June 29th, 2007
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Categories: News, Media, The System

A new state reports that the state is still failing the children in foster care. There are a few areas that they have talked about changing things. Some totally make sense and should have happened long ago, while other changes could be a step back instead of improving.

First major area of concern is the high caseloads, burnout and high turn over with their caseworkers. Caseworker caseload involves 20 to 30 cases per worker. I do believe the caseload is too high due to the amount of work involved with each child. I do know that other states have caseworkers with a caseloads as high as 60 cases for one worker (totally crazy).


Their solution for this problem is to hire more than 250 workers that would also be dedicated finding foster children permanent homes. Now 6,000 foster children are wards of the state parental rights have been terminated and they are waiting for a forever home. In 2004, 3,543 foster children were considered un-adopted and in 1986 there were 1,716. Sadly the numbers of children needing adoptive homes just continue to increase every year.

Chief Wexford County Probate Judge Kenneth Tacoma blames this increase on 1996 changes in state law that he contends forced a “rush to termination” of parental rights, creating more “legal orphans.”

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan has formed a working group to respond to the problem. They will be looking to slow down the time it takes to terminate the parent’s rights, also the judges will be able to place the children in legal guardianship.

Hmmm…..kind of sounds familiar. Strange this does not sound like an improvement, it sounds like we are going back to children spending years and years waiting for their parents to get it together. Yes, I do understand that there is a lack of foster and adoptive homes. Why are we not looking for solutions for this problem instead of giving up on the children?

More reading:

Not all Biological Parents Deserve Additional Help

TPR in Foster Care

Adoption is Under Attack

2 Responses to “Michigan Foster Care Problems”

  1. lmg1567 says:

    I’m quite familiar working with MI foster care workers. Yes, they are overworked, but I really don’t think they are rushing to terminate parental rights unjustly or too quickly. I think that it’s gotten to the point with all of the “Families First” programs and the like that by the time the kids are removed, things aren’t usually going to get any better which results in the termination (a year later). It stands to reason that children should not languish in the foster care system for years while their bio parents decide whether to step up and parent, or in some situations, just let go. One of the main reasons I believe MI is in such desperate need of foster homes is the way these people are treated. The first case or two, the workers are all bending over backwards to help in any way possible. After a few cases, they feel like you should know the ropes and that’s when the phone calls go unanswered and the investigations over every little thing begin. I always am amazed that I was investigated because my OCD foster son picked his nose to the point of having scabby sores (augh!) and I was somehow deemed neglectful (found unsubstantiated of course, another waste of time and resources), but there are kids DYING at the hands of truly horrible people and they just slipped thru the cracks. I also love all of the rules, such as “children should sleep on a bed….have clean sheets….have at least one dresser drawer….” why would they license someone they had to spell these things out to??? Treat people well and you will have quality people in your corner – it goes for foster care and everywhere else in your life.

  2. majorlyoutspoken says:

    thats your problem you give up on the foster childern to easly. I dont think most workers/lawers care all that much about the foster kids that much as they make themselves seem to. ya its there job. but dont let it fool you. workers come in to this job and the first thing there told is not to get close. but thats there problem. you cant come into a job like this and not care for the child at all let alone. its impossible! every kid in the system has a uniqe side to them and thats all these kids want you to do is get to know that side of them. theres hope for every kid you just got to keep that hope and faith in them. you got to be there for the child and let them know your there. cuz thats the foster systems problem they just find homes not even knowing what there really like and just place them there. not really careing about the outcome. not all workers but most. all these kids want is someone to belive in them. foster perants arnt all they crack up to be ithere. some are crul very crul and then some are ok and others are just right. but yull never know what the kid will end up with. and thats the problem. you dont know. but for the best intrest of the child wouldnt you like to know. or at least have the faith and courage to know. for some workers these kids are just a caseload on their desk waiting to just be throwing away. but thats not what these childern are. these childern are people just like of you readers and all they want is someone els. someone to be there and listen. not a counsiler for an hour once or twice a week. a real person. but yes the childern have a background. and another side to them. but if you try, try hard enought you can get through to them. maybe save them. if you know what i mean by that. these childern in the system have so much to give and yes they migth hide it or have diffulcult ways of showing there it and most of the time their feelings. but i think we all have problems. but if you just take your time theres a succses story behind every child in the system. its only a mtter of discoring it. and when you do you know you had alot to do with it. cuz you took the time to find it. took the time to belive hope and have that faith that others gave up haveing.its only patients.you might wonder about me. well im only 16 and a perment state wourd and i hate the system and cant wait untill ive fully helped myself so i can start makeing this foster care system the way it should be. my email is missingmealready@yahoo.com

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