Spaulding for Children and Detroit PAL are sponsoring a Resource Fair on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free and open to the public, the fair will be held at Detroit PAL's facility at The Corner Ballpark, site of the old Tiger Stadium, located at 1680 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48216.
The Resource Fair will bring together important community organizations and businesses with the public to share an array of available resources for families and their children. The event is designed to raise awareness of these resources and also to inform the public of the opportunities available at Spaulding.
Exhibitor tables are available for organizations to participate. Judson Center has been requested to bring their mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Unit to the event. The major sponsor of the fair is BrassCraft, a MASCO company.
We also invite you to be a part of this event as an Exhibitor to share your organization’s valuable information, unique resources and professional expertise. If you or your organization would like to participate, please email Stacey Oakes at firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug. 13, 2021.
Implicit Bias: Think Before You Act
Our minds operate under the influence of an invisible agent. It’s called: Implicit Bias.
Speaking via online conferencing to an all-staff meeting on June 11, Dondieneita Fleary-Simmons, MSW, QIC-AG Site Consultant, State Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison, provided invaluable insight into how Implicit Bias works and what we can do to lessen this unconscious actor’s impact on what we say and do.
“If you have a working brain, you have Implicit Bias,” Ms. Fleary-Simmons said. “Cognitive researchers have found that the more intellectually developed one becomes, the more biases one develops.”
Ms. Fleary-Simmons reported that the scientific study of Implicit Bias indicates everyone has Implicit Bias. The question has become, "What do we do about it?"
Cognitive researchers have found that each human brain receives billions of bits of information every day, thousands of bits per second, Ms. Fleary-Simmons said.
Processing the mountain of data each human being senses every day is what brains do in the prefrontal cortex. Part of that processing involves separating, grouping and classifying data, based on appearances, types and other impressions.
Explicit Biases are prejudices, attitudes and resentments that we are consciously aware of; Implicit Biases are biases that we are not aware of. These unconscious and preconceived notions shape how we think about other people and groups. Thus, they also act on what comes out of our hearts and mouths.
Implicit Biases can be based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, family wealth, marital status, educational attainment, cultural background, and most any way our brain uses the information it receives over the course of our lives. Human brains strive to find patterns, create links and classify information, including the information it holds about people and groups.
There are other types of bias that we need to consider, including Prototype Bias and Confirmation Bias. The former is the formation of stereotypical thinking based on the mind’s grouping together information about individuals and groups. The latter is the tendency to prefer information that agrees with one's pre-conceived opinions.
Ms. Fleary-Simmons reminded Spaulding's child welfare professionals that the latest research indicates that even people who consciously disapprove of certain attitudes and beliefs, such as racism, may still harbor biases based on race on an unconscious level. She suggested we train ourselves to think before we speak or act in order to overcome our natural tendencies – our Implicit Biases.
“While we cannot fix things by removing all forms of Implicit Bias from our minds, we can become attuned to our reactions to Implicit Bias,” Ms. Fleary-Simmons said. “Simply by being aware that we have Implicit Biases, we can change their impact on our behavior.”
'Thank You' to Our Foster Parents
Recently, Spaulding celebrated with several foster parents who had achieved milestones in their parenting journey. We surprised them with gifts one day, but we believe they know we treasure them every day.
Those recognized included:
Beverly Baker – 30 years
Elaine Taylor – 20 years
Bettye Hailey – 20 years
Sandra Mathews-Dixon – 10 years
Tonia Cooper & Robin Ellis – 10 years
Shanetha Moore – 5 years
Benita Taite – 5 years
We talked with a number of foster parents to find out how they came to select Spaulding as their agency; how they feel supported by the agency as well as why they chose to foster and/or adopt, what’s the best part and what’s helped then be a successful parent. Finally, we wanted to know what they thought most people got wrong about fostering.
Here are some of the things we learned:
How did you find Spaulding?
Some were referred to us by other parents and some found us through a search. Mrs. Baker was told by a judge that she might consider fostering. She went to court to discuss taking care of a family member, a niece. She learned that child had a sibling who also needed a home. The judge could tell that Mrs. Baker, who was passionate about her niece, had a lot to give and he suggested she get licensed. Thanks, Your Honor!
Another mother – Mrs. Taylor – was brought to an adoption event by her daughter. Mrs. Taylor had raised six children and was at the time an empty nester. But not for long! She has since adopted ten boys and acts as a recruiter and advocate.
“I did not know how many children were in care and needed a home," Mrs. Taylor said. "Every child should have a good childhood. I was 1 of 13 and I had a great childhood. If I can help others by giving back- there is no greater joy.”
Ms. Cooper said that starting at age 13 she would read the "A Child is Waiting" recurring feature story in the paper and knew one day she wanted to help.
“I was so touched by the stories," Ms. Cooper said. "I guess caring for kids is just in me and always has been. I had an amazing mother and she taught me about empathy and love.”
Many foster parents told us that "Spaulding has a family feel" to their interactions.
“They treat everyone like you are family,” Mrs. Taylor said. “They listen to you – even when you need to vent – and they support and encourage you, but they also teach you.”
Ms. Cooper says that the support she gets from Spaulding has made a huge difference.
“They listen and that is a big help," Ms. Cooper said. "Plus the classes – they are the best.”
As a young single working mom, Ms. Tate appreciates the active support Spaulding has provided.
"Their help is 'hands-on,'" Ms. Tate said. "And they always are helping with resources, like finding after-school care or reaching out to therapists.”
Several foster parents answered three of our questions using very similar words.
What advice would these experienced foster parents give those considering it?
“First thing to put in your head is dedication, because you can never quit on these kids.”
“Everything you put in their heads as they are growing up helps them. And they will draw on it when things get tough for them.”
“Don’t give up. They 'get' what you are doing for them.”
“Be open minded. Just because the children had problems doesn’t mean they will be your problems when you are raising them.”
What do people mistakenly think about foster parenting?
“Foster parents are in it for the money,” or that, “All foster kids are difficult.”
"Some people say these kids are bad. You can’t reach them. It’s not true. A child is a child.”
What is the best part of Fostering?
Nurturing a child.
The Success of the kids.
When kids come back as adults and share their accomplishments.
Knowing you made a difference in someone’s life.
And our foster parents sure do make a difference!
Thank you all for all your do – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (and 366 in leap years.)
Metro Residents Encouraged to Participate in
The Healing Memorial
A Healing Memorial art installation will be a hands-on display that will help metro Detroit residents remember and recognize the losses they’ve suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conceived by the City of Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the TCF Center, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Cranbrook Art Museum, the installation is open to all metro Detroit residents to contribute written dedications to the people, homes, jobs and health that were lost during COVID-19.
The installation was conceived by world-renowned and Cranbrook-educated artist Sonya Clark, seen in the photograph on the left.
The tributes will be placed in handmade pouches, made from the material and fabrics from a loved one's clothing, and sewn up with a special bead. The pouches will then be displayed on a wall of the TCF Center as a living memorial.
The new work will be unveiled on Aug. 31.
“Making Stations,” where residents can assemble their pouches, will pop up around the region to help facilitate the memorial. One making station will take place at the Cranbrook Art Museum’s Family Day on July 24.
The memorial will be a great way for residents in Oakland County to contribute to a long-lasting memorial that will pay tribute to such a difficult time in all our lives. For more information on the Healing Memorial, go to www.detroitriverfront.org/thehealingmemorial.
July is Parks & Recreation Month
Summer in Michigan is a very special time. For many of us lucky residents of the Great Lakes State, our local parks are our first experiences in nature, our introduction to a favorite hobby, or where we first enjoyed our favorite physical activity.
Our parks are wonderful places to gather with friends and family, as well as spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, spots of respite and healing, sites that connect us with essential community services, and so much more.
Our point? Get outside and enjoy summer! For a list of local parks and other outdoor fun, please click here to visit our Summer Guide. It's filled with great places and lots of things for families to enjoy together.
Friday, July 30
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
Human trafficking affects individuals around the world -- and right here in Michigan. It is believed to be the second largest criminal enterprise, after drug trafficking.
Human trafficking affects every community in Michigan across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. Our children are especially at risk, a staggering number of human trafficking cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child.
Organizations such as Detroit Phoenix Center and RAWS (Raising Awareness With Students) understand the plight of human trafficking. Both organizations work with youth who are directly affected by human trafficking.
If you suspect that any child or adult is a victim, or is at risk of becoming a victim, call (855) 444-3911, any time day or night. If the individual is in imminent danger, immediately call police at 9-1-1.
Great Times at Spaulding's Drive-In
The Summer Fun Movie Night was held on Friday, July 9 in the parking lot of the Crossroads Building in Southfield, home of our offices. Families enjoyed a complete drive-in experience, including a screening of the 2019 animated feature film, "The Mitchells vs. The Machines." The story was projected onto our portable movie screen
Sponsors and donors included BrassCraft, a MASCO company a major sponsor; DeAndre Lipscomb; Rodenna Hardison-Miggins; Mutual of America with a manned Ice Cream Cart; and Popcorn donated by Better Made. Food was provided by All City Dogs Food Truck.
A special thanks to our Volunteers and Staff who made this a truly special time for our families. Please know you are making a real difference.
QIC-AG Virtual Tour
Launched in 2014 to help systems meet the unmet needs of adoption and guardianship families, the QIC-AG has amassed an array of practical tools, materials, and content useful for members of the child welfare community, as well as allied professionals.
Regardless of where you are along the path to offer quality post adoption or permanency services and support for families, we are confident that the QIC-AG has something useful for you. Take a quick “virtual tour” and see for yourself.
To see this video and more from QIC-AG you can visit the Spaulding for Children YouTube channel and if you think a colleague would find this content helpful, please share!
Did you know you can support SFC while you shop for summer fun?
Spaulding for Children is signed up for community reward programs with Kroger and Amazon. You can connect your Kroger account by going here. Search for organization number and/or organization name: Now, every time you buy from Kroger, a portion of your purchase will help us.
Also, you can select SFC as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, where 5% of your eligible purchases are donated to SFC! It's as easy as going into your account settings and changing your charity to Spaulding for Children SFC-Southfield (Please remember, there also is a Spaulding in Houston, TX too!).
Please keep us posted about news you'd like to share with our colleagues. We'd also like to know your thoughts about our newsletter and how we can better cover what interests you. Email our Editor, Cheryl Gist: email@example.com. Thank you!
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.