The Michigan Medically Fragile Foster Care project began in 2020 with the dream of building an integrated system of care for medically fragile children and their caregivers who are involved with the child welfare system. The goal of the project has been to create a model that will integrate the child’s care within the multi-layered child welfare, medical, and court systems to improve outcomes related to health, safety, permanence, & well-being.
To reach this goal, an oversight workgroup and five sub-committees were formed. The workgroup was comprised of individuals from the child welfare system, caregivers to medically fragile children, judicial personnel (judges and GAL), medical providers and a data analyst. The workgroup membership remained consistent throughout the project and continuously moved the work forward. Throughout the project the workgroup reviewed data provided by MDHHS to assess for trends, gaps, disparities, and opportunities. A foundation of the work was for all members and outputs of the work to be intentional in the areas of race equity and SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression).
The sub-committees focused on the five key target populations of the project: Biological Family, Resource Parents (relative providers, foster and adoptive parents), Child Welfare Staff, Court, and Medical. Each sub-committee was tasked with creating tools, building and conducting trainings, and gathering resources for their identified target population.
The tools found on this website were created and vetted by members of the workgroup and sub-committees. Documents were vetted by individuals within the identified target population prior to finalization of the tool(s). These were vetted by stakeholders in various communities and community types throughout the state of Michigan.
Throughout this project, workgroup members have provided numerous trainings to the target populations as well as others who have expressed interest. These trainings have been offered to various groups throughout the state of Michigan and thus far two national trainings have been provided. Some of these trainings can be found on this website while others have not yet been recorded.
Though our project is complete, we continue to dream of an integrated system of care for medically fragile children involved with the child welfare system, we continue to plan for our next steps to bridge gaps in the current system, and we look forward to the day when these systems are truly integrated for the benefit of our medically fragile youth.