The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services made a federal court appearance to report on the efforts made to improve the system over the last six months. Because of a lawsuit filed by the group “Children’s Rights”, Michigan’s child welfare system is under federal court oversight.
MDHHS Director Robert Gordon reported that the Department is making good progress. The improvements shared in the report given to the federal judge were “modest but real”, according to Gordon. He said the department’s focus over the past six months was to “develop strategies to set the stage for more rapid improvements in the months to come- particularly in the area of child safety.”
Child Services Director JooYeun Chang reported on three focus areas: eliminating a previous backlog of 1,300 Children’s Protective Services investigations, taking steps to reduce maltreatment of children in foster care, and providing increased support to relative caregivers. MDHHS now provides financial support to relative foster families even if they are not licensed.
To view the latest federal court monitor report and other information, go to www.michigan.gov/ChildWelfareAgreement.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland