February 7, 2008
There's reaction to the latest report claiming Michigans child welfare system is failing. The new report says case workers aren't checking in on foster children like they should. The report says Michigan is failing thousands of foster children. A federal judge ordered the analysis as part of a lawsuit filed by a national child advocacy group.
Jack Kresnak, Executive Director, Michigan's Children: "I know the state will challenge the methodology, but I think the evidence is pretty strong that significant numbers of our children in foster care are not getting the care or services they need."
The Children's Research Center looked at 460 foster care cases in Michigan and found that in more than 30% of the cases, workers didn't make any contact with foster children during the first month. State policy requires two visits.
Honorable George Economy, Ingham County Circuit Court: "What is bothering me is the fact that some case workers may have been falsifying records. That shouldn't be happening.""
The report goes on to say that many children in foster care are being abused and neglected. Despite the findings , those who know the system say it may not be perfect, but it works.
Honorable George Economy: "I think every system always has to be revisited, revamped, changed."
Jack Kresnak: "One way or another, the system is going to get fixed, and we're going to do better by kids."
The report is now in the hands of a judge, who will ultimately decide the fate of the state's child welfare system. The Department of Human Services would not speak with us on camera about the report, but issued this statement: "while we generally reserve comment on pending litigation, we question the methodology and conclusions assumed in the Children's Research Center report."