Takeaways From the Foster Care Town Hall

How can we help foster care's most distressed kids?
A recent panel of foster care experts discussed the best options and resources led by the award-winning journalist Doug Tribou.  Tribou joined the Michigan Radio staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. He has also made numerous appearances on NPR’s Here and Now. He also worked in commercial radio for 10 years. Doug’s reporting has appeared on the public radio programs All Things Considered, Marketplace, and Weekend Edition.  

The esteemed panel included:
*Brenda Baker-Mbacke’, CASA Director, Care House of Oakland County
*Michele A. Calloway, veteran Foster Parent
*Rachel Sykes, Child Welfare Executive Director, Legacy Adoption Services 
*Demetrius Starling, Executive Director, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services MDHHS) Children’s Services Agency (CSA)

Watch and share this recording of the panel with others.

This Foster Care Awareness Month, Samaritas, one of Michigan's best-known foster care agencies, is asking experienced foster parents, child welfare professionals, teachers, and those in the military, law enforcement, healthcare, and behavioral health fields to get licensed as foster parents.

Caregivers who regularly deal with challenging behaviors can help distressed foster kids become great adults. Our licensing process is worth it - to make sure that good people are taking good care of our foster kids. Those interested in the process can call (833) 605-HOPE (4673) to learn more.


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* Important Notice *

Earlier this year, Samaritas was under investigation by the state for allegations of abuse in our emergency shelter in Grand Rapids. We opened this shelter 26 months earlier for children from Central America crossing the border fleeing from horrible condition; we were asked to take in Afghan youth when there was no other place for them to go after the crisis in Afghanistan occurred. We accepted 19 youth in response to this request and our long-term commitment to help youth to the greatest extent possible at the time of their greatest need. Samaritas was one of several similar emergency shelters across the country asked to take in these refugee youth.

Due to the severe level of trauma they had endured, many of them required intensive therapy and counseling. As a result of the growing concern we had for the depth and breadth of those needs of the youth and the safety of our team, we made the decision to work with our referring partners to move the youth to other programs where they could access the higher level of trauma-informed care, supervision, and medical attention that they required. Due to state and federal oversight of our programs, we are unable to share specific details of the investigation but we were cleared of any abuse allegations by the state and all youth were transferred to appropriate residential placements where they could receive the care they needed. Samaritas continues to be a state and federal leader in refugee resettlement, including refugee foster care.


Please Contact:
Joe DiBenedetto
Lambert & Co.
(516) 637-0597

Matt Friedman
Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
(248) 762-1430