New Light Child and Family Layout

specializing in addiction recovery


5397 Millington Rd. Millington, MI 48746

852 South Hooper St. Caro, Michigan 48723

(989) 871-6695

(989) 672-0784


New Light Consultants, Inc and New Light Child & Family Institute are sister 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporations called to serve and “strengthen individuals and families through education, advocacy and family-centered treatment.” Originally founded in 1998 by Richard Watkins Jr., New Light has worked to provide services to the under and uninsured in Tuscola County for over 15 years. New Light Child & Family Institute (NLCFI) is a private, not-for-profit child placing agency whose primary focus is to assist children, and their families, who are placed in the foster care system due to neglect and/or abuse. The primary mission of NLCFI is to promote stabilization for children and their families to encourage integration and reintegration as a means to minimize out-of-home placements. The geographical outreach of NLCFI is comprised predominantly of Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer, Saginaw, Shiawassee and Genesee Counties and adjacent surrounding areas; wherein quality services can be provided to the foster parent, children and their families.

NLCFI does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, ethnic background, and specific characteristics of children served. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, New Light operates in an open and transparent manner that is consistent with legal requirements and assures the public has access to timely and accurate information concerning our organization. To request more information concerning New Light’s programs, activities, finances, or access to our most recent independent audit, please contact New Light through any of the following options: To make a request via email please submit your request stating which information you would like access to: or admin@ To make a request via phone please call (989) 871-6695 and our receptionist will take your request.

Shedding New Light Through Straight Talk.


(989)672-0784 852 South Hooper Street Caro, Michigan 48723

New Light Consultants, Inc.

New Light Child & Family Institute was founded in 2007 as a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Corporation. Licensed with the State of Michigan as a Child Placing and Adoption Agency, NLCFI holds a contract with the State of Michigan Department of Human Services to provide general foster care and adoption services to children and families from many counties within the mid-Michigan area. A founding principle of the organization is the concept that foster parents are an integral part of the treatment team. This value informs and encourages a team centered approach that emphasizes communication and collaboration in order to best meet the needs of children throughout the effort to bring them permanency. This philosophy makes NLCFI uniquely different from many other agencies in terms of accessibility of staff at all levels and the commitment to providing optimal service and support to children, foster parents and other members of the treatment team. We would like to thank all of our past and present Board Members for your gifts of time and experience. ​R. JAMES COBB - Board Chairman - Consumers Power BRENDA S. MAY - Board Vice-Chair - Clio School District TRACI WHEATON - Trustee - General Motors GREG STANISLAWSKI - Trustee - Fishers Care Facility JODY DEAN - Millington Chamber of Commerce JASON BITZER - Biddinger, Bitzer, Estelle & Rastigue, PLLC LYNETTE SALISBURY - Trustee/Foster Parent Representative

New Light is funded in part by State and local funds.



If you have a spare bedroom and the time to make a positive difference to a child’s life, call us to find out more about fostering with New Light.

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Where Hope Begins!

Meet the Supervisor Tina Sentell, MSW Foster Care Supervisor

Tina has over 18 years experience helping children and families. In 2005, Tina officially joined the New Light Team where she began her career with New Light as an Adolescent and Family Counselor. In 2007, Tina co-authored the Foster Care and Certification Program for New Light Child & Family Institute. She has spent the past 11 years developing, managing and expanding the program. Meet The Team New Light’s Foster Care Team currenlty has five Case Managers:

Joseph Harper, LLMSW

Terese Knoll, BS

Kristin Wheeler, BS

Heidi Derscha, BHS

Jessica Szikszay, BA

Jennie Haley, Case Aide

The team also has transporters, Rick Holmes, John Lewicki, Dale Shinabrager, and Timothy Walter who assist the Case Managers. Our Foster Care Program New Light works in conjunction with DHS and the Courts to provide case management services to children and adolescents ranging in age from 0-18 in need of out-of-home placement and works with many counties across Michigan.

Meet the Supervisor Louise Ponder-Palmer LBSW Adoption Specialist

Louise has over 17 years of experience working in foster care, certification and adoptions. Louise brings additional experience in medical social work, community mental health and domestic violence. A graduate of Saginaw Valley State University, Louise earned her BSW in 1998 and is currently an LBSW.

Our Adoption Program Adoption Services @ New Light:

New Light Child & Family Institute provides a full range of adoption services that includes: Adoption Orientation, Adoption PRIDE Training, Home Studies, Adoptive Child Assessments, Adoption Petitions, Post- Placemet supervision and Finalization.. We work with foster care, MARE, and interstate adoptions, as well. Learn More about Adoption To inquire about how you can give a child a “forever family” through adoption please contact:

Louise Ponder-Palmer Phone: (989) 465-7746 Fax: (989) 871-3663

ADOPTION It can happen.

adopt a child

Make a Difference...Become a Foster Parent Today! ​

Have you ever felt a calling to help others? There has never been a better time to invest in the children of Michigan. There are children in our communities that need support, guidance, and nurturing that you can provide by becoming a foster parent. New Light Child & Family Institute’s Certification Department is here to help you through the process of becoming licensed for Foster Care. We work with individuals and couples who desire to make a difference in the lives of children who are placed in foster care due to neglect and/or abuse. We are currently in need of homes to care for children, ages ranging from 0 to 17, in the following counties: Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer, Genesee, Saginaw, Bay and Shiawassee Counties. NLCFI is a private, not-for-profit child placing agency. NLCFI does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, ethnic background, and specific characteristics of children served.

A founding principle of the organization is the concept that foster parents are an integral part of the treatment team.

Is There Room In Your Heart For One More?

Foster A Teen. Foster A Success Story. Call 989-672-0784 or visit

President Trump declared May as National Foster Care Month. In a statement Monday, the president praised selfless and compassionate guardians who bring in children so they can experience the joys of a family. The proclamation comes after he signed the Family First Prevention Services Act in February, which gives federal matching funds to states so they can provide services to families that can help keep their kids out of foster care. It also provides incentives for states to place foster children with individual families instead of in institutional or group homes. National Foster Care Month comes as more children have received placements for four straight years, mostly due to the opioid epidemic and drug abuse. On any given day, over 400,000 kids are in foster care, and in 2015 670,000 kids spent time in foster care. 92,000 of them were taken out of homes because of substance abuse. The statement praised families who provide stable and nurturing homes for children who are dealing with complex medical and challenging psychological and behavioral needs. It also called for more to be done to prevent the neglect and abuse that leads to many children being taken out of their homes.

The judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals have up to six- months to decide on the class action lawsuit brought by the state attorney general on behalf of 11,000 kids in long-term foster care. Meanwhile, Kansas currently has a record number of children in state custody even as the government has cut back on mental health and other services. Reports say social workers have had to stay overnight in their offices with kids on cots and couches, because there are not enough beds to cope with the influx. Over 100,000 kids in foster care are eligible for adoption, and waiting for a permanent family. The month aims to raise awareness about the increasing number of children being placed in foster care as well as to encourage Americans to invest in the lives of some of the nation’s most vulnerable children and families.

Many states are still grappling with how to properly protect the infants, children, and youth in their care.

On Monday, a panel of three judges in Texas heard arguments the state mistreats foster children so much that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Over 100,000 kids in foster care are eligible for adoption, and waiting for a permanent family.

Open your heart

and your home

All that is missing is YOU! Become a foster or adoptive parent. For more information contact: (989)871-6695 |

Our family is growing through foster care

The harsh reality is that opioids are killing thousands of people in this country, many of them young people

State legislators focused on opioid addiction treatment and prevention in schools and prisons Thursday while reviewing bills that would both use medications to thwart overdoses and assist in recovery. A bill making its way through the Legislature would require all schools with grades 9 to 12 to have policies for training nurses on how to administer naloxone. The schools would also have to keep a supply of the medication ready. “The harsh reality is that opioids are killing thousands of people in this country, many of them young people,” Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, bill sponsor, said in a statement. “Narcan has been proven to save lives. Having it readily available in schools can help ensure that our schools are ready to respond in every emergency situation.” Several South Jersey schools, including Millville, Mainland Regional High School, the Egg Harbor Township School District and the Ocean City School District, already have such policies in place. As of 2017, New Jersey ranked eighth in the nation for drug overdose deaths among people ages 12 to 25, according to the national nonprofit Trust for America’s Health. There have been an estimated 654 overdose deaths in New Jersey since Jan. 1, according to the Department of the Attorney General.

The bill would require that nurses be taught how to use the anti-opioid drug and have a prescription standing order for naloxone to keep it in supply. There were more than 14,300 uses of naloxone in the state last year, state data shows. If passed, the law would also provide immunity from liability for school nurses and other employees when an opioid reversal is performed. Nearby, members of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee reviewed a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington, that would require state correctional facilities to offer inmates naltrexone and naloxone just before their release. Naltrexone, known by its brand name Vivitrol, is a type of nonopioid medication- assisted treatment (MAT) for a substance-use disorder. Studies have shown medication-assisted treatments like naltrexone, methadone and buprenorphine have successfully been used to reduce relapse rates and help people maintain recovery from opioid addiction. Vivitrol completely blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids. Recipients often need a monthly shot of the medication administered by a medical professional.

At John Brooks Recovery Centers in Atlantic City and Pleasantville, Vivitrol is just one medication-assisted treatment offered to inpatient and outpatient patients, but it is coupled with counseling and other treatment education. Alan Oberman, CEO of John Brooks Recovery Center, said that while the bill looks well intentioned, giving one shot of Vivitrol, which costs about $1,000, to an outgoing inmate without follow-up or counseling only buys that person about three or four weeks of sobriety before they may use again. “It’s more than just giving an injection, which at least requires a nurse to do it, and many outpatient programs in the community don’t have medical staff there to do it regularly,” he said. While methadone and buprenorphine are MATs that have been on the market for some time, Vivitrol is relatively new. John Brooks and the Atlantic County jail teamed up last summer to create the state’s first mobile methadone program for inmates. Oberman said they now offer inmates Vivitrol, but they haven’t yet had any takers.

Raise Hope Foster Dreams Become a foster parent

Make a Difference... Become a Foster Parent Today!

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