(Milwaukee, WI) – Today state reviewers issued a report tracking the progress of the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) in reforming Milwaukee’s child welfare system in 2016, an effort spurred by national advocacy organization Children’s Rights. In response to the report, Eric Thompson, of counsel to Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:
“It is frustrating that progress has stalled on reducing how often Milwaukee children are moved from place to place while in foster care. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If the DMCPS puts a laser focus on expanding its pool of foster homes, strengthening supports for foster parents, and providing needed services for kids, there is no question that officials can do this. It is what’s best for kids and the system alike.”
Children’s Rights and co-counsel filed the federal class action known as Jeanine B. v. Walker in 1993, charging that the Milwaukee child welfare system was grossly mismanaged and failed to protect children in its care. After a state takeover, a court-supervised Settlement Agreement mandating an overhaul of the child welfare system was reached in 2002. Officials are continuing to implement an agreed-upon Corrective Action Plan.