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Legislators and advocates push for changes to MI’s foster care system

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Michigan's Children
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One of the few issues to find bipartisan support in the Michigan legislature last year were bills that proposed changes to the state’s child welfare system, which has come under fire for safety and timeliness issues in the past several years. We talk to Sen. Rick Jones, a sponsor of the changes to the Foster Care and Adoption Services Act, as well as CEO of the advocacy group Michigan’s Children, Matt Gillard.

Michigan’s foster care system has had a troubled history. A lawsuit filed against the state in 2006 alleged Department of Human Services policies had compromised the safety and well being of children under state care. In 2008, the state was put under a federal court monitor until it made substantial reforms to its foster care system.

Michigan has made some strides since then.

Legislators are hoping to make additional improvements with bills currently making their way through the State House and Senate. Advocates say that legislation is a good start, but that the state still has a long way to go.

Current State talks about Michigan’s foster care system with State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) and Matt Gillard, CEO of the advocacy group Michigan’s Children.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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