Monday 01 Sep 2014
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Muslim Family Services

Muslim Family Services

About Muslim Family Services

We work to assist and facilitate the success of families based on professional and Islamic practices

  Who We Are & What We Do   Muslim Family Services (MFS) is a division of ICNA Relief and…

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Counseling

Counseling

Services

MFS has licensed counselors offering services in several areas while keeping an Islamic perspective.

MFS has licensed counselors offering services in the following areas with an Islamic perspective kept at all times: Individual Counseling…

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Emergency Services

Emergency Services

About Muslim Family Services

MFS provides critical assistance to help those in need as much as possible.

  MFS provides critical assistance to help those in need as much as possible:   Assistance with utility shut-offs, and…

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Education & Advocacy

Education & Advocacy

Services

MFS offer seminars, workshops, & liasion services related to a variety of topics.

MFS offers seminars and workshops in a variety of areas such as: Spousal relations and substance abuse Training of Imams…

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The SAFRP intends to help deserving individuals/families fully take advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan by easing some of their difficulties. The program is meant to increase a sense of community and provide opportunities for community members to serve one another. As part of the program, interested community members can financially contribute or donate food items. The monetary or in-kind donations will be used to create Ramadan Baskets. The primary components of these baskets will be food products tailored to the specific client-family’s cultural or personal cuisine/diet.

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This year, from June 1st-24th, we accepted both in-kind and monetary donations for our SAFRP project. Monetary donations were submitted online through our website and by check or money order.  In-Kind donation or food boxes assembled by the sponsors were delivered to Muslim Family Services (MFS) to be received by the families in need. Tuesday June 24th and Wednesday June 25th, we invited volunteers out to help us package and drop off our SAFRP food boxes to this year’s families. Alhamdulilah, volunteers showed up from all over Southeastern Michigan to join in our initiative.

SAFRP VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers

The food that each family received was catered to their specific ethnic cuisine. Items like: lentils, spaghetti, rice and spices were given accordingly. In addition, every family also received fresh eggs, produce, milk, lamb, chicken and beef. Each family was sponsored for the entire month of Ramadan.

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It is the programs like SAFRP that really put things into perspective. The blessing of having healthy food to eat should not be taken for granted. As Muslims, it is our responsibility to make sure that our neighbors are taken care of as well. May Allah (swt) reward all of the Muslim families that sponsored families this year. It is your generous and compassionate donations that fund our programs and initiatives.  Thank you so very much for all that you do for our communities!

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On May 13th, 14th and 15th, Muslim Family Services (MFS) partnered with Mona Riaz RDA, RDH, BSDH, a Registered Dental Hygienist for the state of Michigan in order to provide free dental screenings, sealants and fluoride treatments for Al-Ikhlas Training Academy Students grades k-8th. Riaz works mainly out of Taylor, Michigan but reached out to MFS in order to link with the broader Michigan Muslim Community.  On the 13th, Riaz educated the students about proper oral hygiene and cleaning methods in an assembly style setting. The two days to follow Wednesday and Thursday 14th-15th, dental services were offered. Her services were offered completely free of charge and for the benefit of children.

Set up and ready to assess teeth, Riaz greeted each child with a smile as they graced her chair one class at a time. For some of these students, the assessment served as a simple check up while for others, it was the first time they had been in a Dentist chair. Many of the families of the students in Al-Ikhlas Training Academy are from low-income households. And quite frankly, dental checkups are hardly the priority during times of financial hardship. It is for this very reason that free dental programs like this one are available; to educate the masses on ways to protect their teeth with the resources available. After all, we only get one permanent set.

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Mona Riaz (in blue hijab) working on a 6th grade student’s teeth

Teeth are arguable the most neglected parts of our body. We see this in the brushing patterns, diets and general hygiene of the masses. There are many components that affect our oral health. The foods, drinks and medications we take can determine how bright our smile is and our tooth sensitivity. It is imperative that we take care of our bodies by eating and drinking things of benefit. Healthy diet makes all the difference.

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A satisfied student poses with gift bag in hand after his assessment.

 

 

 

If you are a health care provider and would like to offer free health benefits to low-income Muslim populations in Southeastern Michigan on a broader scale, please contact MFS at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (313) 366-6800.

 

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 Do you have any idea how it feels to be a child in a big, scary world all alone? Do you know how it feels to be 10 years old, having to take care of your younger siblings because your parents are too irresponsible to do so? Do you know how it feels to be hurt so deeply that you no longer feel pain? Well, the 14,000 foster children in the state of Michigan know. 

 

On Friday May 9th at 9:15 PM, MFS held it's first foster care information session at the Muslim Community of the Western Suburbs(MCWS) in Canton, MI. We were hosted by the MCWS Angel Circle who holds a community enrichment night every Friday between Maghrib and Isha prayers. The focus of the session was to inform and educate the Muslim community about the desperate need for licensed Muslim foster parents. A panel of professionals and mothers from all over Southeastern Michigan were invited out to share their perspectives both professionally and personally of their day to day interactions with displaced foster children. 

On the panel was Dr. Sameena Zahoor, Sr. Mona Yousseff, Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin, Sr. Amal Mohammad, in addition to Vista Maria Agency foster care educators and recuiters Jeri Lasich and Tamika Merriman. Dr. Sameena Zahoor is a Family Physician and mother or 3 biological sons and 1 foster son. Sr. Mona Yousseff is a Juevenille Court Referee. Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin is a Child Psychiatrist. Sr. Amal Mohammad is a foster child and student studying at Western Michigan University. All of these dynamic women had a unique perpective to share that made for a well rounded program. Snippets from their stories are following.

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Panel Members

Sr. Mona Yousseff brought the legal perspective to the panel. As a Juvenille Court Referee, she sees unfortunate cases ending in the displacement of juvenilles all too frequently. According to her research, there are roughly 70 Muslim Children in foster care in the state of Michigan. A number much larger than it should be. Sr. Mona shared the heartbreak she witnesses as children are abandoned and let down by the people who should be the most trustworthy people in their lives. Nevertheless, circumstances happen daily and it is up to us to step up and help in the way that we can.

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Mona Yousseff

Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin touched on what she calls the 'special care' that foster children requre. Foster children are children, many of whom, have experienced some sort of trauma or neglect. Because of this, she mentioned that they often experience ups and downs and sometimes display unpleasant behaviors out of frustration and fear. It is important to note that these behaviors does not make these children all dangerous and should not deter potential foster parents from improving the lives of these children. All of this was mentioned only to advice about the reality of fostering a child. Foster children are children  who require a lot of intervention and reassurance. So, prospective parents should be patient and commited to helping improving their foster child's life one step at a time.

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Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin

Vista Maria Foster Care Agency educators and recruiters Tamika Merriman and Jeri Lasich gave facts about foster care in the state of Michigan and the licensing process. With over 13,000 children in foster care in the state of Michigan alone, they urged the need for more licensed foster parents. They mentioned that the licensing process is adjustable to the potential parents schedule. There is no fee for the licensing process and the state only requires that the house savings be $1 over the cost of its maintenance and utilities. That is to encourage any and every able-bodied Michigan adult aged 18 and over to consider fostering. Each child is a ward of the state and has their own state assigned dental and health insurance. The foster parent will be given a stipend for the benefit of the child. You are allowed to work and do not have to stop any of your regular day to day responsibilities. Each parent is allowed to have designated adults added to their contract as caregivers to their foster child. The process is designed to encourage and assist parents rather than deter them.

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Tamikka Merriman and Jeri Lasich (Vista Maria Agency)

As a biological mother to 3 boys and a foster mom to 1 son, Dr. Sameena Zahoor definetely has her hands full. She shared her families experience foster a Muslim child for the first time. With a quick placemnt of her foster son into her home, Dr. Sameena and her familiy quickly learned that compassion is a necessary attribute for successfully building trust with a foster child. Her struggle to win her foster son's trust was a consistent one. She stated that every foster parent should have empathy for their child's experience. Giving the child the necessary personal space while showing that you want them there and truly care can help the relationship blossom. Trust can be built and these children can be a sort of noor (light) in your life if you try in unison. Her story of how her foster child went from scared to comfortable was truly inspiring. Most importantly, Dr. Sameena showed that foster parents need communal support as well. They need to know that their sacrifices are making a difference; and they are.

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Dr. Sameena Zahoor

Lastly, Amal Mohammad, a previous Muslim foster child serve as a real life example of the need for Muslim foster parents. Amal mentioned that never in a million years would she have ever imagined that she would end up in foster care; but she did. She stated that that just as it happened to her, it is happening to so many other children. Now a college student at Western Michigan University, Amal looks back at her time in foster care with a smile and a frown. Her smile is for the fact that she was blessed with extemely caring foster parents who have helped her to move forward on her journey. Her frown is because she knows that there are many others like her who and still suffering. She shared the difficulties that she faced initially as a Muslim child in foster care. Having had her daily comforts and religious practices she had grown accustomed to jeopardized, she told a story of perseverance and survival. "Being forced not to fast during Ramadan was one of the hardest things for me", Amal mentioned as she recounted how she was told not to fast because the institution thought that she was starving herself. Despite all of the dificulites that Amal faced, she still rises and smiles out of gratitude.

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Amal Mohammad (wearing Brown) shares story

The event was a success overall with positive feedback from all who attended. MFS plans to offer more foster care information sessions like this one in the near future. We are grateful to Allah(swt) for the opportunity to educate and inspire Muslims to benefit the children of our ummah. Please remember that you can make a profound difference in a child's life and it just takes your presence. May Allah(swt) continue to guide and reward the panel and MCWS for hoting events like this one. Ameen

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 Packed House

 

If you or your community organization would like to learn more about foster care and host MFS for a foster care information session, please contact us here.

 

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May fostercare event3

There are 397,122 foster children in the United States according to recent reports, with 15 percent living in institutions. As the Muslim population of the country increases, more social workers are receiving calls to accomodate Muslim foster children. However, many times they cannot place these children in Muslim households because there aren't enough Muslim foster parents in the system. Consider this example from the online newspaper Muslim Link: “We get calls for Muslim foster families, for Muslim children…and we cannot place them. When everyone says no, that means they are placed wherever the state can place them. That will be within a culture and religion that is foreign to them. Every day they are within a non-Muslim home diminishes their Muslim identity,” Molley Dagget of the Lutheran Social Services told the news site.
 
 
To solve this issue Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI has made it a priority to train adults to become licensed foster parents. So far, they have trained 7 parents. Join them this Friday for a panel discussion on dispelling the misconceptions many Muslims have on foster parenting. Sr. Mona Yousef will be discussing the situations that she encounters as a Juvenile Court Referee. Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin will be sharing her experiences as a child psychiatrist and the impact she has seen on displaced and/or abused children. Sr. Sameena will be sharing her experience as a licensed foster parent who is also a biological mother. Lastly, Tamika Meriman, our representative from Vista Maria Foster Care Agency will be presenting on the process of becoming a licensed foster parent through the state of Michigan. 
 
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Join us on Friday May 9th at 9:00PM (After Isha) for our foster care event! You'll be glad you did :)!!!

May fostercare event3

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12346 McDougall Detroit, MI 48212 313-366-6800 office@mfs.icnarelief.org Mon-Thurs. 10AM-4PM Please leave a message after hours.

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