Who We Are
Spaulding for Children, a private, non-profit child welfare agency, was established in 1968 when several entities, each seeking a way to make life better for children without families, joined together. One of the entities was Warren Spaulding, an elderly gentleman farmer who donated his farmhouse and surrounding land to establish Spaulding’s first office.
What We Do
Spaulding for Children finds permanent homes for children that are in the public child welfare system and supports families in maintaining their children safely in their homes. It was one of the first agencies in the country that specialized in finding and training adoptive families for the placement of children with disabilities and other challenges.
In partnership with families, communities, organizations, states and the nation, Spaulding for Children’s mission is to assure that all children grow up in safe, permanent families and have the help they need to be successful in life.
- Spaulding is known by the children it serves as an agency that keeps its promises.
- Spaulding is recognized by the families, agencies and communities it serves as being totally committed to timely permanency outcomes and the long-term, healthy growth and development of the children and families it serves.
- Spaulding is nationally and internationally recognized as a premiere resource and training center for best practices, innovative program development and state-of-the-art training to advance permanency for children and the healthy growth and development of families.
- Spaulding is recognized by the community as the place to go for help for parents who have or want the challenge of parenting children who have been in the system.
- Spaulding is recognized in the community, the State of Michigan and nationally as an effective collaborator and partner in expanding and improving resources for children and families at risk.
- Spaulding is recognized by its staff for continuous quality improvement, fair and innovative employment practices, cultural competence, and opportunities for professional growth.
- Spaulding’s Board of Directors is diverse, highly committed and involved in all aspects of the agency’s development, public relations and fund development.
- Spaulding has a diversified, sustainable funding base that is sufficient to provide high quality services and to retain highly qualified staff.
- Spaulding maintains up-to-date information systems and is able to document high quality outcomes, efficiency, and effectiveness in all aspects of its operations.
Permanency Support and Preservation Model Guiding Principles
- In order to enhance positive adoption/guardianship outcomes, a permanency framework should be embedded in the child welfare systems, starting at the initial contact.
- Multi-system collaboration (including education systems, law enforcement, juvenile justice, tribes and behavioral health professionals) is critical in gathering, documenting, sharing and using available information to make critical decisions that impact permanency.
- Recruitment, selection and support of resource families that are able and willing to promote the well being of children and youth are critical investments in a child welfare system.
- Data on families and youth should be collected, analyzed, translated, utilized and disseminated in a manner that drives permanency, determines services and assists in developing a coherent system of care.
- The manner in which birth families are involved throughout the permanency continuum should be more inclusive. To do this, adoptive and guardianship families need assistance in defining the depth and type of engagement that they will have with birth families as well as support in developing and sustaining these relationships.
- It is essential for children and youth in care to have dynamic, culturally sensitive assessments that are shared and enhanced by all stakeholders. These assessments should be continuously shared with resource families so that they are fully informed and necessary services can be provided prior to achievement of permanency.
- Every transition entails critical life changes that must be appropriately addressed in a timely manner and appropriately to avoid negative impacts on children and youth’s trajectory to permanency.
- Adoption/guardianship is a milestone that requires thorough preparation for children and youth, resource families and their community, regardless of the resource families’ relation to the children and youth. The content and manner in which this preparation is completed should be adapted to better support and prepare all parties for permanency.
- Adoption/guardianship is a life long journey that requires the child welfare system to provide a level of service provision and supports before, during and after finalization.
- Permanency support and preservation services should adapt to the culture and life cycle of adoptive/guardianship families. The “one size fits all” approach should be avoided and replaced with a service array that can be tailored to the unique needs and circumstances of families.
- Effective permanency support and preservation services recognize the interdependence of family and community relationships and leverages the assets that a community can assemble to help families.
- Communities need to be aware of the unique needs of children and youth who have been adopted and/or obtained guardianship so that corporations, individuals and institutions can provide a coordinated, community supported continuum of family based support services.