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State launches effort to reduce trauma for infants in foster care

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State officials say too many infants experience psychological trauma when they are removed from their homes and put into foster care. The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) hopes to change that with a new set of policies.

Child Protective Services (CPS) employees will be encouraged to work with mental health experts in some cases. DHS says it will also try to place babies in homes that are likely to adopt them, when possible. That’s when they are not likely to be reunited with their parents.

DHS Director Maura Corrigan says there has been a major shift in attitude toward infant mental health related to CPS removals in the last decade.

“We understand the danger of that in a way that we once did not,” she said.

“Going back ten years, judges didn’t believe babies experience trauma; some judges didn’t. So, this has been an important movement.”

Some have criticized Corrigan’s department for past infant and child removals that courts later ruled were improper. She says those cases are “few and far between.”