We have entered a new year, and as we always do, this is a time that we look back on the year behind us and look to the year ahead—always with an eye on opportunities to innovate and improve. It is important for us at Family & Children Services to listen to our staff members, to our clients, and to our community.
We also wish to take a moment to celebrate the successes of the past year—and there have been many. Please take a moment to read Looking Back and Looking Forward. You will find there just a few of the highlights from 2021 and our plans for 2022 and beyond.
As we look forward, planning for summer camp and enrichment activities for the children we serve gives us excitement and hope. An important part of our work is to show the children of our community that they are loved, wanted, and valued. These are children who may not be able to experience the joy of summer if it weren’t for our HANDLE WITH CARE fund, which relies exclusively on you and your generous gifts. Please read Summer is Almost Here! to learn more about these opportunities and how you can help.
Finally, more reasons to celebrate. In A Nod to Our Staff, we introduce you to some new hires, new positions, and to our staff members who have earned promotions to programmatic leadership roles. Family & Children Services isn’t a building, after all. It isn’t even the services that we provide. It is the people who work here and the people we serve. We celebrate each and every one of you, our new and existing staff, because all of you are important to our mission as we strive toward inclusiveness and diversity to reflect our community.
And, we celebrate each of you, our donors, our board members, our community members. We accomplish great things when we all come together as one.
Sherry Thomas-Cloud, M.S.W., L.M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Family & Children Services
As one year concludes and the next unfolds, it is important to step back and assess where we have been and where we are going. As we take a closer look at our successes— and the challenges we have been able to overcome—staff and leadership prepared a year-end report for you we would like to share.
Once again, the pandemic undeniably affected 2021 as it did the year before, and if there is a bright spot, working through a pandemic has helped us to see our areas of strength and where there are opportunities for improvement and innovation.
“Agency leadership is aware of the additional stress, trauma and isolation brought on by the pandemic in stretching families’ ability to cope,” said Sherry Thomas-Cloud, Chief Executive Officer. “We are committed to aligning available services to provide them where and when they are needed the most.”
One of the most important parts of the mission of Family & Children Services is to listen to our clients, to the community, and to be proactive in creating linkages with other stakeholders to enhance capacity or create new services. We listened and heard the needs of our communities’ children and families...
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Summers for me are probably a lot like they are for you; time spent on Michigan’s glorious lakes with friends and family, outdoor meals with laughter that carries through the neighborhood, and dessert over a fire pit as we close out the day. If you have younger kids, as I once did, summers might also include camp! A time where you drop off your child who is often quiet and nervous and return to pick up an exuberant, independent child instead.
At Family & Children Services, we get to come alongside and serve children and families who do not experience summer the same way. We serve kids with emotional or developmental dysregulation, and kids who have experienced abuse or neglect. We serve kids who are most at-risk of falling behind socially, emotionally, and academically over summer break.
Studies show that camps of all kinds increase competence in a variety of ways, expand positive decision-making skills, and develop resilience. Those positive outcomes extend beyond the camp and carry into the high-risk environments in which many of our kids find themselves throughout the year.
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The greatest resource Family & Children Services has is our people. Investing in a solid organizational structure ensures our ability to deliver the highest quality services to our clients. Our staff members work hard every day to make our organization and our community a better place for everyone to work and live. We are excited to introduce you to a few of our new hires and to those who have earned leadership promotions in our program services area.
Welcome and congratulations!
Children’s Services Director
Children’s Services Program Manager
Residential Services and Parenting Support Program Manager
We look forward to introducing you to more of our new hires in our June newsletter!
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