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Tue March 9, 2010
Monitor says Michigan not complying with child welfare settlement
By Rick Pluta
LANSING, MI – A court-appointed monitor says Michigan is failing to comply with an agreement to settle a lawsuit seeking to fix the state's foster care system.
The state Department of Human Services says the monitor failed to acknowledge the progress Michigan's made in the past year in finding more permanent homes for foster children. But the advocacy group Children's Rights - which filed the lawsuit - says there are still too many children languishing in foster care without access to the services they need.
State Representative Dudley Spade chairs the state House human services budget subcommittee. Spade says he will call department officials before his committee next week.
"The basic theme of the questions will be what are the barriers keeping us from fully implementing the terms of the settlement. Wherever there are challenges, what are the barriers?"
A department spokesman says the state will negotiate with Children's Rights in an effort to avoid court supervision of the foster care system and its efforts to help children who are removed from their homes for abuse or neglect.