Nominations sought for Weiss awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Honorable Robert E. Weiss Awards, named in honor of the late Genesee County probate court judge who was a tireless advocate for children.

Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan, then a Michigan Supreme Court justice, initiated forums in 2008 to identify 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 forums, four awards are named in honor of 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.

Nominations should be submitted by Sept. 5. Award recipients will be recognized at an Oct. 16 forum in Mount Pleasant.

For additional information, contact Casey Anbender at 517-373-5234 or AnbenderC@courts.mi.gov.

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