Full text of the complaint filed by Children’s Rights and co-counsel against the state of Michigan seeking comprehensive reform of its failing child welfare system on behalf of the approximately 19,000 children in state custody.
Class Certification Opinion
United States District Court opinion granting class certification and enabling Children’s Rights to proceed with its case on behalf of all of the children in the custody of Michigan’s child welfare system.
Case Record Review
Court-ordered analysis of the cases of 460 abused and neglected children in Michigan’s custody, citing serious problems with the stability of foster care placements, excessive levels of abuse and neglect in foster care, inadequate health services, and many other issues affecting children’s safety and well-being.
Independent expert evaluation of the management of Michigan’s Department of Human Services (DHS), citing widespread deficiencies in the management of Michigan’s child welfare system and concluding that DHS’s management “fails to meet even minimum standards of practice in its operation and administration of the child welfare system in Michigan, resulting in severe and ongoing harm to children in foster care.”
Report on Abuse and Fatalities in Michigan Foster Care
Independent expert report examining the cases of five children who died in the custody of Michigan’s Department of Human Services (DHS) — some from extreme physical abuse — detailing failures throughout the department’s management and investigations of alleged abuse and neglect in DHS foster care placements that, it says, render DHS incapable of protecting the children in its care.
Needs assessment (PDF, May 14, 2009)
Comprehensive evaluation of what will be needed to implement the child welfare reforms required by the settlement of Children’s Rights’ Michigan class action.
Needs Assessment Findings — Public Catalyst Group (PDF, July 11, 2009)
Recommendations by the independent child welfare experts tracking the Michigan reform efforts about how to invest $4 million in new child welfare funding required by the settlement of Children’s Rights’ class action.
Monitoring Report — Period One (PDF, September 30, 2009)
Progress report on the sweeping effort to reform the Michigan child welfare system under the federal court order secured by Children’s Rights. Issued by the Public Catalyst Group, the national child welfare experts appointed by the court to track the reforms; covers the period beginning October 24, 2008, and ending March 31, 2009.
Monitoring Report — Period Two (PDF, March 9, 2010)
Progress report covering the period from April 1 to September 30, 2009.
Monitoring Report — Period Three (PDF, December 7, 2010)
Progress report covering the period from October 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010.
Monitoring Report — Period Four (PDF, July 18, 2011)
Progress report covering the period from April 1 to September 30, 2010.
Modified Settlement Agreement (PDF, July 18, 2011)
Full text of the new, modified settlement agreement between Children’s Rights and Michigan state officials, mandating reform of the child welfare system. This modified agreement replaces the orginial consent decree from 2008.
Monitoring Report (PDF, June 25, 2012)
Progress report covering the period from October to December 2011
Monitoring Report (PDF, March 20, 2013)
Progress report covering the period from January to June 2012.
Order Denying Defendants’ Motion (PDF, March 20, 2013)
Federal court order denying Defendants’ motion to exclude youth up to age 21 in Michigan’s Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program from monitoring under the terms of the Modified Settlement Agreement.
Monitoring Report (PDF, October 8, 2013)
Progress report covering the period from July to December 2012.
Monitoring Report (PDF, March 10, 2014)
Progress report covering the period from January to June 2013.