Nominations sought for awards

Daniel J. Wright Lifetime ­Achievement Award

Deadline: Oct. 14

Nominations are open for the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award, jointly sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, to honor exceptional service to Michigan's children.

The award was established in honor of the late Daniel J. Wright of Grand Ledge, an attorney and longtime leader in child support and child welfare reform. He was credited with the "Michigan Miracle" in 2002 when, as special assistant to then-Chief Justice Maura D. Corrigan, he led the state's efforts to upgrade Michigan's child support enforcement system by federally mandated deadlines. By meeting the deadlines, Wright saved the state $142 million in federal fines and earned the state a $36 million refund for fines it had already paid. Later, as director of the Friend of the Court Bureau and Child Welfare Services divisions of the State Court Administrative Office, Wright helped create the state's "Adoption Forums" to deal with adoption barriers that were stranding children in foster care. He worked on legislation to give foster children a greater voice in decisions about their lives; among other things, the law now requires courts to consult the child's wishes when holding a hearing about placing the child in a permanent home.

Nominations are open to attorneys, judges, caseworkers, court employees, employees of public and private agencies, employees and members of non-profits, and others who have a significant record of helping Michigan families and children. To be eligible, a nominee must have 10 years or more experience in his or her field and must have a record of achievements with demonstrable impact.

Previous recipients include the late Daniel Wright; former DHS Director Marilyn Stephen; Crawford County Court Administrator Thomas Haskel; Midland County Probate Judge Dorene Allen; former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maura Corrigan; Calhoun County Friend of the Court Jeffrey Albaugh; and Steve Yager, Executive Director Children's Services Agency.

To nominate a candidate for the Wright Award, complete and return the application form by Oct. 14. The Wright Award recipient will be honored at the 2016 Michigan Adoption Day event at the Michigan Hall of Justice on Nov. 22.

Submit forms by email to WrightAwardNomination@courts.mi.gov or fax to (517) 373-9831.

Direct questions to Barb Browne at browneb@ courts.mi.gov or at (517) 373-0714 or Elizabeth Hen­der­son at hendersone@courts.mi.gov or (517) 373-2621.

Child Welfare Awards

Deadline: Sept. 6

The State Court Administrative Office's Foster Care Review Board for is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Child Welfare Awards, which are given every year in the fall to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to Michigan's foster children.

"The awards program provides a forum for recognition of the excellent work that is performed by child welfare professionals," said FCRB Program Manager James Novell.

One nominee from each of the following categories will be recognized, and nomination criteria can be found in each of the links:

- Jurist of the Year

- Foster Care Worker of the Year

- Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem of the Year

- Foster Parent of the Year

- Parent Attorney of the Year

The nomination deadline is Sept. 6, 2016. Finalists will be chosen by a panel of Foster Care Review Board members, and award winners are chosen by a panel of child welfare professionals and advocates, including award winners from the past year. This year's award recipients will be recognized at the FCRB annual training conference on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at the Sheraton Detroit Metro Airport Hotel in Romulus.

The FCRB, which was created by the Michigan legislature in 1981, serves as a statewide system of third-party review of the foster care system. The program is administered by the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative agency of the Michigan Supreme Court. Citizen volunteers serve on the FCRB's 30 local review boards throughout the state. Local boards review randomly chosen child abuse and neglect cases; the boards assess how these cases are being handled by courts, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and private child welfare agencies. For more information about the FCRB or about volunteering, visit www.courts.mi.gov/fcrb.

Published: Thu, Aug 18, 2016

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