Michigan’s child-welfare agency will phase out a troubled computer system that has value the state $231 million over the past five years; officers told a federal judge Thursday.
State child welfare officials introduced the decision while briefing U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds on how the state is caring for children who were removed from homes due to abuse and neglect.
Edmunds heard from attorneys and the state welfare officers on enhancements and progress as part of a courtroom-oversight update in connection with a lawsuit introduced by the New York-based Children’s Rights child welfare rights organization 13 years ago.
Computers that caseworkers use to document cases and log intake of children as have been highlighted as a significant concern at the Michigan Division of Health and Human Services. The computer system, which went online in 2014, has price the state $231 million,
Chang informed Edmunds the children’s welfare agency is making modifications that include helping relatives of children within the foster care system get licensed and become providers for the youths.
Other changes within the works: eliminating the state’s compliance critiques of instances as much as two years old, focusing efforts to prevent child maltreatment on the actions most immediately related to stopping it, and getting youth into efficient applications, such as the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program.
Samantha Bartosz, the deputy director of litigation technique for Children’s Rights, advised the judge she feels the group and the state have reached a “sound resolution” in moving ahead on the issues that prompted the lawsuit.
“The modified approach will deliver sounds results for children,” Bartosz mentioned.
After the proceedings, she mentioned the reforms reflected a more than decade-long struggle to have the system regulated to serve children better and protect them.
“There are safety regulations in the agreement now,” Bartosz stated. “They are committed to staying on top of important safety measures.”