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    The state of Michigan’s welfare system must address the problems found in a recent federal report concerning foster care in the next three years or face a $2.8 million penalty. 

      .

    Michigan’s foster care system serves around 1,900 children.  In 2002, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services began the Child and Family Services Review to improve foster care. The report found that Michigan failed to meet the standards set in place for a state foster care system.  Michigan fell below all the seven categories that measure the well-being and safety for children in foster care.  It has been unheard of until now that a state would not meet all seven standards. 

    However, not all was bad. The report did find that Michigan succeed in limiting children’s re-entry into the foster care system as well as placing children with their siblings and near their parents.   

    The Michigan Department of Human Services held a conference in March to talk about the recent improvements in the children’s welfare in the foster care system.  The State’s officials praised the accomplishments of:

    1.       Moving more than 50 percent of their children in foster care for a year or longer back home or to another permanent arrangement

    2.       Increased the number of children adopted from foster care for four straight years

    3.       Decreased the number of children in treatment centers by 16%

    4.       Created specialized units in all urban counties to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect of children in foster care

    These achievements are recognizable. However, there s still a long way to go before the foster care systems will meet the reports expectations. 

    The director of the federal compliance division at Michigan’s Human Services Department, Mary Mehren, said in response to this report, “Everything in the report we take to heart.”

     

    Sources:

    Jun, Catherine, March 8th, The Detroit News http://www.detnews.com/article/20100308/METRO/3080394/1409/rss36

    Jun, Catherine, March 15th, The Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com/article/20100308/METRO/3080394/1409/rss36

     

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