Meetings set to help "grassroots faith-based organizations to take small, concrete steps to change a life."

March 16, 2009

DEARBORN / March 16, 2009---Religious groups and communities in the metropolitan area who are working together to provide “a wider safety net for our vulnerable children” in the foster-care system will gather for orientation sessions at area churches on Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, March 29.

“We’re going to encourage each faith community to partner with a local social service agency in order to provide at least one special project on behalf of foster children and families in 2009,” according to Gail Bagale, a volunteer with the Save Our Children Coalition (SOCC).

“These meetings are intended to provide a catalyst that educates and motivates our grassroots faith-based organizations to take small, concrete steps to change a life.”

On March 22, the group will meet at 3:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 1669 West Maple Rd. in Birmingham. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan will speak.

The March 29 meeting will be held at Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, 8801 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, beginning at 5 p.m. Referee Kelly Ramsey of the Wayne County Circuit Court's family division, juvenile section, will be the speaker.

The Save Our Children Coalition represents a wide range of educators, social service providers, foster-care parents and others “representing the many perspectives and voices of those who care about the welfare of Michigan’s children in foster care,” according to Bagale. The coalition was established by the University of Michigan-Dearborn School of Education.

The Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care is a part of the group’s efforts. “More than 60 representatives from congregations across the Detroit area have come together to find ways we can work together,” according to coordinator Rev. Kathryn Thoresen.

Both sessions also will include opportunities for faith groups to connect with service providers, including foster-care and adoption agencies, mentoring groups and other organizations.

For more information contact Thoresen at 248-835-8151, or the Save Our Children Coalition office at 313-593-5052.





CONTACT: Terry Gallagher

PHONE: 313-593-5518

The Office of University Relations

Room 1040, Administration Building

University of Michigan-Dearborn