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Another audit says Michigan has failed to protect vulnerable adults

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration is again taking heat for failing to protect vulnerable adults.

A state audit released Wednesday shows the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) has mismanaged its Adult Protective Services (APS) program since 2010. Among other things, it says DHS did not adequately train caseworkers and supervisors and failed to investigate complaints of abuse.

It’s the second report in less than a month that suggests the administration has mismanaged services for vulnerable adults.

“I’ve acknowledged that we made mistakes and I am accountable here, and - in the admission of the errors that we made – that we are repairing the problems that were brought to our attention,” said DHS Director Maura Corrigan.

“Are we perfect in our knowledge of all of the operations? We sure aren’t,” she said. “But we are committed to doing better than we did yesterday.”

Corrigan says two supervisors have been removed from the APS program in light of the audit’s findings, but have not been fired.  

Another state audit recently revealed DHS and the Michigan Department of Community Health mismanaged the state’s Medicaid in-home care program for vulnerable adults. It found the departments allowed people convicted of felonies like Medicaid fraud, elder abuse and neglect, and other violent crimes to work with in-home care patients. It also suggested the state misused millions of federal dollars for the program over three years.

As a result of that audit’s findings, the state announced late last month it will launch a background check system for in-home care workers in October.