By JOSHUA BENDER
Capital News Service
LANSING — One in 10 Michigan children has had a parent in jail or in prison, a rate so high it puts Michigan in a tie for the thir- highest rate in the nation, according to a newly released report. And that has significant ramifications for the mental health of the children. “This is as traumatic as experiencing domestic violence and abuse, in that the trauma continues to affect kids into adulthood,” said Alicia Guevara Warren, Kids Count project director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, a Lansing-based child welfare advocacy group. Losing a parent to the penal system puts children at greater risk of depression and anxiety, she said. The loss also puts a greater financial burden on families to cover basic household expenses.
Ele’s Place is coming to Holt Junior High School to offer a support group for grieving children, a director from Ele’s Place said March 22. Director of Marketing and Community Outreach Molly Day said the open-ended support group offers hour-long sessions to help children and teenagers deal with the loss of a loved one. Ele’s Place also offers support groups for parents and guardians at its healing centers located in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing. “The parents are obviously dealing with their own grief, so this way they are getting support for themselves as well as support for their children,” she said. Ele’s Place is bringing an eight-week program to Holt Junior High School, starting on April 9.
By JENNIFER CHEN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Many children have lost cash assistance since September due to the 60-month limit set by the Department of Human Services, according to the Michigan League for Human Services. The number of people who lost benefits dropped 30 percent between September 2011 and February 2012. Nearly 66,000 people, including 46,000 children lost benefits, according to the Department of Human Services. Families are allowed to receive assistances for 60 months while job hunting. “A 60-month limit is particularly harsh.