Health Care, Human Resources, and Nonprofits

Nonprofit wins $479K grant

September 22, 2016
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D.A. Blodgett - St. John's child
Grand Rapids-based D.A. Blodgett - St. John's is a nonprofit that "works in partnership with our community for the good of children." Photo via

A local nonprofit has been awarded nearly half-a-million dollars to recruit and equip staff to counsel parents with substance abuse disorders.

Grand Rapids-based D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s said last month the Michigan Health Endowment Fund has awarded it a $479,404 grant for its Safe Passages program.

D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s is partnering with Recovery Allies, a nonprofit that founded the Recovery Coach Academy, and Grand Rapids-based network180 to provide recruitment and training services.

Safe Passages program

The program is designed to increase the rate of foster care children who reunite with their biological parents.

The nonprofit said untreated drug and alcohol problems are often at the root of child maltreatment.

D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s President Jim Paparella said the lack of specialized resources available to parents battling addiction is an issue that needs to be addressed.

“Thanks to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, we can implement this innovative initiative and increase safety, stability and permanency for children and families in Kent County,” Paparella said.

Becky Cienki, senior program officer for the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, said Safe Passages and the Recovery Coach Academy will help parents through the process of substance abuse recovery, while educating child welfare staff about the recovery process as well.

“This model can fill service gaps and reduce costs for the foster care system, while improving health outcomes for some of Michigan’s most at-risk children,” Cienki said.

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