Michigan will have to focus more of its efforts on finding homes for older children, and services for 18-year-olds who are about to age out of the child foster care system as part of a new court judgment. The new agreement is part of a five-year-old lawsuit against the state for its failures to place children in foster care with permanent families.
The Associated Press reports:
The state of Michigan and lawyers representing needy children have reached a new agreement on how to improve foster care and protective services.
A federal judge in Detroit approved the deal Monday. The state says it now gets more flexibility in complying with a 2008 consent decree. At that time, then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm pledged to spend millions to help children in foster care and protective services, but her administration repeatedly got poor marks.
The new agreement extends certain deadlines to reduce the number of caseloads per worker. About 1,300 child-welfare workers retired last year, forcing the state to go on a hiring and training blitz.