Ambassadors Wanted

Help Spread the Word About
the Need for Foster Families

While the need for foster families is always high, several new developments are impacting the urgency to find foster families. Every day, child placing agencies across the nation are facing challenges finding foster homes for the increasing number of children entering care. This is due in part to a significant increase in parents’ drug usage. In addition to the increase in children in foster care, the turnover rate of foster parents has contributed to the shortage of qualified foster families.  
A recent state court ruling in Kentucky means family members who foster other family members will no longer be required to be licensed in the same way as non-family members who foster children. These family members also may be eligible for payments. The ruling in Kentucky also means there are many more families that could be eligible to receive our services.

In Michigan, we still have a significant push to license relatives. Based off the recent ISEP (State of Michigan Implementation, Sustainability, Exit Plan reporting, using data from 2017), 50% of children who were victims of repeat abuse/neglect were placed in the home of an unlicensed relative.
Therefore, Spaulding for Children will be working closely with these new, related families to get through the licensing process.


What Is the Need for Foster Families?

In one month alone (2/2018), the agency received 132 requests for placements. Due to the lack of foster homes, we were only able to take four of those placements. Parents are needed to foster and/or adopt:
  • Adolescents and Infants
  • Sibling Groups
  • Children with Disabilities
  • Children of all ethnicities, particularly African American
In order to help with all of this increased need, we have created an Ambassador Program to increase awareness of the need for families to foster.
What Will Ambassadors Do?
The Spaulding Ambassador will help raise awareness about the organization and enhance family recruitment efforts. Ambassadors will be prepared to fulfill their role and will be responsible for:
  • Learning the basic requirements to become licensed
  • Utilizing current networks that staff, foster/adopt parents, board members and community members already have established
  • Presenting at community events, during work meetings, or at church
  • Engaging friends, relatives or workers in a discussion about the need for families
We are looking for upcoming family-friendly events and resource fairs where we can have staff or foster parents come to speak about the need for foster and adopt families. Let us know if you are aware of events where we can send Ambassadors, or if you'd like to become an Ambassador. For additional information, please contact Armida Marinov at or phone (248) 443-0300. 

Keeping Families Together

The first thing we always try to do is to keep families intact and prevent the trauma that can result from having kids removed from home. The reason is, in many cases, removal can actually be harder on the children long term than some of the neglect at home. We have consistently succeeded in keeping the children in the home when parents go through our prevention programs (MIECHV).

We are always learning new things like Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) to help parents provide for their kids. TBRI is a therapeutic model that trains caregivers to provide effective support and treatment for children with history of trauma. The three TBRI principles are
  1. Empowerment - attention to physical needs.
  2. Connection - attention to attachment needs.
  3. Correction - attention to behavioral needs.
These principles help both caregiver and child learn healthy ways of interacting so both are able to play a role in the healing process.

Learn more about our Prevention Program here or on the button below. Please contact us if you know of a family who could benefit from our programs. 
SFC Prevention Programs

Help Us Service More Families

Spaulding for Children will be receiving transfers of cases from the state, including new families just entering foster care and families that have been previously working with the state. Add to that, the families described above who are caring for other families members -- and that means we soon will have many more families to service and serve.

Spaulding is looking to expand staff to support the increased foster care caseloads. Those interested in learning more, please contact Jamie Bozarth, HR Director, at

On a Mission to Help Others

Marla Ford

Marla Ford started at Spaulding in August, 2001. Here are her thoughts about her work and the people she serves:

I worked at Spaulding from 2001 to 2005. I was laid off when the program I worked on ended. During the exit interview, Addie Williams, former President/CEO, said she would bring me back. When a position became available, she did. On April 24, 2006 I was called back to work as a receptionist.

I had worked for Unisys Corporation for 25 years before being laid off due to the company closing. When I joined a temporary agency, they sent me to Spaulding. From the first day I started working, I knew I was going to like this place.  I looked at their policies and benefits and thought to myself, "This could be the place that I would like to retire from. This could be my dream job, because I live so close to work and have made a lot of friends."

When I started at Spaulding, I was an administrative secretary for Steve O’Neil in the Adoption Support and Preservation (ASAP) program. There I worked with some great people. I really enjoyed coming to work. After four years, the program ended.

Now as the receptionist, I am the first person that people see or talk to during their interactions with Spaulding. I don’t know if everyone knows that some of the guests can act out. It can be a stressful situation for families, and it can be a little hectic when (a distressed) parent comes in to visit their children. Let's say emotions are running high and it takes a cool head to respond.

I think the employees make SFC different. Everyone here gets along with each other. As long as I’ve been employed here, I have never heard an argument or heard of anyone having a problem with someone. I like everybody, and I think everybody likes me. In my opinion, Spaulding is a great company to work for. Staff appreciates the work I do and I was recently voted as the “Employee of the Year.” It’s been great working here! 

Please Join Us

Saturday, April 27 in Southfield

We are confirming more details about our April 27 Families in Bloom event each day and want to share them so you can mark your calendars. The event runs noon to 4 p.m. at St. John Banquet & Conference Center in Southfield. All activities are free and family friendly. 

Our 50th Anniversary Awards Ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The day's highlights also include:
  • CareHouse: Keeping Children Safe from Abuse
  • Wellness Plan: Helping Families Work Through Children in Puberty
  • Jewish Vocational Services (JVS): Tips for Financial Literacy for Children & Youth
  • Spaulding for Children - Information on Becoming a Foster Parent and the Prevention Program
  • Annette and Company School of Dance - Performance and Demonstrations
  • Kids First Initiative – STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math) Program by Richard D. Bell
  • 4 Kids Like Mine Book Series with author LaTashia M. Perry
  • Southfield Public Library presenting children's activities
  • Southfield High School presenting children's activities
50th Anniversary Awards and Presentations
  • Robert “Bob” and Marjorie DanielsLighthouse Award
  • John and Betty BarfieldAngel Award
  • Michael Gene LucciAmbassador Award
  • Dave ThomasSpirit of Adoption Award
Family Resources:
  • Meet Detroit Lions' Mascot Roary (from 1 p.m.  – 2 p.m.)
  • Information on Summer Camps and other resources for families
  • Families on the Move – (Resources for foster/adoptive/kinship families)
  • Career Development and Financial Literacy for Children (JVS)
  • Healthcare Advocacy (The Wellness Plan). 

Spaulding Trains Across the Nation

The National Training and Development Curriculum for Foster and Adoptive Parents (NTDC) announced that seven states (California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma) have been selected to participate in a pilot project to test its new training curriculum. An agreement is pending with an American Indian tribe for an eighth pilot site.
Spaulding for Children is the lead agency in the cooperative agreement. A partnership with four organizations and one university, Spaulding is charged with the development and evaluation of the state-of-the-art training program to prepare foster and adoptive parents to effectively parent children exposed to trauma and to provide these families with ongoing skill development needed to be successful.

The project is funded and overseen by the Children’s Bureau, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services that administers most of the federal funds for child welfare. The curriculum is designed to provide up-front and continuing training. The curriculum will also be appropriate for families involved with inter-country or private adoptions, according to the bureau.
“This five-year cooperative agreement is to develop the training for foster, adoptive and kinship families to prepare them for the journey but also offer them ongoing education,” Melinda Lis, Vice President of the Academy of Family Support and Preservation at Spaulding for Children, said. “Families don’t just need training on the front end of the journey, they need training throughout the journey.”
A final curriculum will be made available for free to all states, counties, territories, child welfare agencies, and tribal nations in 2022. 

Have you seen 'Hamilton'?

"Hamilton," the Broadway musical smash by Lin Manuel Miranda, is now running at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit through April. While almost every seat for every performance already is sold, a few lucky fans have found tickets through a lottery. We hope all who attend a special gala performance on March 28 will see our advertisement in the program book, shown in the image above. We'd like everyone who enjoys a truly great story to join us on Saturday, April 27 at Families in Bloom.

Change a child's life, become a foster parent!

Click to learn more.


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