Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Michigan Child Proactive Services

It was a busy day in Michigan's media because Kevin is coming out with his report card, and it does not look pretty to the media.

First, you had the Detroit News come out with its take: Report: State falls short on court ordered child reforms

In my own devious spirit, I decided to spice up the discussions.

Child Proactive Services

There have been significant strides in shifting the philosophy of the state's child welfare services from taking to giving.

Michigan has recently made several proposed changes to its Medicaid policy in dealing with families.

Unfortunately, there are far too many times the only way a child, and even a family, may access medical resources is through the entry into foster care.

The proposed Medicaid policy changes will immediately reduce caseloads of the workers by reducing the need for child removals and providing much needed proactive care.

The Department of Human Services is to begin maintaining electronic health records in child welfare.

The creation and maintenance of a complaint database for children abused in foster care must be extended allow the ability for members of families to file complaints, also.

It must be kept in mind that these proposed initiatives will take some years to implement as the concepts of transparency and accountability may be too controversial for some state power players.

There are still major systemic deficiencies in the administration of child welfare, but those shall be addressed in a different venue.

That "venue" I refer to is federal court, but I though I would stir up the pot with a dash of conservative/liberal controversy regarding welfare and social assistance, as child welfare is, of course,is an entitlement program of socialized medicine.

See, there are those on the "anti-socialism-brigade" who claim that all entitlement programs should end, yet are the staunchest supporters for child protective services, an entitlement program.

Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have the "uber-liberals" who believe poverty is a validated reason for taking a child and placing them in foster care to be adopted out to live with the fairy tale rich family in the suburbs as they hold more fundraising events to tell the public that everything is wonderful.

Then, the plot begins to thicken as the Detroit News removes my comment from the article section and the Free Press locks in with its slant:

Report: State foster care improving, but still lags

By ROBIN ERB
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

Under a federal court order, Michigan made “significant” progress in overhauling its child welfare system — reducing caseloads for foster care workers, taking fewer children from homes, and relying less on institutionalized care during a six-month period in 2009, according to an independent, court-appointed monitor.

But thousands of youngsters continue to linger in the system, and many "age out" without health care or permanent homes, according to the 159-page report by monitor Kevin Ryan, of the New Jersey-based Public Catalyst Group...more

But wait, Children's Rights has entered the media spin room.

Michigan Reforms Stall and Too Many Children Remain Stranded in Foster Care; Stable Leadership Needed Immediately
09 Mar 2010 / Posted by Children's Rights

DETROIT, MI — After making some initial progress in a comprehensive child welfare reform effort required under a federal court order secured by Children’s Rights, a new progress report shows Michigan has still not found safe, permanent families for thousands of children stranded in foster care, and is at risk of backsliding further unless the state immediately stabilizes its management team and structure.

Ineffective planning and an unfortunate absence of stable leadership have stalled efforts to provide permanent homes for large numbers of children who have been stranded for years in foster care — allowing far too many children to languish and age out of care without a place to call home, according to the report (PDF), issued today by independent experts appointed by the court to monitor the reforms...more

If anyone had any sense, all that had to be done is to bring child abuse and neglect charges against the legal guardian of Michigan's children who have been allowed to suffer in foster care only to face a challenging future after they are kicked out and abandoned at the age of 18 years.

It is time someone called Child Protective Services and Terminate Michigan's Parental Rights.
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