The rate of child abuse and neglect has continued to rise-by 30 percent from 2012 to 2017-with disproportionate impacts on children of color. There are also recent increases in the rate of children placed in out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect. Approximately 58 percent of young people exit foster care because they are emancipated or age out of the system without any permanence, meaning without a recognized adult parenting relationship in place. These statistics were provided by the 2019 Kids Count Data Book.
But there is hope. In 2019 enough money was raised from the tax checkoff, fundraising events and other efforts to provide scholarships to more than 540 youth.
The Children’s Trust Fund serves as a voice for Michigan’s children and families and promotes their health, safety and welfare by funding more than 100 local programs and services statewide that help prevent child abuse and neglect, including home visitation, crisis nurseries, parent support/education and personal safety.
The Children’s Trust Fund relies heavily on donations through the state income tax campaign to fund direct and local prevention programs across Michigan that make child abuse prevention programming possible in all 83 counties across Michigan, including Genesee County.
The Michigan Education Trust (MET) is part of the Michigan Department of Treasury and administers the Fostering Futures Scholarship in partnership with MDHHS. Scholarship awards are paid to Michigan degree-granting colleges or universities where eligible students who have experienced foster care are enrolled to assist with tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.
When filing state income taxes, Michiganders can check boxes on the forms to prevent child abuse and help children in foster care go to college.
The checkoff boxes allow taxpayers to donate $5, $10 or more to these causes. One is to donate to the child abuse prevention efforts of the Children’s Trust Fund and the other is to contribute to the Fostering Futures Scholarship for youth who have experienced foster care.
These options can be found on both the online and paper versions of the Voluntary Contribution Schedule Form 4642.
“MDHHS is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, and to supporting youth who have experienced foster care pursue their dream of a college education,” said JooYeun Chang, executive director of the department’s Children’s Services Agency.
“Protecting and caring for our children is everyone’s business. We appreciate the generosity of Michigan taxpayers who step up to prevent children from being abused or neglected and assist children who have been maltreated in pursuing their higher education dreams,” Chang added.
Michigan income tax forms are available on the website for the Michigan Department of Treasury.
For more information about the Children’s Trust Fund, how to contribute and the tax campaign, visit www.michigan.gove/CTF.
For more information about the Fostering Futures Scholarship and how to contribute, go to www.FosteringFutures-mi.com.