Foster Care Review Board announces 2010 awards

Two attorneys and a Saginaw County probate judge are among those honored by the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) at its recently concluded 2010 conference.

Saginaw County Probate Judge Faye Harrison received the Jurist of the Year Award for her work as a family court judge.

Harrison, a 30-year veteran, was nominated by Barbara Hill, chair of the FCRB volunteer board in Saginaw County, as “a wonderful and expressive advocate for children’s justice who has truly made a difference in the lives of children in Saginaw County.”

Harrison, a past president of the Michigan Probate Judges Association, was cited for her leadership on the state and national level.

Tracy Green, managing attorney of the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, received the FCRB’s Parent Attorney of the Year Award for her representation of parents in child welfare cases.

University of Michigan Law School Prof. Vivek Sankeran, who nominated Green, praised her as a “passionate and tireless advocate for parents.” Sankeran described Green as “nurturing and attentive … [she] is well respected by jurists and her attorney colleagues in Wayne County, where she practices, for her professionalism, expert knowledge and zealous representation of her clients.”

The Lawyer-Guardian Ad Litem of the Year Award was presented to Viola King, an attorney with the Juvenile Law Group in Wayne County.

Wayne County Family Court Referee Ilene Weiss Fruitman, who nominated King, described King as “the best and most professional representative and advocate for children of all who have practiced before me in my 13 years on the bench.”

King is esteemed by her colleagues in the child welfare system, Fruitman reported, and “has the rare quality of truly listening to what [her clients] are saying, as well as being able to hear what they are not saying.”

The FCRB, which was created by the Michigan legislature in 1981, serves as a statewide system of third-party review of the foster care system.

The program is administered by the State Court Administrative Office, the administrative agency of the Michigan Supreme Court, and is comprised of citizen volunteers who serve on one of 30 local review boards throughout the state.

Local boards review randomly chosen child abuse and neglect cases to assess the performance of courts, Department of Human Services and private child welfare agencies.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine