Michiganders in particular have been talking about Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State address and the various plans he pitched in his River of Opportunity analogy.  We can agree the system is currently broken. As we’ve stated previously, children being cared for by the State of Michigan are still falling through the cracks. But, is streamlining the whole system really the answer?

The University of Michigan-Flint Hockey team will go head-to-head with the Northwood University Timberwolves this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, to benefit Whaley Children’s Center (WCC). The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the new Crystal Fieldhouse Ice Arena in Burton, Mich.

School sucks. I hate that I don’t fit in. They all talk about what their mom made for dinner or stuff they do with their brothers and sisters. I haven’t even seen my older brother in almost a year. When the kids at school ask me about my family, I tell them I have a mom, dad, brother and dog—which was sort of true…until about six months ago.

In 2012, nearly 1,600 children died in the United States—many as a result of physical abuse, neglectful starvation and malnourishment or careless parenting. This number is shocking in itself; however, what is even more concerning is the fact that a majority of these cases had previous Child Protective Services involvement. CPS knew these children were in danger, yet they were still in guardianship of those who would ultimately be responsible for their untimely death.

Oooh, look! A present! This is new…and I’m not complaining. A new backpack for school with notebooks, pens and stuff. That’s pretty cool. A new outfit…sweet. New blankets and pillows…nice. A coloring book? Meh…that’s for little kids…but I’ll take it anyway.

And now it’s time to talk to these new people I’ll be staying with. They seem pretty nice, but I don’t really care because I know I won’t be here very long. Tomorrow is Christmas, so I say I’m not here a few weeks after New Year’s.

Nearly 1,100 guests attended the 30th annual World’s Greatest Office Party on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre, which raised a new record of $70,000. All proceeds directly benefit Whaley Children’s Center’s (WCC) nationally accredited residential and clinical programs for children who have suffered from abuse and neglect.

I remember my first placement like it was yesterday…

It’s freezing. I’m only wearing gym shorts and a sweatshirt. The police officer who made me leave my house is talking to a lady named Gloria. I hate him. He literally grabbed me and dragged me out of my house and away from my mom and brother. I’m scared and tired and have no idea what’s going on. He tells me I’m staying with Ms. Gloria until they can find me another place…”emergency foster care” he says. Who the hell is he to tell me where I’m going?

I should have seen this coming. I guess I should know better by now to not get comfortable anywhere for too long—but it’s not like anyone would know it. Staff have been on my case lately—saying I’m being bad. Telling me I’m always angry. And always mean to everyone. And that I’m “constantly” disrespectful. Whatever though. It’s not like being good or nice ever got me anywhere. Bad things happen to bad people, and I can’t remember the last time something good happened to me.

So, how many is this? Six. Yep, this will be six. My sixth home in, like, two years. It’s all a blur now for me. The first one seems like forever ago...

A lot of media attention has recently been given to child abuse, primarily due to the actions of former MVP and NFL Pro Bowler, Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings. Several issues came to the forefront, most prominently the use of corporal punishment. There was even dialogue and debate over which races and ethnicities spanked their children more! Charles Barkey, NBA Hall-of-Famer, famously stated that every Black parent in the South would be in jail now due to their use of corporal punishment.

Could youth violence be a chronic disease? Hurley Medical Center is at the center of a study delving into the theory that violence is somewhat of a disease while also looking for ways to prevent it.