1 Person Can Make A Huge Difference!

Together We Can Change Thousands of Lives.

The goals of the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care are to: 

  • Provide gatherings in which representatives from congregations, organizations and service agencies can hear inspiring speakers and collaborate together.
  • Help alleviate the suffering of OUR Michigan children in care by asking congregations to partner with a social service agency in a particular project.
  • Encourage congregations to issue calls for potential foster/ adoptive parents, mentors and respite care givers to become licensed and available when needed.

Imagine the tremendous impact it will have when every faith community in Michigan reaches out to our kids in care through  just one or two of these projects.

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THE NEED

There are now over 13,000 Michigan children in foster care. A number of our young people age out of the system when they are 18 while others can continue in foster care until the age of 21. The following nation-wide statistics show what often happens to our youth from foster care without community-wide safety nets:

 

1 in 5 or more will become homeless after age 18 • 7 of 10 women will be pregnant by their 21st birthday • Just half will be employed at 24 • Fewer than 3% will earn a college degree by 25 • 1 in 4 will be incarcerated within two years of leaving foster care (from the Jim Casey Foundation, 2012)

 

We believe that there are many caring, compassionate individuals in every congregation. If they knew about this critical need, they would want to engage in a pro-active mission that helps to prevent our children and youth from suffering from future incarceration, homelessness, unemployment, generational poverty and human trafficking.

WHAT WE ARE

Begun in 2008, the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care is a growing grass roots collaboration to connect Michigan congregations of all faiths on behalf of our 13,000 Michigan children in foster care.


 

We are a catalyst to educate and motivate all faith communities to engage in at least one project or program that will benefit one or more children and youth in foster care.

WHAT WE DO

We network together with child welfare agencies, case workers, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, foster parents, adoptive parents, foster alumni and mission leaders in congregations through the regional FCC meetings plus email alerts.

The coalition has grown to a state-wide supportive network that meets in 12 different regions with 49 key leaders, over 45 gatherings a year, 31 child welfare agencies, some 700 on the mailing list, with 230 congregations getting involved in at least one project or program benefitting foster kids. All are working together to provide a larger safety net for our children in foster care as well as those aging out of the system. For a listing of the meetings, regions and contact information of regional leaders see the EVENTS calendar or REGIONAL MEETING LOCATIONS AND CONTACTS.

Congregations have organized donation drives that annually provide thousands of dollars in goods and financial support to meet emergency needs of our children, youth, foster families, and foster alumni. Congregations learn about specific needs through the representatives from agencies and case workers who network together through the FCConFC meetings and alert us about specific needs.

WHO WE ARE

FCC REGIONAL LEADERS, COORDINATORS AND HOSTS:

Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmett Counties
Karlee Philip, Debra Chappuies, Sharie Jo Plain, Gayle Gotts

 

Eastern Market, Detroit Sacred Heart Church
Annette Howard

 

Eastern Wayne County
Dr. Angelique Day, Pat Dyble, Rev. Jimmie Sue Depp, Sue Acton,
Rev. Sarah Godbehere, Beth Dionne, Dr. David Benjamins

 

Ingham County
Dan and Abby Nowiski

 

Macomb County
Susan Foster, Pastor Wayne Stapleton, Tonya Stapleton

 

Mid Oakland County
Yvonne Rundell, Sheri Falvay, Rev. Joanna Dunn, Nina Macri, Rev. Kate Thoresen

 

Northern Michigan (Otsego, Crawford and Oscoda Counties)
Marc Morrell, Jim Bates, Suzanne Bates, Donna Von Brocklin , Jammie Truax

 

Northwestern Wayne County
Marsialle Arbuckle, Keenna Bell, Deborah Fair, Rev. Mary Austin

 

Southwest Michigan
Jennifer Nette , Jennifer Patrick

 

Washtenaw County
Heidi Church, Katie Page Sander

 

Western Wayne/Oakland Counties
Sheila Henderson, Peggy Fischer-Kmieciak, Chris Stirling, Sue Rakay, Val Kushman, Lynn Jarrett, Maureen and David Boyd

 

MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Trina Richardson and Stephanie McCann of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Faith Based Initiative on Foster Care and Adoption participate in many of these FCC meetings to provide guidance and support to congregations

STATEWIDE COORDINATOR

Kate Thoresen
Our Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care is coordinated by the Rev. Dr. Kate Thoresen, Parish Associate for Foster/Adoptive Families Partnerships of First Presbyterian Church, Birmingham. This church is the fiduciary and provides office space and support for this state-wide interfaith mission.. Any in kind and financial donations are channeled directly to meet the needs of our foster children, youth, alumni and families. She can be reached at katethoresen@faithcommunitiescoalition.org or 248-835-8151.

HONORS, RECOGNITIONS AND AWARDS

2011—Oakland County Circle of Light Award Through CARE House, Oakland County
2011—Child Advocate of the Year Award from Vista Maria
2012—Recognition of faith-based service for foster children presented by Governor Rick Snyder and MDHS Director Maura Corrigan at the State-wide Summit on Foster Care to the Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care and the , then an outreach of the Save Our Children Coalition
2012—One of 30 pastors honored at the Salute to Pastors in Detroit breakfast by The Michigan Chronicle
2013--- FCC Regions and active congregations recognized by MDHS Director Maura Corrigan and Lieutenant. Gov. Brian Calley at the annual State-wide Faith-Based Summit on Foster Care
2013—Diversity Champion Award for Community Service nominated by First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham taking place at The Community Center, Birmingham
Dec. 2013--- Salute to Women Award from the American Association of University Women, Livonia Branch
June, 2014---The Harriet Tubman Award from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Southfield
April, 2015---Community Partner Award from the Wayne State University’s Transitioning into Independence
October, 2015--- “Visionaries….Making Dreams Possible!” award from Community Social Services, Wayne County
December, 2015---The Uplift Award from The Center for Urban Youth and Family Development Uplift Award

WHERE WE ARE

2016 LOCATIONS OF REGIONAL MEETINGS AND CONTACTS

THANKS TO ALL OUR DEDICATED LEADERS FOR MAKING THESE POSSIBLE!

Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmett Counties FCC Region

Locations vary:
* First Presbyterian Church, 207 Williams St., East Jordan
* East Jordan Community Church, 301 Nicholls St., East Jordan, 49727
* Community Reformed Church, 100 Oak Street, Charlevoix
Contacts: Gayle Gotts of First Pres. Church,(gottsga@aol.com); Karlee Philip (karlee@faces-ministry.com); Debra Chappuies (dlc2x@hotmail.com)

Eastern Market, Detroit

Sacred Heart Church Activities Building, 3451 Rivard St., Detroit, MI 48213
Contact: 313-831-1356, Coordinator, Annette Howard at aphoward12@aol.com

Eastern Wayne County

Locations vary:
* St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 375 Lothrop Rd, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236
Contact: Dr Angelique Day, ew6080@wayne.edu
* St. Michael’s Church, 20475 Sunnydale, Grosse Pointe Woods,
Contact: Pat Dyble, patdyble@wowway.com
* Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore Dr., Grosse Pointe Farms
Contact: Sue Acton, sacton@gpmchurch.org; Beth Dionne, bdionnegpc@aol.com

Ingham County

Locations vary:
Capital Congregation – Community of Christ, 1514 W. Miller Rd. Lansing, MI 48911
Lansing Church of the Brethren, 3020 South Washington, Lansing, 48910
Contact: Dan Nowiski, dnowiski@cofchrist.org

Livingston County

Brighton AG Church, 7770 Whitmore Lake Rd, Brighton, MI 48116,
Contact: Rhonda Trask at 810.986.0178 Rhonda@brightonag.org

Macomb County

Renewal Church, 11174 E. Thirteen Mile Rd., Warren, 48088.
Contacts: Susan Foster, lily503@yahoo.com; Pastor Wayne Stapleton, wstapleton@renewalwarren.com

Mid Oakland County

Locations vary:
* First Presbyterian Church, 1669 West Maple Road, Birmingham, MI 48009 Contact: Kate Thoresen, kthoresen7@gmail.com
* Kirk in the Hills, 1340 W. Long Lake Rd., Bloomfield Hills 48302 Contact: Yvonne Rundell, yrundell@comcast.net and Sheri Falvay, skfalvay@gmail.com

Northern Michigan (Otsego, Crawford and Oscoda Counties)

First Presbyterian Church of Gaylord, 513 Charles Brink Road, Gaylord, MI 49735
989.732.7447 Contact: Marc Morrell, MorrellM@michigan.gov; Jim Bates, jim@campwestminster.com; Suzanne Bates, suzanne@campwestminster.com ; Donna Von Brocklin, VanBrocklinD@michigan.gov; Jammie Truaz, Foster parent meeting Coordinator, 1-702-336-4976

Northwestern Wayne County

Locations vary:
Greater Grace Temple Church, 23500 West Seven Mile Road Detroit, MI 48219 with Local coordinator, Keenna Bell, M.A., 734 612-5111 Bellk4@michigan.gov
Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, 18700 James Couzens Freeway Detroit, MI 48235 with local coordinator Marsialle Arbuckle, marbuckl@hotmail.com
Westminster Church, 17567 Hubbell, Detroit, 48235 with coordinators: Deborah Fair, deborah_fair@live.com; Rev. Mary Austin, meaustin@wcodetroit.org

Southwest Michigan

Locations vary:
Milwood United Methodist Church, 3919 Portage Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Radiant Church, 8157 East DE Ave., Richland, Mi 49083;
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1747 W Milham Ave, Portage Mi 49024
Cresthaven Room, Conference Room, Van Buren Intermediate School District, 490 South Paw Paw St., Lawrence, MI 49064
Almena United Methodist Church, 27503 CR 375, Paw Paw, MI 49079
Contacts: Jennifer Nette, jennifer_nette@msn.com; Jennifer Patrick, jenniferpatrick72@yahoo.com

Washtenaw County: Various Locations

Knox Presbyterian Church, 2065 S Wagner Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
242 Community Church, Ann Arbor 410 South Maple Road (behind Kroger); Ann Arbor, MI 48103.
First Presbyterian Church of Ypsilanti, 300 N. Washington, Ypsilanti 48197(corner of Huron and Cross Streets). Coordinators: Rev. Heidi Church, hgeibster@gmail.com; Katie Page Sander, katieepage@yahoo.com or at 734-497-7396

Western Wayne/Oakland Counties

Faith Community Presbyterian Church, 44400 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi, MI 48375
Coordinator: Sheila Henderson, rjsah@sbcglobal.net

GET INVOLVED!

Individuals and Congregations are making a big difference! Whether you have a minute, an hour, or a day, you can impact many lives in foster care.

We are a catalyst to educate and motivate faith communities to engage in at least one project or program that will support foster children in Michigan.

Spectrum of Help

What are the benefits of belonging?


You will be assisted in your own mission to raise awareness and involvement in congregations concerning foster care in several ways:

  • Connections with others in your area who are involved with foster care.
  • Help equip you to be a catalyst where social service organizations and congregations can meet together to form partnerships on behalf of foster children, foster families and aging out youth.
  • You have people you can call directly for ideas, resources and encouraging support.
  • FCC regional groups can coordinate several congregations to meet specific large projects. Example: Over 400 school backpacks were collected for DHHS and local service agencies through the donations of several congregations.
  • Find handy resources, information and inspiration

“This was my first semester in college and it was so hard. I wanted to quit. But then the care package came during exam time and I realized that there are others who really care about me. So I’ve enrolled for next semester.”

-College Youth

“I want to say how deeply moved I was by the Faith Community effort. I came away knowing for sure that there are many people who care for the children...
…We were like a big extended family!
Thank you for the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people who radiate love and understanding at a level I have rarely experienced. I felt a deep spiritual connection with you all.”

Joanne Riebschleger, PhD, LMSW fro Michigan State University who came to talk about the MSU Summer Camp for Aging Out Youth

He said it was one of his best days ever and he is very appreciative of your help and generosity... I wanted to say thank you to both of you for helping with this! In the 2 ½ years I’ve been doing this job, I think today was one of my favorite days!”

A case worker was given emergency funds to take a 12 year old shopping for a new bike. He was also able to buy equipment for his brother and sister who live in other foster homes. Later she wrote this email.

“Thank You Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care for working with TIP Wayne State to improve the lives of college students who have been in foster care!”

Jeremy Mitchell
Wayne State University’s Transitioning Into Independence Program

“The generosity of strangers has changed my life. I want to pass this along to others”

Grandmother in Southwest, Michigan suddenly responsible for 3 grandchildren who received needed supplies, diapers, clothing, formula and other emergency needs met