State About to Hire 400 Case Workers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Added positions are part of 2008 lawsuit settlement.

The Michigan Capitol is shown at twilight Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Lansing, Mich. Lawmakers continue work on budget bills that deal with a $2.8 billion shortfall before an Oct. 1 deadline. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

The director of Michigan's child welfare agency said Tuesday the state has interviewed more than 2,000 applicants for roughly 700 jobs, part of an effort to comply with an agreement to improve foster care and other services.
Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan said that about 400 more foster care, adoption and child protective services workers are expected to be hired by late May. They'll join others already hired to fill vacancies with the department, including more than 200 sworn in late last month
"They're coming on board every month," Corrigan said. "We've had great success with our outreach on the human resources side to colleges and universities."
It appears nearly all of the new hires would simply replace the roughly 700 child services workers who recently retired from the department. Overall, the Department of Human Services lost about 1,300 workers through retirement.
The agency is trying to comply with a 2008 consent decree aimed at improving child welfare programs. A court-appointed monitor gave the department poor marks under former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but new Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will be given a chance to comply with the agreement. Snyder has proposed spending an additional $69.3 million on child welfare in the fiscal year that starts in October, although other parts of the Department of Human Services would face staffing reductions.
The New York-based group Children's Rights filed a lawsuit that led to the agreement to improve the state's foster care system. In 2008, the state settled the lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 20,000 children.
Michigan officials agreed to several changes, including hiring hundreds of people to reduce the caseloads of workers who oversee children in foster care or protective services.
A court-appointed watchdog said late last year that Michigan had failed to achieve "by a wide margin" caseload numbers for workers who investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The watchdog's report also concluded it is taking the state more than six months, instead of the 90-day target, to grant licenses to people who want to take care of children who are relatives.
Corrigan, a former Michigan Supreme Court justice, took over the Department of Human Services in January. She has committed to meeting the terms of the consent decree.

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:48 AM
    They let many workers go forcing others to take on huge case loads & those people even got threats against them as people were turned down or process to get help takes so long.causing many hardships. Sure now we will hire in some dept of social welfare programs.However I bet the pay will be much lower.Hope there stressful no where job will be worth it all in pay.Most people have no clue to how things work. we believe all we hear.Jobs ,wow,while other cuts will take away other needed programs if snyder & his buddies get there way.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 6, 2011 at 02:55 AM
    The state is BROKE and many cuts need made? So how much sense does this make?It is great some people are going to have a job.How long will they last?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:16 PM in reply to
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