Children & Families

About 1 in 5 children in Michigan live in poverty. Bridge will explore the reasons behind this disturbing result and the ideas to address it.

Articles

Northern Michigan’s 'Disability Belt' now rivals the Deep South and Appalachia

April 11, 2017 | Chad Selweski

Rural counties across a band of northern Michigan have disability rates up to 18 percent, with little hope these former workers will return to jobs. Experts are trying to reverse the trend.

Interactive map: See how many are on disability in YOUR community

April 11, 2017 | Mike Wilkinson

Across the northern Lower Peninsula, high poverty and unemployment often are accompanied by high rates of residents receiving disability checks.

In Detroit, only a mighty few can open new charter schools

April 6, 2017 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

The NAACP urges a moratorium on new charter schools. A new law, though, already limits their growth in Detroit.

Abused as a small boy. Now what?

March 14, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

A new statewide program aims to intervene with children exposed to drugs or violence to help them become healthy, capable adults

A Mexican immigrant’s past was no big deal in California. But deportable once he moved to Michigan.

February 24, 2017 | Sandra Svoboda

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether the man, convicted of having sex with his underage girlfriend, should be allowed back into the U.S.

Soaring pneumonia deaths in Genesee County likely linked to undiagnosed Legionnaires’, experts say

January 26, 2017 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Pneumonia was blamed for 177 deaths over two years. Experts say Legionnaires’ was likely the culprit in some of the deaths, but patients were never tested. The county is now requiring such testing.

Revision to ‘Kevin’s Law’ means quicker treatment for the mentally ill

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

With about 300,000 Michigan adults with serious mental illness, the changes allow judges to order outpatient treatment more quickly, before a crisis 

At 17, living in a tent by the river

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Homeless off and on since he was 17, he’s slept in a van, stayed with relatives, in shelters, in abandoned buildings, and lately, in a tent in several spots along the Grand River.

Homeless student, meet volunteer family. Now, graduate.

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

An innovative program in Lenawee County has drawn national attention for getting every last homeless student through high school, with most advancing to post-secondary programs.

Fewer homeless veterans. More homeless children in state.

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

A 10-year plan to end homelessness in Michigan has failed families and children, even as the number of homeless veterans and people using shelters has fallen sharply.

One year later, a brighter holiday for homeless EMU students

December 19, 2016 | Kaela Theut

Last Christmas, Ramone Williams was living out of a van. Today, he’s a college graduate with an office job, and the inspiration for a communitywide effort to help the homeless.

How Michigan ‘games’ the welfare-to-work system

December 8, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan is among states that spend the lowest percentage of welfare dollars on services intended to help struggling people rejoin the workforce. Its strategy: Finding creative ways to relabel other budget items as welfare spending.

For most students, the nurse won’t see you now

September 29, 2016 | Ron French

Michigan has fewer school nurses than almost any state. Some districts are getting creative to try to solve the problem

Beyond bottled water: Huge checks, slow progress test patience in Flint

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

Delivering pallets of water was the easy part. Now it gets messy, as various players jockey for position, balance competing interests and struggle with plans to repair the city and its people after a crisis like no other.

Think America doesn’t give a damn about Flint? 15,000 donors disagree

August 23, 2016 | Ron French

15,000 donations have poured in to help Flint kids battling lead poisoning. One-dollar bills and five-figure checks arrive almost daily from schoolchildren and prison inmates, elderly widows and romance writers. Here are a few of their stories

Program busing Flint workers to distant jobs holds promise across state

August 16, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

More resources are being sought for transportation that recently doubled the number of Flint-area residents hired and bused to jobs in Livingston County.

Two years later, thousands of Detroit storm victims still waiting for help

August 11, 2016 | Kurt Kuban

A Bridge investigation found government aid is long gone for Detroit homes damaged by historic floods in 2014. Many of these homes were never even visited. One reason: A federal report says the state warned FEMA that Detroit was too perilous for the agency to conduct door-to-door interviews.

Businesses gain from stable child care, but what are they doing about it?

July 14, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Quality child care for low-income workers benefits families, but also the businesses that parents work for. Yet only a small fraction of businesses subsidize child care and the Michigan Chamber says it is not pushing to increase state funding.

State child-care program still reeling from claims of lax oversight

July 14, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

A federally funded program to help the poorest workers pay for child care used to serve 60,000 Michigan families, three times what it serves now. A 2008 audit exposed financial lapses, caregivers with criminal pasts, and possible fraud. The numbers have yet to recover.

Michigan’s low investment in child care costs state and poor children alike

June 30, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Michigan has one of the most restrictive policies in the nation on giving low-income families access to subsidized child care. Yet research shows investing in high-quality care can put more parents back to work and improves the odds for vulnerable children

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