Staff Spotlight: Mike Pelz

West Michigan Partnership for Children’s (WMPC) Lead Performance and Quality Improvement Coordinator/Project Manager, Mike Pelz, enjoys analyzing data in order to obtain a clear picture of what is happening in foster care. He is responsible for assisting in developing and implementing WMPC’s performance and quality improvement (PQI) plan.

Mike’s decision to join WMPC stemmed from its focus on data-driven performance and processes. He was inspired by the way WMPC is innovating foster care through strengthening and equipping families in a more responsive way.

“My hope is to change the narrative about foster care. Our goal is to reunite children with their families, which in turn requires strong communities to walk alongside them,” says Pelz. “Ultimately, I hope our work fosters strong and compassionate communities throughout Kent County.”

Learn more about Mike:

Title at WMPC: Data Analytics Lead

Number of years you’ve worked in the nonprofit industry: 15 (mostly in higher education)

What is your role at WMPC? What are your responsibilities in this role?

My primary focus is to assist in developing and implementing WMPC’s performance and quality improvement (PQI) plan. This role breaks down into three primary responsibilities: 1) Analyzing a variety of data for the evaluation of foster care program activities, 2) Developing analytical tools to monitor the continuous quality improvement of WMPC and its partners, and 3) supervising and supporting PQI coordinators in measuring and tracking performance and improvement planning.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

The most rewarding part about my job is analyzing data in order to obtain a clear picture of what is happening in foster care. I then use those insights to develop policies to better serve families in Kent County.

On the flip side, what is the most challenging part about your job?

The most challenging part about my job is continuously validating our data to make sure we are working with correct data, which can be tedious at times.

What inspired you to work for WMPC?

I was inspired to work for WMPC through its focus on data-driven performance and processes. WMPC is innovating foster care in ways that strengthen and equip families in a more responsive way. I would like to believe we are the carriers of hope by engaging in this important work with other community partners.

What is one thing you wish people knew about foster care?

I wish people knew foster care requires a holistic approach. We can’t address the brokenness in families without considering the consequences of structural racism, economic inequality, drug abuse, and access to health care. All of these factors impact our work as well.

How has your position at WMPC and your experience in the nonprofit industry changed your perspective?

I am impressed with the continuous support WMPC and other nonprofits receive throughout the community. With this support, nonprofits are able to be effective agents of change and provide working solutions to a host of societal problems.

What is your hope for WMPC and the Kent County foster care system?  

My hope is to change the narrative about foster care. Our goal is to reunite children with their families, which in turn requires strong communities to walk alongside them. Ultimately, I hope our work fosters strong and compassionate communities throughout Kent County.

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