Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Wozniak calls for executive action after unsatisfactory audit of CPS
RELEASE|July 10, 2024
Contact: Doug Wozniak

State Rep. Doug Wozniak on Wednesday highlighted the need for immediate improvements within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Protective Services (CPS) division, following a recent unsatisfactory follow-up report to a 2018 audit that identified 17 material findings. The follow-up report by Michigan’s nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General uncovered dangerous shortcomings in practices and procedures.

The 2018 audit report exposed seventeen significant issues within CPS, to include a failure to conduct required background checks, extended delays in beginning abuse investigations, a lack of proper safety plans for victims, and a failure to even meet with victims in some cases. The recently released 2024 follow-up report included similar damning failures.

“It’s concerning to see that MDHHS was unable to correct the previously identified errors within CPS. There is clearly a need for the Governor’s office to take immediate action to ensure vulnerable children are receiving the protections and services they deserve,” said Wozniak, R-Shelby Township. “MDHHS had six years to make these changes, and they failed to do so. We cannot allow even one more child to fall through the cracks of ineffectual bureaucracy.”

The new report found that, following the initial audit, MDHHS changed its internal policies to reduce the number of people required to have background checks. This policy change removed background check requirements from non-perpetrator parents, people responsible for the health and wellbeing of children involved, and all other household members in cases where domestic violence may be involved.

In the cases the OAG reviewed, auditors still found that individuals directly involved in the care of children had prior felony convictions, including a 1st-degree sexual assault, domestic violence, assault, and drug charges.

The report indicates that MDHHS still has not created adequate safety plans or even conduct in-person interviews in some cases.

Also, MDHHS remains out of compliance with state law regarding how quickly an investigation must be initiated after an allegation of child abuse is made. State law requires investigations into abuse or neglect to begin within 24 hours, but Department policies allow for up to a 72-hour delay, which is in direct contrast to the law.

“Clearly, the first step is reviewing and revising CPS policies to ensure they align with state law and national norms,” Wozniak said. “Second, MDHHS must not be allowed to amend those policies without oversight and approval. Department leadership responded to their own failures in 2018 by protecting the bureaucracy instead of the children.”


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