Today the Michigan Department of Human Services filed a motion seeking to dissolve or modify a 2011 modified settlement agreement that allows for federal monitors to oversee the state’s child welfare system. In response to the filing, Sara Bartosz, lead counsel for Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:
“Children’s Rights will oppose DHS’ motion to get out from under federal court oversight. Michigan has one of the poorest safety records in the nation when it comes to kids in foster care. According to the most recent report from independent monitors, 152 children were abused or neglected in foster care during Federal Fiscal Year 2013. DHS would be required to protect at least 81 more children from abuse and neglect in state care to meet the federal standard.
“Michigan’s abused and neglected children are depending on Governor Snyder for their security, health and ability to thrive when the state is serving as their parents. Federal oversight must continue until the children of Michigan are safe. Anything short of this is unconscionable.”
Children’s Rights originally filed the child welfare reform class action, now known as Dwayne B. v. Snyder, in August 2006, along with Edward Leibensperger of the international law firm McDermott Will & Emery and Michigan-based law firm Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton.