Some Improvements, But Critical Safety Concerns Remain In Latest Michigan Monitoring Report

The court monitoring team in the ongoing federal child welfare reform lawsuit know as Dwayne B. v. Whitmer released the latest report on the progress of the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHHS), finding critical safety concerns for children under state care. Filed today, this report covers the second half of 2019 (July-December 2019).

The following statement was issued by Elizabeth Gretter, Of Counsel at Children’s Rights, for the plaintiff children in the Dwayne B. v. Whitmer case.

“We find ourselves twelve years into this endeavor to reform Michigan’s foster care system and make it safer for kids.  While strides have certainly been made, I cannot overstate Plaintiffs’ frustration and disappointment in learning from this report that the state is still struggling to perform basic safety functions and to protect children from maltreatment while in foster care. We have confidence in the ability of this administration to right the ship, but to be clear, urgent action is needed.”

Among the areas where DHSS has improved performance are:

Among other disturbing trends, the report notes several key areas in which DHHS has failed to reach many standards established in the settlement agreement:

For more information on Dwayne B. v. Whitmer, please visit childrensrights.org/class_action/michigan/.