Restaurants in the Detroit Metropolitan Area voted unanimously to continue supporting Spaulding for Children, reported Spaulding Board Member, Mr. Edward T. Liversidge, who also serves as president of Wendy's Restaurants DMA. As part of their support, the group voted to send a check in the amount of $10,000 to Spaulding for "the great work" that we do. From all of us at Spaulding to our friends at Wendy's, thank you with all our heart.
Understanding Children's Behavior
and Helping Them Heal
It can be disheartening to think that early trauma can have such a long-lasting impact on a child and even for the generations to come. But in this new blog post, a therapist shares her perspective: That our nervous system is plastic and changeable and has the potential to be repaired in the context of a secure and healthy relationship.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Spaulding would hold a special day each summer for our families at a waterpark. Last year we created a virtual event called Spaulding Summer Fun Day.
This year we are planning a Summer Fun Day Drive-In Movie for Friday, July 9, 2021. In addition to screening a top family film, we hope to create an authentic atmosphere, complete with foods that you would enjoy at a drive-in movie, such as popcorn, hot dogs, burgers, colas and shakes.
We are seeking Food Trucks who would provide movie fare or restaurants that can deliver food for approximately 150 people.
If you can help with a donation to sponsor a truck, or if you know of an operator or restaurant you would like to sponsor or recommend as a participant, please contact Cheryl Gist, Executive Assistant, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: (947) 224-8467.
In partnership with families, communities, organizations, states and the nation, Spaulding for Children’s mission is to assure that all children grow up in safe, permanent families and have the help they need to be successful in life.