Life in Michigan is about to get interesting again, especially in regards to the budget and our roads. I was at an Orchards Children’s Services event last week, and President and CEO, Michael Williams, asked us to think about our Michigan children as potholes. I thought this was really profound and did just that. We complain about both all of the time, but yet we look to someone else to fix the problem. It is difficult to support putting tax dollars towards solving either issue, but in regards to both we must. I am not an expert on roads, but know that they are a mess. That is something everyone in Michigan does agree on, but how to get the problem fixed is going to be the debate.

But who is complaining about Michigan’s children, especially the at-risk youth we serve? We want safe, happy communities with good education services; but where is the money for that? Should we be putting people before potholes? Our hope that as the budget debate continues, and that our children are not overlooked but rather valued for the treasure they are. We need to continue to support them and fill the “potholes” some of them have in their lives!

Judith Fischer WollackJudith Fischer Wollack, LCSW, ACSW, LMSW, started working with Michigan’s most vulnerable children and families when she was 16 years old. She is now CEO of Wolverine Human Services and President of the Association of Accredited Child and Family Agencies (AACFA). She actively works with policymakers in Lansing to advocate for the needs of youth and families in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.