Nominations sought for 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 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.

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 November 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.

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