New Child Welfare Workers Sworn In by Gov. Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder administered the oath of office on May 23 to nearly 300 new child welfare workers who will be assigned to offices in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.
Gov. Rick Snyder swore in 300 new child welfare workers Monday who will be assigned to offices in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and other Department of Human Services offices across Michigan.
The ceremony at Club Venetian Banquet Hall in Madison Heights follows one of the largest hirings of child welfare workers in the history of the department, and will help reduce the caseload for each worker, officials said.
"We have to prioritize what are our most important things, and the most important item we have in our state is our children and we have been failing those children in many respects," said Snyder of the need to provide job and educational opportunities for children along with helping those who are most vulnerable.
"All of your jobs are extremely tough, and believe me I think in many respects, it is tougher than being governor," he added. "To have the ability to impact even one individual child's life is so meaningful."
In addition to welcoming the new workers to the department, Snyder signed legislation that will streamline the adoption process for children in foster care.
Included in the bills signed by the governor, child welfare directors in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties would be allowed to authorize adoption requests. This will speed up the process for 3,200 children who are waiting to be adopted.
"This is more than a job, it is a mission," said Maura Corrigan, director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. "I don't think there is any more important work done in state government than protecting the vulnerable."
More than 700 new child welfare workers have been hired since the beginning of the year.
"Your success is measured in children's lives," Corrigan added.
Among those who were sworn in at the ceremony was Judy Cain, who will be assigned to one of the department's Macomb County offices.
Cain, 50, was working with individuals with disabilities when she decided to return to school to receive her master’s in counseling, which would allow her to work with children and families.
"I really wanted to help children and bring families back together," said Cain, of Southfield.
For Joe Beyrle, who will be assigned to an Oakland County office, he wanted to be a male role model for children in the foster care system.
"So many of these children don't have positive male role models," said Beyrle, 30, of Howell, who was honored to be sworn in by the governor. "It makes me believe he is truly committed to our field."
Also joining the new ranks of child welfare workers is Monifa Brown, who will be working in Wayne County. She was working as a therapist in foster care and substitute teacher before applying to become a child welfare worker.
"I thought to myself, why don't I work on the other side of the fence and make a difference in children's lives," said Brown, 32, of Oak Park.