department of human services http://michiganradio.org en Pilot program in Kent County hopes aims for better outcomes, savings in foster care system http://michiganradio.org/post/pilot-program-kent-county-hopes-aims-better-outcomes-savings-foster-care-system <p>Kent County is a part of a new pilot program for children in the <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/foster-care">foster care </a>system.</p><p>Michigan has been <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/new-agreement-gives-michigan-fresh-start-fix-foster-care">working to overhaul</a> its child welfare system for years, after it was sued over problems in the system.</p><p>&ldquo;(That case) tells us that we don&rsquo;t have a perfect system. So we have to continually improve,&rdquo; Kent County Assistant Administrator Wayman Britt said.</p> Sun, 13 Oct 2013 06:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 14824 at http://michiganradio.org New program offers Michigan kids alternative to foster care http://michiganradio.org/post/new-program-offers-michigan-kids-alternative-foster-care <p>Michigan's Department of Human Services (DHS) is piloting a new program designed to keep "at risk" kids in their homes instead of handing them over to foster care.</p><p>The program will target families with children younger than five years of age.</p><p>From DHS:</p> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 20:57:34 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9369 at http://michiganradio.org New program offers Michigan kids alternative to foster care Starting next week, welfare benefits will be linked to school attendance in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/starting-next-week-welfare-benefits-will-be-linked-school-attendance-michigan <p>New policy from Michigan’s Department of Human Services would strip welfare benefits from families with truant students.</p><p>Starting Monday, families will have to provide proof of student attendance in order to qualify for benefits.</p><p>Jennifer Chambers of <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120925/METRO/209250373/Truant-kids-cost-families-state-aid?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">The Detroit News</a> reports families would become ineligible for benefits if they have a child between the ages 6-15 who is not attending school full time.</p> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 18:13:12 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9246 at http://michiganradio.org Starting next week, welfare benefits will be linked to school attendance in Michigan Commentary: Making foster care better for kids http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-making-foster-care-better-kids <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4">Recently, I served as the master of ceremonies at the Council on American Islamic Relations annual banquet in Dearborn.</font></font></font></p> Wed, 25 Apr 2012 14:50:09 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 7195 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Making foster care better for kids A correction: Decline in number of people receiving cash assistance http://michiganradio.org/post/correction-decline-number-people-receiving-cash-assistance <p>We have a correction to a story we recently aired regarding the declining number of people receiving cash assistance through a particular welfare program in Michigan.</p><p>Michigan Radio recently reported on a sharp decline in the number of people receiving aid through the Family Independence Program. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The program provides cash assistance to families with young children and pregnant women. The program is intended to help with living expenses, like rent and utilities.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:47:16 +0000 Steve Carmody 6990 at http://michiganradio.org Audit shows high eligibility error rates at state Dept. of Human Services http://michiganradio.org/post/audit-shows-high-eligibility-error-rates-state-dept-human-services <p>A <a href="http://audgen.michigan.gov/comprpt/docs/r431028505F.pdf">new report</a> from Michigan&rsquo;s Auditor General shows problems with determining eligibility for some public assistance programs.</p><p>In 2008, <a href="http://audgen.michigan.gov/comprpt/docs/r431028505.pdf">Auditor General Thomas McTavish recommended</a> D-H-S come up with system to reduce the number of errors it made and improve payment accuracy for three public assistance programs: the Family Independence Program (FIP), the Child Development and Care program (CDC), and the Medical Assistance (MA) program.</p> Fri, 13 Jan 2012 21:41:25 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 5788 at http://michiganradio.org Audit shows high eligibility error rates at state Dept. of Human Services Kicked off cash assistance by bureaucrats http://michiganradio.org/post/kicked-cash-assistance-bureaucrats <p><em>Last month, more than 11,000 families were kicked off Michigan&rsquo;s Family Independence Program, a cash assistance welfare program.</em></p><p><em>Lester Graham with Michigan Watch is working with the online magazine <a href="http://bridgemi.com/">Bridge</a> in a year-long <a href="http://bridgemi.com/category/safety-net/">collaboration</a>, following families who&rsquo;ve lost the state assistance.&nbsp; </em></p><p>The legislature has been blamed for the loss of benefits to those 11,000 families, but its vote to restrict families to 48 months of benefits in a lifetime only immediately affected about 100 families.</p><p>It was an administrative decision by the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs">Department of Human Services</a> which resulted in kicking all those other families off of cash assistance.&nbsp;</p><p>The new law allows no more than 48 months of benefits in a lifetime and it started counting months in 2007. &nbsp;On its own, the agency, started counting months in 1996 and decided anyone who&rsquo;d received help for more than 60 months since then would be cut off.&nbsp;</p><p>That&rsquo;s how those 11,000 families suddenly lost cash assistance. Tue, 13 Dec 2011 12:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 5354 at http://michiganradio.org Flood of welfare appeals hit state http://michiganradio.org/post/flood-welfare-appeals-hit-state <p>Hundreds of people have appealed to the state to keep their cash assistance benefits. More than 11,000 families are set to lose those benefits next week.</p><p>Sheryl Thompson is with the state Department of Human Services. She says people who file appeals within 10 days of receiving a cut-off notice can have their benefits continue while the case is decided, although &quot;if the department&rsquo;s decision is upheld then they will need to repay those benefit amounts.&quot;</p><p>The department is required to make a decision within 65 days of when an appeal request is filed.</p><p>New state rules strictly enforce a four-year limit on cash assistance benefits. Fri, 28 Oct 2011 20:56:19 +0000 Sarah Hulett 4746 at http://michiganradio.org Some fear needy Michiganders may struggle to heat their homes this winter http://michiganradio.org/post/some-fear-needy-michiganders-may-struggle-heat-their-homes-winter <p>State officials and local social service groups are working together to help needy Michiganders pay their heating bills this winter.&nbsp; But how much government will help pay those heating bills remains a question.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Earlier this year, a court ruled against how Michigan raised money for the low income heating assistance program. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;And state lawmakers have not yet agreed on a new funding plan. That has some social service groups concerned about the future of the program.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 20:32:29 +0000 Steve Carmody 4314 at http://michiganradio.org Some fear needy Michiganders may struggle to heat their homes this winter Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan to head DHS http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-justice-maura-corrigan-head-dhs <p><a href="http://www.governorelectricksnyder.com/">Governor Rick Snyder</a> will name <a href="http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/aboutcourt/biography.htm#MDC">Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan</a> as head of the state <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/dhs">Department of Human Services</a> today. The appointment will open a vacancy on the <a href="http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/">state Supreme Court</a> for the new governor to fill.</p><p>The Associated Press <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-snyder-humanservi,0,120999.story">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>It's not immediately clear how quickly Snyder will replace Corrigan on the court. Corrigan was part of the court's new 4-3 conservative majority... The department has been under pressure in recent years as more Michigan residents hurt by the recession seek public assistance. The department is under a 2008 consent decree to improve the state's foster care system but received poor marks in the latest report.</p></blockquote><p>The Detroit Free Press<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20110105/NEWS15/101050374/1320/Snyders-pick-creates-court-dilemma"> reports</a>:</p><div><blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Corrigan reportedly is eager to lead the DHS because of her long involvement in child protection issues, such as foster care and abuse prevention, said those close to the decision.</div></blockquote><div style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none;">Corrigan has served on Michigan's highest court since 1999. Thu, 06 Jan 2011 15:18:21 +0000 Zoe Clark 772 at http://michiganradio.org