Foster-care policy change modest given need for reform

A new policy for child foster care placements was recently announced. It requires consideration to the attachment of infants and toddlers to their parents and/or caregivers when making placement decisions.

This is only the tip of the iceberg in repairing a system that is horribly broken.

Michigan had a little more than 14,000 children in foster care in 2011. That year, St. Clair County had 347 children between the ages of 0-5 under Child Protective Services supervision.

As of April 2012, the county had 292 children in foster care. The CPS supervision number does not include children ages 6-17 so the actual number of children under supervision is higher.

While there are children in need of care, the basis on which children come under supervision and/or are removed from homes is questionable. Child Protective Services and Department of Human Services workers do not have to substantiate their findings. If they believe a child is abused or neglected, even if there are no witnesses or records to substantiate their claim, what the worker says is accepted by the court. This is wrong and detrimental to families.

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