Nominations sought for two awards

 Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are open for the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award, jointly sponsored by the Michigan Supreme Court and Michigan Department of 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.

To nominate a candidate for the Wright Award, complete the attached form and return it according to the instruction on the form; the deadline is September 27, 2013. The Wright Award recipient will be honored at the 2013 Michigan Adoption Day event at the Michigan Hall of Justice on November 26.
 
 

Child Welfare Awards

 
The Foster Care Review Board is seeking nominations for its annual Child Welfare Awards, which honor judges, lawyers, foster care workers, and foster parents for exemplary service to children in Michigan’s foster care system.
FCRB Program Manager James Novell said that “The awards recognize those who protect, care for, and advocate for foster care children and their parents. These people have tremendous responsibilities, yet receive little, if any, recognition. The Child Welfare Awards were established to honor them and call attention to their difficult and demanding work.”
 
Categories include “Jurist of the Year” (judges and referees), “Foster Care Worker of the Year,” “LGAL of the Year” (lawyer-guardian ad litem), “Foster Parent of the Year,” and “Parent Attorney of the Year.” All nominees will receive a congratulatory letter from the Foster Care Review Board informing them of their nomination and thanking them for their service.

The deadline is September 6. Award recipients will be recognized at the FCRB annual training conference on November 7 in Bay City. Nomination forms are available online at www.courts.mi.gov/administration/scao/officesprograms/fcrbp/pages/child-welfare-awards.aspx; nominations can also be made online by clicking on the categories below.

Jurist of the Year: Nomination Jurist

Foster Care Worker of the Year: Nomination Foster Care Worker

LGAL of the Year: Nomination LGAL

Foster Parent of the Year: Nomination Foster Parent

Parent Attorney of the Year: Nomination Parent Attorney

For more information, contact Kathy Lohr at LohrK@courts.mi.gov or at 313-972-3288.

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