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    As is well known in Michigan, the child welfare system is in the midst of complete reform. After the American Bar Association came into the state to recommend changes, Michigan has been working toward this. There are many areas in which the state needs to make improvement such as the quality of representation that is offered to parties that go through the court. The Supreme Court Administration Office (SCAO) has created committees that are working to address these issues.

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    In mid-February, the National Colaition for Child Protection Reform released a report, "Cycle of Failure," which is a very biased attack on the Michigan child welfare system. An article from the Detroit Free Press addresses this report and provides a PDF summary of its content. This very controversial report takes a very slanted perspective on the issue of Michigan's child welfare system and makes baseless accusations. There is some truth to the information provided in the article, such as the immense necessity for system reform but the approach that is taken leads to a skewed perception of the situation.

    About a week and a half ago, I met with Jenifer Pettibone who is the Management Analyst of Child Welfare Services in the State Court Administration Office. As soon as I am done writing up the transcript of the article, it will be published under the Interview section of Morality and Family. Some of the items that were discussed in this interview are the role that SCAO plays in the state, Title IV-E funding, the Court Improvement Program -- parent and child representation in the courts, and Pettibone's take on Wexler's "Cycle of Failure" article. Stay tuned!

     

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    About Us

    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Jocelyn Cutean

    Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.