“More can be done” says foster program manager

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(WLNS) – May is National Foster Care and Adoption Awareness month, and Michigan has continued to make improvements to the systems here in the state to help the hundreds of children without a safe place to call home.

Martin Strachan is one 12 year old who Michigan has helped take from one dark situation and give him a brand new beginning.

“I felt safe here,” Martin said.

The system we have today hasn’t always been as smooth. In 2006 Michigan was put under federal oversight because of the state of the foster care and adoption system, but now 10 years later, it’s night and day difference.

“It’s been change, it seem like constantly and it’s always change for the better,” St. Vincent Foster Care Program manager Heather Akers said.

Martin was able to go from a neglecting and abusive family to a new adoptive home, and now he is singing a new song.

“I started to know that alright, these people are the people I’m supposed to come to,” Martin said.

Despite the changes, there are still improvements to be made.

“More can be done, always, with preventative measures to help people in the front end,” Akers said.

The front end is helping the biological families improve before making the foster care step.

Bob Wheaton with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who refers agencies with children, believes the main goal is stability.

“Children really need stability, they need support, they need someone who can talk to them and support them as they make decisions about their future,” Wheaton said.

Today, 300 children in the state are in foster care without a concrete promise of a stable future, but MDHHS and foster care and adoption agencies are working to change that.

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