It has always been true that an inclusive work environment makes it easier to do our best work – in an environment where everyone feels valued and heard. With the support of Family & Children Services’ board of directors, we have made progress in moving toward our goal of a workspace where everyone feels accepted and appreciated for who they are and what they can contribute. We have gone from a “safe” space to a “brave” space in our advancement of conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion on a personal level. This journey is tough, but we keep moving forward in our understanding and vision of who and what we want to be and the environment we want to create for all.
It is important to know that this is not just the board and my vision for Family & Children Services, it is our staff who believe in this collective vision and work every day to critically examine their own beliefs and work towards achieving organizational values that make each of us better people. I am amazed at the staff who take the time out of their often over committed day to contribute to the growth of the agency in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. In the end, our clients, staff, and community all benefit.
This month we celebrate our staff and community members in the LGBTQ+ community. I'm thrilled Kalamazoo Pride was back on after 3 years off and that we could make our presence, and our support, known.
We're also highlighting a new director and new staff positions. We know they will allow us to serve our current staff and community better and enable us to meet our strategic plan goals.
Finally, we are so very grateful for your support. We know we can do a little alone but a lot together.
Sherry Thomas-Cloud, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Family & Children Services
June was chosen as the month to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride because the Stonewell Uprising took place on June 28, 1969. The Stonewell Uprising/riots began when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
To read more about our DEI committee takeaways click here.
Even as more children are in need of a foster home, fewer people are getting licensed to become foster parents.
“We have seen a trend of more families closing their licenses than families opening licenses,” said Krista Ploski, BSW, licensing supervisor at Family & Children Services. “This is largely related to families either adopting or moving away. It’s a trend that impacts us greatly.”
The primary goal of foster care is to provide a stable living environment for children, regardless of age, ethnic background, or behavioral needs. The hope is always reunification of the biological family, as children do best among their original families—but this may not always be possible.
Read more here about how the over 500 children placed in foster care each year in Kalamazoo County need you.
We know our incredible staff is what allows us to live out our mission to members of our community.
Whether it's new hires or earned promotions, Family & Children Services knows investing in good people means our agency and entire community benefits.
Please click the Job Title to read more about our 3 staff members we're highlighting!
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