Reform Watch

There is renewed optimism for children in Michigan foster care: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and CR have reached a new agreement that acknowledges the state’s progress and focuses on critical improvements needed to ensure child safety and well-being

While Michigan has made some important strides — like cutting the number of kids waiting to be adopted and safely reunifying more children with their birth families — there are still a number of vital areas in which DHHS still must improve performance.

These include reducing case-worker caseloads, increasing visits between caseworkers and children, maintaining sibling relationships, recruiting foster homes, licensing kinship homes, improving access to medical care and overseeing the use of psychotropic medications.

“Both parties know that more work is needed, and we view it as a positive that we’ve come to terms on how to get it done,” said Sara Bartosz, lead counsel for CR. “There is now an energy and focus that should propel future reform and, in turn, keep Michigan’s children safe.”