Report: Children in Milwaukee Foster Care are Safer, but Persistent Issues Remain

(New York, NY) – Today state reviewers issued a report tracking the progress of The Wisconsin Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW) in the first half of 2015. In response to the report and in anticipation of expected leadership changes, Eric Thompson, of counsel to Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:

“The Bureau should be praised for remarkably decreasing abuse and neglect in foster care and ensuring that children are seen regularly by their caseworkers. But it is imperative that any new Division Administrator prioritize solving chronic shortcomings like the shuffling of kids between multiple foster homes, missed medical and dental appointments and high turnover rates among caseworkers.”

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. State officials are continuing to implement an agreed-upon Corrective Action Plan aimed at bringing BMCW into full compliance with the requirements of the Settlement Agreement.