Skip Navigation LinksHome > Centers & Programs > Program on Children and the Law > Detroit Center for Family Advocacy

Detroit Center for Family Advocacy

The Detroit Center for Family Advocacy (CFA) provides legal advocacy and social work services to low-income families to prevent the unnecessary placement and prolonged stay of children in foster care. By doing so, CFA aims to keep children safe with their families, minimize the emotional trauma caused by removal, and allow the foster care system to focus its resources on children who need its protection.

The CFA accepts cases involving families who reside anywhere in Wayne County, Michigan with a focus on the Osborn neighborhood in Detroit, which has one of the highest rates of removal in the state.

CFA uses private funds to leverage public dollars. In partnership with the Wayne County Department of Child and Family Services (CAFS), CFA has used private funds to leverage state matching funds from Michigan's Child Care Fund (CCF).

We want to thank the following organizations and indviduals who have provided their support over the years. Without their belief in this idea and their courage to support it, we would  have never opened our doors. 

  • Justice Bobbe and Jon Bridge
  • Casey Family Programs Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Sourtheast Michigan
  • DeWitt Holdbrook Memorial Fund
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • McGregor Fund
  • Pillsbury Family Advocacy Fund
  • Skillman Foundation
  • Quicken Loans Foundation
  • Wayne County Department of Child and Family Services
CFA:
  • Empowers parents and extended families to care for their own children
  • Captures lessons from direct service and applies them to system reform
  • Provides a site for learning, practical application of knowledge, and community-based research for University of Michigan students and faculty

Our Model
CFA's work focuses on removing the legal barriers that either cause children to enter foster care or forces them to remain there. Often legal remedies like obtaining a custody or personal protection order, resolving criminal warrants or getting a divorce will allow children to remain with their famly and avoid placement in foster care. Similarly, CFA addresses legal barriers that can prevent children from achieving a legally permanent status with a caring and committed adult. CFA's multidisciplinary team seeks to overcome these obstacles by providing families with the assistance of an attorney, a social worker and a family advocate. Nearly 90% of our case referrals come directly from the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Once a case is accepted, a CFA attorney, social worker, and parent advocate will work closely with family members. Each individual on the CFA team will contribute a distinct set of skills:

  • The attorney will guide parents and caregivers through complex laws and procedures, providing zealous advocacy, timely legal assistance, and follow-up support.
  • The social worker will provide case management and help parents or caregivers access a network of social services.
  • The parent advocate, someone who experienced the child welfare system firsthand, will offer support and advice on navigating the system.

By providing timely, coordinated support for parents and kinship caregivers, CFA is helping to stop the tide of unnecessary foster care placements. That, in turn, will enable the current system to address the needs of youngsters who require its protection and care.


An aunt and her nephews benefit from the services of CFA.

Contact Us
Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Main Office
3031 W. Grand Blvd
Suite 440
Detroit, MI 48202


Phone: (313) 875-4233
Fax: (313) 875-4313
E-mail: lawdetroitcfa@umich.edu
Osborn Office
Matrix Human Services Center
13560 East McNichols
Detroit, MI 48205
 
Michigan Law Wordmark Print View