In Memory of an Amazing Woman, Mother and Advocate

Veda D. Thompkins

It is with heavy hearts we report the passing of Ms. Veda Thompkins. A passionate advocate for families in child welfare and a former foster parent with Spaulding for Children, Ms. Thompkins died December 4, 2023. She was 70 years of age.

Those who knew and worked with Veda D. Thompkins believe she embodied the motto of Spaulding for Children: Stronger Families Build Stronger Communities. Ms. Thompkins had long been a tireless worker and effective advocate for Michigan’s foster parents and the children they nurture and love.

Serving more than 38 years as a licensed juvenile foster caregiver, she specialized in helping delinquent teenage boys and children who were in the juvenile criminal justice system. Ms. Thompkins also adopted four children.

Ms. Thompkins founded Families on the Move (FOTM) in 1989, a non-profit organization, to provide support and training for foster and adoptive families throughout the State of Michigan. Through her leadership as the organization’s president, the Michigan legislature passed a “Bill of Rights” law which gives rights to, and provides protection for, foster parents. The organization today serves more than 100 families.

Ms. Thomkins participated in countless workshops, programs, seminars and forums, where she talked about the need for and the responsibilities and rewards of being a foster parent. She was an early advocate for LGBTQ+ children. More than two decades ago, Ms. Thomkins embarked on an education campaign to better understand to support children/youth who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. This was due in large part because of a youth who had been placed in her care and her insight that if she were to be able to support him, she needed more information.

The recipient of many honors and awards. Ms. Thompkins received the 2008 Adoption Excellence Award. She also served as a Board Member of The Phyllis Gruber Child and Young Adult Resource Center.

Ms. Thompkins was appointed to then-Governor Rick Snyder’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect to advocate politically and socially and help advance the needs of at-risk youth, birth families, and foster and adoptive families.

On November 24, 2020 (Michigan Adoption Day), Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura D. Corrigan presented the Maura D. Corrigan Foster Family Lifetime Achievement Award to Veda Thompkins, director of Detroit-based Families on the Move, Inc.