Child Welfare Officials Say State’s System Greatly Improving

Oct 11, 2012

The state is well on its way to meeting its obligations to foster children and families. That’s according to testimony by the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Director of Children’s Services for the DHS Steve Yager gave a progress report to a state Senate panel. He says the department has been able to hire more caseworkers, improve resources and technology, and better address complaints. He also says children and families have more and better resources available to them.

But they say there’s plenty of room for improvement still.

“Having the right kinds of services so we can meet the unique needs of families, we really have to do some more work there,” Yager says.

In 2008, the state settled a lawsuit with the group Children’s Rights, which claimed Michigan wasn’t living up to its responsibility to foster youth and families. The settlement came with a number of benchmarks the state had to meet.

Yager says, compared to years past, the state has been moving at lightning speed toward meeting those requirements this year.