Should Michigan CPS Replace Their Flawed Multi-million Dollar Software? (Pt 1)

MDHHS’s software has epic issues – and the federal court overseeing the agency has given them a time limit for addressing the problems.

When people say “that’s the million dollar question” they probably aren’t referencing to whether or not Michigan CPS should replace their deeply flawed software system, but they could be! After all, it is the issue that CPS is grappling with right now under the supervision of the federal court, and the software in question certainly cost the state (and by that we mean ‘taxpayers’) a pretty penny. $321 million to be exact.

What software does Michigan CPS use to track abuse and neglect?

The software we’re talking about here is The Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, or MiSACWIS. It’s used by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (which oversees CPS), the adoption and foster systems in Michigan, licensing and even the juvenile justice system. So there’s a lot going on, and all of it is very important. Which is why the state was willing to spend so much money having it designed and implemented. And why it’s such a tragic waste of taxpayer dollars, now that we know it’s full of bugs and flaws.

Is MDHHS required to get rid of the troublesome software?

After a federal lawsuit was settled in 2006, where attorneys sued the state on behalf of thousands of children who were abused in foster care, CPS was placed under federal court oversight. Last year, Judge Nancy Edmunds noted 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, Judge Edmunds ordered a complete review of MiSACWIS.

The review was completed, but the results are awful!

The review of MDHHS’s system was completed recently by Kurt Heisler, a consultant for public and private work in analytics, data visualization, and health and human services from Washington DC. According to Heisler’s report, the flaws and problems in MDHHS’s software are staggering. In fact, his recommendation to the court is that “[Michigan] should procure or develop a new child welfare information system that does not rely, in any significant way, on the infrastructure, design, and data model of the current MiSACWIS.” Which pretty much means: toss it all in the trash and start over because this software is garbage!

So what is CPS going to do about it now?

According to Geralyn Lasher, senior deputy director for external relations and communications at DHHS, the court has given them until June 27th to study the results of the report, and determine what steps they believe are appropriate, which they fully intend to do. “We know MiSACWIS has major problems,” Lasher admitted, “as the court report and the hearing highlighted.” Yes it did. And we’re curious to see exactly what they do next. However, if you’re curious about exactly what the report said was wrong with the CPS software, join us next time for a closer look at those details!

Don’t let an ill informed CPS worker drag you through the mud.

In addition to their horrific software and data problems, CPS workers also seem to struggle with misunderstanding Michigan law, and so they persist in persecuting innocent Michigan parents. The only way to fight them is to hire a skilled and experienced CPS defense attorney who isn’t afraid to go head to head with the agency, and fight aggressively to protect your family and your rights. For the best in CPS defense, call 866 766 5245 today. We’re here for you 24/7.

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