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Child Welfare in Michigan is STILL Under The Watchful Eye of The Court!

A close up of the front of the US Supreme Court building.
The Fedral Court in Michigan is responsible for keeping an eye on CPS. BUt the agency doesn’t seem to be imporoving…

CPS in Michigan has a long history of screwing up, not meeting goals, and falling short of the mark. Over the years there seems to have been an endless string of scandals, law suits, audits revealing gross oversights, and agency-wide failures to follow their own policies. It’s a mess. And it’s been going on for years, with Michigan’s Child Protection Services eventually being placed under the watchful eye of the federal court in 2006 following a class-action lawsuit. The agency (under Governor Jennifer Granholm) was sued on behalf of thousands of children who were placed in unfit foster holmes, and became victims of abuse and neglect at the hands of ‘parents’ who were paid to care for them.

In the thirteen years since then, very little seems to have changed…

Millions of dollars have been spent (primarily on software that caused more problems than it solved, and on defending the agency and it’s workers against lawsuits), policies have been changed and plans reformed. But CPS doesn’t seem to have made much progress in addressing their issues. At a hearing held earlier this year, where the court appointed monitors assigned to watch over the agency’s efforts at reform provided updates to U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, the outlook was very bleak. “The problem remains unfixed,” said monitor Eileen Crummy, when addressing the Judge. And to use the words of Judge Edmunds herself, “It’s pretty depressing, to say the least.”

One of the many issues was the agency’s million-dollar software program…

 In 2018, Edmunds pointed out that it was nothing more than poor data collection and analysis that had “prevented, delayed or stymied efforts by court monitors to verify the state’s progress” in improving its child welfare system. So to solve the problem, the Judge ordered a complete review of the Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (also called MiSACWIS). The results? It was an epic disaster. The software, as it turns out, had so many glitches, and caused so many issues, that the reviewer’s recommendation was that MDHHS should scrap the entire thing and start over with new software.

A new system in return for looser oversight by the federal court…

Representatives from CPS went on record with the court to admit that the multi-million dollar software built specifically for the agency was a disaster. They admitted that it didn’t work, and finally agreed to abandon it altogether, replacing it with a different (and hopefully better) software. “Certainly from the user standpoint it’s very challenging,” admitted Janet Reynolds-Snyder, Michigan Federation for Children & Families executive director. “But most importantly we’re not able to accurately assess the safety of children in our care, and that is the key issue.” Indeed – not being able to keep track of the kids that the agency has taken away from their parents and placed into foster homes is a very big deal, and one that needed to be addressed immediately!

In return, the agency was given “laxer oversight” by the court…

It’s a process. First they have to find a new system, and that takes time. Then they have to begin the process of phasing out the old system, and phasing in the new one, with extensive training all around for all CPS workers. It’s going to be a mammoth undertaking, and one that the agency readily admits will take years! But in return for their agreement to abandon that sinking ship, CPS has been granted relaxed oversight on certain issues by the federal court. Specifically, some compliance reviews will be eliminated. But that doesn’t change the fact that after almost a decade and a half, Michigan’s CPS is still required to operate under the watchful eye of the federal court!

CPS may fail repeatedly at their jobs, but here at The Kronzek Firm, we don’t!

Despite CPS’s failure to do their jobs properly, and the constant stream of issues they face in getting their work accomplished, we always do ours! And we do it well. So until CPS workers start working with families, and not against them, we’ll keep on fighting to protect parents who have been falsely accused or misunderstood by CPS. If you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or neglect by CPS, or have been contacted by the agency regarding allegations made against you, call the skilled CPS defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. We’re here to help you! 

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