MDHHS Director Robert Gordon, in federal court, outlines plan to improve outcomes for children and families


Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by webdesign No Comments

This week, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon outlined his agenda to improve outcomes for children and families involved in the state’s child welfare system.
Gordon’s comments came as he and other MDHHS officials appeared in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan to update Judge Nancy G. Edmunds on state efforts to reform its child welfare system. Yesterday’s federal court appearance was the first since Gordon became MDHHS director in January. The court is monitoring the state’s child welfare system under the Implementation, Sustainability and Exit Plan approved in court in February 2016. Yesterday federal monitors discussed their report on the department’s progress for January to December 2017. That plan took the place of the Modified Settlement Agreement approved in 2011 that came after a lawsuit filed by the advocacy group Children’s Rights in 2006. The court also received an independent report that detailed continuing issues with the Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (MiSACWIS), which MDHHS uses to collect, store, process and produce data related to its federal court commitments. The report from Kurt Heisler Consulting was made public in court. Gordon outlined several principles for the state’s actions. Despite the limitations of MiSACWIS, Gordon said, the department can begin making better use of data to identify trends and act on the challenges identified in the data. He described work with external experts to improve the use of data. Jennifer Wrayno, acting executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency, in court outlined specific measures being undertaken by the department to address challenges facing the state’s child welfare system. To view the latest federal court monitor report, the full Implementation, Sustainability and Exit Plan, earlier reports and the original Modified Settlement Agreement, visit www.michigan.gov/ChildWelfareAgreement.



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