Children and Family Issues
During her time as first lady, Sue Snyder has partnered with organizations to raise statewide awareness for a variety of children’s safety and well-being initiatives.
Ele’s Place, located in Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint has been positively impacting the lives of grieving children since 1991. Through peer support and group programs, Ele’s Place helps children cope with the death of a parent, sibling or other loved one, and is a nationally recognized leader in children’s bereavement programs. The organization works with more than 400 children and families each week and nearly 500 students are supported by Ele’s Place school-based programs each year.
Beginning under Gov. Snyder’s administration, Fostering Futures helps provide funding to former foster care students who do not have access to the financial resources needed to pursue higher education.
As a mother to three kids herself, Snyder believes no young person’s potential should be passed by because of financial barriers. When a student has the drive and commitment to further their education, nothing should stand in their way. For the first lady, the program isn’t just about helping young people reach their full potential, but also about the importance of charitable giving. In 2014, the Michigan Education Trust partnered with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to raise more than $200,000 for foster students to attend college.
Safe Sleep Initiative
For too many young families, the instinct to nurture and comfort a child turns to tragedy when a baby is unknowingly placed in an unsafe sleep environment. As first lady, Snyder has been a leader in the initiative to stop these 100 percent preventable infant deaths.
In May 2014, she testified to both the Senate and House Health Policy Committees on the importance of spreading awareness on this critical issue. As a result, the governor was able to sign the Infant Safe Sleep Act, requiring hospitals and health professionals to provide parents with readily available information and education materials regarding updated safe sleep practices following the birth of a child. The bill also required the MDHHS to work with local government agencies, nonprofits and other organizations to maximize resources and further spread awareness of unsafe sleep practices.