The state House today approved a comprehensive plan that Rep. Phil Green (R-Millington) helped author to improve the state’s child welfare system. The plan includes several measures instituting critical changes to correct areas where the adoption and foster care system is falling short.
The plan is inspired by recommendations that Green worked on while serving on the House Adoption and Foster Care Task Force, which traveled across the state to consult feedback from relevant stakeholders.
His bill in the plan ensures the state’s foster care system is performing as efficiently as possible to connect children in need with loving homes and caretakers.
“There are thousands of children in need of families throughout Michigan. We owe it to them to ensure the system is serving their needs and working efficiently to connect them to the best homes with the least disruption to their lives,” Green said. “Every part of this plan works in tandem to achieve that goal and best serve kids in the system.”
Other bills in the plan would:
- Establish the Foster Care Improvement Commission with appointees from every branch of government who would study best practices and recommendations to improve Michigan’s child welfare system.
- Coordinate training for attorneys involved in child welfare proceedings to ensure they understand the complexities involved with representing children who have been abused or neglected.
- Ensure that the state safely reduces the number of young people in the child welfare system and reinvest the savings to further improve services.
- Conduct an annual needs assessment to better understand where service gaps exist and ensure residential treatment options meet the needs of children who require clinical intervention.
- Allow foster homes in good standing to receive an extended license of three years, rather than the current two-year license.
- Establish a tax credit for Michigan job providers that provide paid leave while parents care for their newly adopted children.
The plan was approved with overwhelming support and moves to the state Senate for further consideration.
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