(New York, NY) — Independent federal court monitors released a report that reviews the progress of Michigan’s Department of Human Services (DHS) in reforming its child welfare system in the first half of 2013, an effort spurred by national advocacy organization Children’s Rights. In response to the report, Sara Bartosz, lead counsel at Children’s Rights, issued the following statement:
“We commend Director Corrigan and her team for making great strides in crucial areas like training workers and lowering caseloads. That said, DHS has some major challenges to overcome if it is to fulfill its commitments to kids in foster care. The state is still putting children in emergency shelters too often and for too long, and the number of kids in unlicensed relative foster homes remains far too high. These kids deserve the same supports — like basic foster care maintenance payments — as those in non-relative foster homes.
“We’ve met with DHS management about our concerns, and are confident that agency leaders are focusing on the challenges. We are looking forward to the day when Michigan’s foster care system becomes the safe haven that kids deserve.”