How the nonprofit Safe Families of Lansing keeps children out of foster care, CPS

When Samantha Shiffman caught a bug that left her vomiting and unable to move in the bathroom, she couldn’t get to the hospital without leaving her three young children alone.

A single mother, Shiffman, 25, had no family or close friends she could turn to for help with her children.

She ended up calling an ambulance and several firefighters had to wait with her children, prompting a Child Protective Services investigation. Shiffman turned to the Internet, knowing there had to be some help for single parents like her, something CPS couldn’t provide.

Shiffman found that help in Safe Families for Children, a nonprofit organization of Bethany Christian Services that offers help to families to keep them out of the jurisdiction of Child Protective Services.