Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Will Snyder Stop Medicaid Fraud In Michigan?

Hey Rick, 

Congrats on the election but I send my condolences to you, in advance, for the inherited mess of DHS for which you are about to receive.  This wonkette is here for you.

Here is a list of administrators you need to immediately boot:

Bill Johnson, Michigan Children's Institute Superintendent

Bruce Hoffman, Michigan Children's Institute Assistant Superintendent

Mary Rossman, Michigan Children's Institute Assistant.... who knows her title.

Shut down Michigan Children's Institute (Supreme Court has been playing the hiding game on this one.)

Kate Hanley,  Her title keeps changing on the micro-org charts, she is adoption czar

and, last, on my top ten list of the status quo keepers of Michigan's Dark Secret...

Verlie Ruffin,  Ombudsman of Michigan's Children

Deal averts request for fed control of Mich. child welfare system

Catherine Jun / The Detroit News

  Detroit — A child advocacy group backed away from plans to seek a federal takeover of Michigan's child welfare system after a federal judge said she received assurances from Gov.-elect Rick Snyder that his incoming administration will make fixing the Department of Human Services a top priority.

Children's Rights, a New York-based agency, had announced earlier today that it planned to file a motion of contempt Wednesday in federal court in Detroit and ask the judge to appoint a receiver for Human Services, the agency that oversees foster care and adoption. The agency cited a progress report publicized today that showed the state was failing to comply with court-mandated reforms.

Instead, after a meeting in chambers this afternoon with U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, attorneys for Children's Rights agreed to meet again with DHS officials in late January — after Snyder takes office — to devise a plan to get reforms on track.

"We have every confidence that they see how urgent this is," said Sara Bartosz, senior staff attorney for Children's Rights. She added, though, that she has not ruled out seeking federal intervention in the future, if necessary. "That option is out there if the system doesn't improve."
This is the latest development in the department's court-ordered overhaul of its foster care system. The department has been under court watch since the settlement of a lawsuit in July 2008 filed by the New York group, which alleged the state's system was endangering the lives of children.

Before the scheduled 2 p.m. court hearing, the New York agency had issued a statement saying it planned to seek receivership for the department, citing a court-appointed monitor's report that showed the department failed to adequately reduce high caseloads for caseworkers as well as recruit and retain enough foster homes.

The 200-page report, covering Oct. 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, charges that DHS failed to: Ensure that new caseworkers were adequately trained before they became responsible for children and families.

Ensure that adequate staff was assigned to conduct timely and thorough child abuse and neglect investigations.

Recruit, retain and license enough foster homes and those of relative care providers.
Court-appointed monitor Kevin Ryan, of the New Jersey-based Public Catalyst Group, submitted the report to Judge Edmunds at the hearing.

According to the report, Ryan also found data-keeping and mathematical errors in state records, including how the state counts the number of children in its care. The state delayed the recording of adoption finalizations in some cases by as much as 225 days.

"Child welfare managers and staff across Michigan, in both the private and public sector, are working very hard, but their best efforts are often undone by poor planning and a lack of adequate coordination," the report stated.

This is the third update since the settlement, and comes 1½ years after reforms began. The settlement contained a five-year plan the state agreed to enact.
This is the final report before Rick Snyder takes over as governor next month. It's possible that new management will be tapped at DHS.

Anticipating the court hearing, the Michigan Department of Human Services issued a news release this morning highlighting what it says are improvements within the department.

More children have been adopted from foster care, are receiving better mental health services and have better outcomes overall, DHS Director Ismael Ahmed said in a written statement.

"DHS, in partnership with private agencies and the courts, have made significant strides in the past two years to ensure we're doing our part to help children find safe, loving and stable homes," Ahmed said.

In fact, 3,030 children were adopted from foster care in 2009, more than in any other year, he said.

Other accomplishments include reducing the number of children in foster care and expanding a program that provides in-home services and support to families with children who have serious emotional problems.

The previous report issued in March showed the state was missing significant targets, like sufficiently reducing the number of children aging out of foster care and documenting adequate responses to allegations of abuse or neglect of foster children.

At the time, the human services department was placed on a 30-day watch to get reforms on track.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101207/METRO/12070385/Deal-averts-request-for-fed-control-of-Mich.-child-welfare-system#ixzz17T4XMO3Z

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