Nominations sought for 2014 Honorable Robert E. Weiss Awards; deadline Sept.5

Nominations are being accepted through Sept. 5 for the 2014 Honorable Robert E. Weiss Awards, named in honor of the late Robert E. Weiss, Judge of the Genesee County Probate Court and an advocate for children. Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, then Michigan Supreme Court Justice, initiated forums in 2008 to identify the barriers to adoption for children who had a goal of adoption and an identified adoptive parent, yet had been waiting for more than a year for the adoption to be finalized. Since then, the State Court Administrative Office Child Welfare Services Division and DHS have co-hosted Adoption & Permanency Forums across the state to discuss innovative ways to expedite permanency for all children in foster care. To celebrate the achievements of the Adoption & Permanency Forums, four awards are named in honor of Judge Weiss. Areas to be recognized include: Excellence in Working as a Team. This team will be commended for demonstrating excellent collaboration in reducing the length of time children were waiting for a permanent home. Excellence in Court Improvement. This team will be commended for implementing innovative solutions to reduce delays in court process and procedure. Excellence in Creative Solutions. This team will be commended for developing and implementing creative responses to adoption barriers. Excellence in Judicial Leadership. This judge will be commended for showing leadership and commitment to children through partnership with local community members. Persons interested in submitting nominations for these awards should consider the following attributes and criteria: leadership in establishing collaborative relations to improve the permanency process; creative solutions to remove barriers unique to the community; judicial leadership to advance cases in a timely manner; and the team's performance in finalizing permanency for children and families. Award recipients will be recognized at the Permanency Forum on October 16 in Mount Pleasant. During the October forum, special recognition will also be given to Director Maura Corrigan for her outstanding leadership. For more information, contact Casey Anbender at 517-373-5234 or Published: Thu, Aug 21, 2014