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Michigan asks federal judge to end oversight of child foster care

child's drawing on chalkboard
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Michigan says it wants out from under court-ordered oversight of the state’s child foster care system. The Michigan Department of Human Services filed a motion today with the U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Bob Wheaton is with the DHS. He says the state spends $1 million a year in compliance costs that could be used for other things. Without federal oversight, Wheaton wants to see the money used on federal monitors for some higher-priority areas. 

“We could do things like expand our family reunification program services, which are designed to avoid foster care placements. We could nearly double families served by our abuse and prevention programs. There are things like that.”   

The state was sued in 2006 by the group Children’s Rights because caseloads were too high, and too few children were finding permanent homes. No word yet on how the group will respond to the state’s motion. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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