Michigan's welfare agency is starting a pilot program to try to keep young at-risk children in their own homes, rather than place them in foster care.
The Michigan Department of Human Services said Thursday that the program for children from birth through age 5 is possible because of a waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Title IV-E waiver lets the state agency use federal foster care funds for the project over five years. Michigan is among nine states getting the pilot project waiver.
The project is scheduled to start Aug. 1, 2013, in Kalamazoo, Macomb and Muskegon counties. The state says it will provide prevention and preservation services for families with young children at high risk for abuse and neglect.