child welfare

Kids games
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A new report says problems with the data management system Michigan uses to track its child welfare programs is one reason the state is still under court oversight. 

The report says the system has been unreliable when it comes to collecting data vital to measuring improvements to the state's child welfare system.

DETROIT - A judge says the state of Michigan still has "serious problems" in collecting statistics that are crucial to improving foster care, child welfare and other programs for kids.

Detroit federal Judge Nancy Edmunds made the remark Monday as court-appointed monitors delivered their latest report.  The child welfare system has been under court oversight since 2008.

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When former Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan took the job as head of Michigan's Department of Human Services in 2011, she made it clear she would only serve for four years. Her time is up and she's stepping down Jan. 1. 

DHS is responsible for serving some of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens. The agency is in charge of foster care, food assistance for Michigan’s hungry, welfare benefits, and child care licensing, among other things.

Director Corrigan has been widely credited for making strides on improving the child welfare system during her tenure. That system is still under federal court oversight assigned in 2008, but the state has asked a judge to re-examine that status. 

Michigan Supreme Court
photo courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled a practice by the state's child welfare system is unconstitutional. 

Yesterday the State Supreme Court struck down a 12-year-old rule they said violated the constitution because it allowed the state to punish both parents for abuse or neglect of a child for whom only one parent was responsible, even when parents were not living together.

There’s an effort underway to make sure kids who usually get breakfast at school don’t go hungry in the summer months.

This is the fifth year that nurses at the Detroit Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital have taken up a cereal drive for those at-risk kids.

The drive was the brainchild of Pam Taurence and her colleagues on the Professional Nurse Council.

Taurence says it started in 2010, when the group was trying to come up with an idea for a community service project.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about how Michigan's child welfare system treats minorities.

The report finds African-Americans, Latinos, and Native American children are more likely than white children to be removed from their homes.  

Minorities are also twice as likely to age out of the foster care system as whites.

Former State Rep. Lynn Jondahl is one of the co-chairs of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.  

There's one attorney for every 21,000 low-income Michigan citizens. That's according to the Michigan Bar Association. And that lack of representation hits hard for relatives of children in the foster care system. State of Opportunity's Sarah Alvarez has been following the case of Vanessa Moss, a grandmother struggling financially to take care of four children. Faced with their removal from her home, where do people without resources turn for legal representation?