LANSING, Mich. — Five Michigan community based-organizations were awarded over $1.5 million in grants to help prevent child abuse.
The direct services grants were approved by Children Trust Michigan's Board of Directors. Children Trust Michigan, formerly known as Children's Trust Fund, focuses on the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
"We come to the table as a partner that has for over 40 years had that as our focus. So we're very honored to be in that role. And we provide programs and services in all 83 counties," said Executive Director Suzanne Greenberg. "We're blessed that we have the Children's Trust Fund, which was created in 1982, in order for us to have the dollars that are given to us to to distribute."
Programs from around the state applied for the direct services grants. Eleven proposals were submitted and winners were selected through a competitive bid process.
"These grants are for folks that are working to provide sports, concrete supports for families, who might have some extra challenges. And so this particular round of grants, we were asking that people think innovatively because there's so much conversation at the federal level and state level. And we're very focused always on evidence based practice," Greenberg said. "We also want to know, in your community, if you do something really unique that's working."
The grants are up to $80,000 every year for up to four years.
The organizations who came out on top were Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County, Family Assistance for Renaissance Men, Motherly Intercession, Tuscola Intermediate School District and Child and Family Charities.
"Child and Family Charities has been serving the mid-Michigan area for over 110 years. Every year, we reach over 7,000 children, youth and families just right here in mid-Michigan but 15,000 statewide," said CEO Julie Thomasma.
Thomasma says the organization is excited for the opportunity to partner with Children Trust Michigan. They will use the money to provide a unique 13-week parenting class for fathers.
"Each week, they're learning a different skill, or working on something that related to the curriculum, and then they'll be able to take that back to their family, implement it, and then continue to build their plans so that when they are done with the program, they have a solid plan of how they can be a better father," Thomasma said. "When we looked in this area, there wasn't anything of its kind. And we wanted to make sure that we were providing support to fathers in the family unit, because they're so important to make sure that families are healthy and thriving in our area."
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